"Carpathians Unite – mechanism of consultation and cooperation for implementation
of the Carpathian Convention" is a project supported by a grant from Switzerland in the years 2012-2015 through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

The Project, carried out in Małopolska and Podkarpacie Provinces of Poland, is targeted at local self-governments, non-governmental organisations, local entrepreneurs andfarmers as well as scientists, nature conservation services and tourists. The value of the grant received from the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme amounts to CHF 1,943,054.

The objective of the project is the protection and sustainable use of biological and landscape diversity of the Polish Carpathians by supporting the implementation of the provisions of the Carpathian Convention.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Carpathian Convention and its comprehensive approach which stipulates integrated planning and resource management, and the necessity to take into consideration the objectives of conservation and sustainable use of biological and landscape diversity in sector policies - the actions of the Project are implemented in different domains relevant to the conservation and sustainable development of the region. Therefore, the Project combines the actions aimed at the conservation of habitats, the maintenance of sustainable use of land in the Carpathians, preservation of the traditional land-use patterns and local breeds of farm animals with the actions that foster sustainable development of tourism, enhance public participation in implementing the Convention and facilitate access to the information on natural and cultural heritage of the region. The implementation of the Convention is of crucial significance for the areas located in the basins of rivers which originate in the Carpathians and flow into
the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

The anticipated effects of the Project are:

  • conservation of biological and landscape diversity of the Carpathians - through the maintenance and development of the traditional shepherding in mountain pastures and semi-natural meadows, preserving the traditional breeds of farm animals and supporting the revival of the shepherding tradition;
  • sustainable development of tourism in the Carpathians in the manner facilitating the mitigation of adverse impact of tourist traffic on the areas of high natural values - by elaboration of a regional sustainable tourism development strategy in a selected part of the Carpathians;
  • facilitation of access to the information on the Carpathians, their natural and cultural heritage, tourist infrastructure and actions undertaken towards the implementation of the Convention - by launching the "Carpathian Informatorium" web portal presenting data resources on the Polish Carpathians with the use of modern geovisualisation techniques and geoinformation technologies, and by conducting a series of training courses and lectures;
  • development of the information exchange network for institutions and the scientific community cooperating on the implementation of the Carpathian Convention;
  • ensuring the public participation in implementation of the Carpathian Convention - by establishing a platform for broad public consultations and by supporting the work of thematic working groups.

The "Carpathians Unite" Project comprises:


  • strengthening the capacities of Carpathian communities, through training courses: "Mediations for the protection of the biological and landscape heritage of the Carpathians" and "The Carpathian Leader",
  • support for the work of thematic working groups of the Coalition for the Implementation of the Carpathian Convention,
  • the Open Carpathian University - a series of lectures for students and local communities on natural values of the Carpathians and the Carpathian identity,
  • support for the development of traditional sheep grazing and shepherding in the Carpathians, provided through trainings,
  • Sheep Run events commencing and concluding the grazing season,
  • Guidance and good practices presented in publications: „Ekonomika gospodarki pasterskiej” ("The Shepherding Economics"), „Zrównoważone rolnictwo na obszarach górskich” ("Sustainable Agriculture in Mountain Areas") and „Pasterstwo w Karpatach” ("Shepherding in the Carpathians"),
  • the strategy of sustainable tourism for the communes located in the selected area of Low Beskid Mts. and the parallel strip of foothills,
  • CARPATHIAN INFORMATORIUM providing informative support for actions undertaken towards the implementation of the Carpathian Convention in the Polish Carpathians