ICPDR Reaffirms Goals of Declaration on Achieving Functional Biodiversity in the Danube-Carpathian Region by Mainstreaming Ecological Connectivity

News & Media 3 November 2022
View of a plain next to mountains
The White Carpathians

On 18 October 2022, the Central and Eastern Europe WWF participated in a side event on “Achieving Functional Biodiversity in the Danube-Carpathian Region by Mainstreaming Ecological Connectivity – how to make it happen” during the 11th EUSDR Annual Forum 2022. The annual forum, which took place in a hybrid format, was jointly organized by the Ukrainian EUSDR Presidency, the former Slovak EUSDR Presidency, the European Commission, and the Danube Strategy Point, with the financial support of the Danube Transnational Programme.

The side event celebrated the newly endorsed Declaration on Achieving functional biodiversity in the Danube-Carpathian Region by mainstreaming ecological connectivity.  The Declaration, endorsed by the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) ‘Water Quality’ Priority Area (PA) 4, ‘Environmental Risks’ PA 5, ‘Biodiversity, Landscapes, Quality of Air and Soils’ PA 6, the Carpathian Convention, and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) has provided these key regional actors an opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to safeguarding ecological connectivity and biodiversity in this the “Green Heart of Europe.”
Ecological connectivity has been defined as the degree of connection between the various natural environments present within a landscape in terms of their components, spatial distribution, and ecological functions. During this panel, partners from different countries and various fields of activity (spatial planning, research, government, biodiversity conservation) joined forces to increase the capacity of ecological corridor identification and management. They aimed to overcome the conflict between infrastructure development, wildlife, and river conservation. Valuable knowledge and experience will be made available to spatial planners and vice versa for finding the best ways to develop infrastructure and other plans to secure ecological connectivity in the Carpathians.

It was a collaborative event jointly hosted by the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the EUSDR Priority Areas 4 (Water Quality), 5 (Environmental Risks) and 6 (Biodiversity, Landscapes, Quality of Air and Soils), and WWF Central and Eastern Europe (WWF-CEE) on behalf of the SaveGREEN Consortium.
The side event was opened and moderated by Ms. Irene Lucius, Conservation Director for WWF-CEE, and welcomed its speakers: Mr. Ján Kadlečík, Coordinator of the Carpathian Wetland Initiative, Mr. Harald Egerer, Head of the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, Ms. Danka Thalmeinerová, speaking on behalf of EUSDR Priority Area 4, Ihor Korkhovyi, EUSDR National Coordinator of Ukraine, Mr. Michal Blaško, EUSDR National Coordinator of Slovakia, and our very own ICPDR president Mr. Róbert-Eugen Szép.

The Joint Declaration ‘Achieving functional biodiversity in the Danube-Carpathian Region by mainstreaming ecological connectivity’ can be consulted here.