In one week's time, from 29 to 30 April, a high-level Conference on Environment and Sustainable Development in the Danube-Carpathian region will take place in Bucharest, Romania. For the first time, presidents and governments will come together to plan a sustainable future for the Carpathians. The goal of this major event, hosted by the Romanian government, and co-organised by World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), is to secure bright prospects for the region in the 21st Century.
Presidents are expected to sign a ground-breaking declaration on conservation and sustainable development for the Carpathians and the Danube. Governments will also be asked to commit to a timetable for developing a Carpathian Agreement ensuring that concrete benefits, not just good intentions, come out of this important meeting. A meeting of ministers of environment will be held on 29 April, followed by a one-day business-NGO forum, to secure support at all levels, across both the public and private sectors.
During the two days, the vision, priorities and model project areas of the Carpathian Ecoregion Initiative will be presented. For the people living in the region, the conference will be a major leap forward in turning the initiative's Carpathian vision into reality. The World Bank, European Commission, UNEP, UNDP, OSCE and USAID are all attending the conference and will be invited to make solid commitments in a follow-up meeting later this year.
Taking place in the Parliament Palace in Bucharest, the conference will be co-chaired by the President of Romania and His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh. Heads of state and other high-level representatives from all countries of the Danube-Carpathian region (Albania, Austria, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, FYR of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia) are invited, as well as senior executives of inter-governmental institutions, international financial institutions and NGOs.
Suzie Holt, 23 April 2001
Suzie Holt works with WWF in Vienna as communications coordinator for the Carpathian Ecoregion Initiative.
Photo courtesy of Karin Steinbrueck.
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