of the International conference  “Mountains and People (in the context of sustainable development)”,

dedicated to the International Year of Mountains

(14th-18th October, 2002, Rakhiv, Transcarpathian region, Ukraine)

 The International conference “Mountains and People (in the context of sustainable development)”, dedicated to the International Year of Mountains, was held from 14th to 18th of October 2002 in Rakhiv (Transcarpathian region, Ukraine). The Conference was organised by the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine, Transcarpathian regional state administration, Carpathian biosphere reserve, Regional ecological centre “REC-Kyiv” and Institute of ecology of the Carpathians of the NAS of Ukraine. In the conference took part executives of the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine, regional state administrations, scientists, representatives of local authorities and NGOs from Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Russia and other countries – in general 220 persons. A speech of welcome for the conference participants was made by the Head of Transcarpathian regional council M.I. Andrus and Head of Transcarpathian regional state administration I.M. Risak, Minister of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine S.I. Kurykin, people’s deputies of Ukraine M.A. Markush and O.D. Klympush, famous native and foreign scientists.

In the process of conference work 88 presentations and reports were represented and discussed, 37 persons participated in the discussion. According to the results of conference work, there were published two volumes of the Conference Proceedings, including 280 papers of 430 authors from 12 countries of Europe and Asia.

            On the basis of discussion the most urgent problems of mountainous regions of Europe and Asia, the Conference certifies, that:

·      Mountainous regions are distinguished by the unique natural resources, cultural and social-economic values and essentially influence on vital functions of the considerable part of population of the Earth.

·      Possessing considerable supplies of water, minerals, forestry and agricultural raw materials, great biodiversity, the mountainous regions are very ecologically vulnerable. Typical for them are floods, mud flows and landslides, which hinder to use effectively their natural resources, and cause considerable social-economic losses.

·      The prevailing part of presentations was focused on the concrete definition of program statements of the “Agenda XXI ” and “Declaration of the Millennium of the UNO”.

·      The themes of presentations were also agreed with the new international program document “Plan of decisions introduction of the World Summit on sustainable development” (Johannesburg, 2002).

·      The items, discussed at the conference, favour integration of three components of sustainable development – economic growth, social development, conservation and renovation of the environment, as well as are the basis for the introduction of sustainable development strategy of the Carpathian region.

 In the result of active discussions, participants of the conference came to a conclusion, that within a long period in many countries the great ecological and social-economic role of mountainous regions was not recognised or has been diminished. Therefore, today, very acute questions of the agenda are the items of decreasing the anthropogenic pressure on mountainous ecosystems, increase of the living standard of local population, conservation of great natural resource potential and cultural heritage of mountain-dwellers. In connection with this, participants of the international conference recommend:

 I.                   By governments of mountainous countries (countries with mountainous regions in their territories):

1.   To work out and adopt a Program of sustainable development of mountainous territories. Taking into account the specificity of each mountain region, to work out normative-legal acts, directed on the state regulation of natural resources use, favourable crediting, making favourable financial-economic conditions (taxation and customs privileges) to the management individuals, which conduct nature conservation and anti-flood measures in mountains, create infrastructure for the development of tourism and recreation, construct mountainous roads, provide deep processing of timber and other bioresources, produce ecologically clean food-stuffs, develop folk crafts.

2.   To favour transboundary co-operation in the Carpathian region, specifically to co-ordinate mechanisms of the transboundary co-operation, including the item of a simplified passport regime, where it will be recognised reasonable.

II. By the Supreme Council of Ukraine:

1.      In order to perfect the model of sustainable development in mountainous regions of Ukraine, decrease and prevention of damage from floods and inundation in the basins of mountainous rivers to adopt the Laws: “On the experimental ecological-economic zone “Rakhiv” and “On the insertion of changes and complements to the Law of Ukraine “On the status of mountainous settlements in Ukraine”, “On rural ecotourism”, “On lands protection” and “On ecological audit”.


III. By the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:

1.      With the aim to prevent and decrease loses from hazards in the territory of the Carpathian region to take measures on the raise of effective activity level of the state hydrometeorological service. While forming the annual budgets (both state and local) from the sum of dues for the special use of lands in mountainous areas to allocate 10% annually for the financing of conduction a special water-protection management (monitoring of the slopes and rivers water regime, monitoring of exogenous processes and prediction of their development, hydrotechnical facilities; forestry management).

 2.      Taking into account a great recreational potential of the Carpathians and resolution of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe, adopted in January 1998, to consider development of tourism and recreation as an important component of sustainable development of the Carpathian region.

 IV. By the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine:

1.      To envisage in the draft of the Carpathian convention the co-ordination of the world community efforts on the renovation of disturbed ecological balance in mountainous ecosystems, specifically because of the decrease of forest cuttings scales, preventive measures of erosion processes and decrease of soils degradation rates, overcoming of unemployment and poverty, raising the well-being of residents of the Carpathian mountains.

 2.      To involve more widely the publicity to the preparation of the Fifth Pan-European conference on the ministerial level within the process “Environment for Europe”, which will be held in Kyiv in May 2003 and to the development of the Carpathian convention, which is planned to sign at this conference.

 3. To hasten the formation of the Carpathian regional econetwork by means of the network expansion of territories and objects of nature conservation fund of the region, including international and intergovernmental nature conservation territories.

 4. To create a co-ordination-information centre on the items of hazards in mountains and conduction of a specialised agriculture and forestry.

 V. By the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine:

1.      To involve scientific potential of the region to the development of innovative measures on the ensuring of rise the productivity of forest and agrarian ecosystems, working out of ecologically and economically efficient systems of the balanced management and achievement on this basis the ecological, economic and social balance in the Carpathian region.

 2.              To consider reasonable the conduction of overall landscape-ecological map-making of the Ukrainian Carpathians in scale of 1:200 000 (1: 100 000) on the basis of GIS technologies, which would include the creation of series of maps: landscape, recent vegetation cover, forests, dangerous natural processes and hazards, etc. 

3.              In the Carpathians biodiversity conservation to consider such directions of investigation as priority ones:

-         inventory and monitoring of the floristic and faunistic diversity;

-         inventory and monitoring of hunting species of animals and their habitats;

-         study of structural-functional organisation and dynamics of the living organisms communities of the primary ecosystems of the Carpathian region as standards for ecosystems modelling and processes management in ecosystems;

-         study of the influence of populations and communities fragmentation of plant and animal species of mountainous areas and changes of their spatial-temporal structure on the survival;

-         working out of national programs aimed on the conservation and regeneration of biodiversity, in particular program of conservation and  management of large carnivores populations state;

-         working out of scientific grounds of the formation the Carpathian regional econetwork and broadening the network of territories and objects of nature conservation fund of the region;

-         protection of vanishing species of flora and fauna.

 4.              On the basis of the Institute of ecology of the Carpathians of the NASU or the State natural museum of the NAS of Ukraine (Lviv) to form a working group for the co-ordination of scientific investigations in the region of the Ukrainian Carpathians.

 VI. By other state institutions:

1.      To work out and introduce by the Ministry of education and science of Ukraine in collaboration with the Ministry of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine a system of ecological-educational and academic-training measures, aimed to form in the consciousness of the population, especially children and the youth, an ecological mentality, a thrift attitude to the mountainous ecosystems, necessity of introduction of the ecological systems and technologies in the mountains and conservation of the unique natural and cultural heritage of mountain-dwellers.

 2.  By the State tourist administration of Ukraine:

-         to work out  and submit for the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine a national program of the recreational potential development of the Ukrainian Carpathians.

-          to favour institutionally to the development of ecological and green (rural) tourism in the region.

 3 By the State committee of forestry of Ukraine to concentrate attention on:

-         a broader introduction of technologies of sustainable forestry; including nature conservation technologies of timber logging;

-         intensification of measures, aimed to conserve and regenerate forests, in particular native stands, raising the woodland territory of the Carpathian region to the optimal; 

-         conduction of the reconstruction of biologically unstable spruce and pine monocultures outside their natural growth;

-         construction  and improvement of the existing forest roads;

-         wider use of biological methods of forest protection, which envisage renewal of the activity of regional laboratories of forest protection;

-         working out of organising-management mechanism of rational use of timber forest resources;

-         preparation of young stuff for the forestry management; for this, to conduct in 2004 in the Ukrainian  Carpathians an international school of young scientists-foresters.

 4. By the regional state administrations of Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Transcarpathia:

-         to work out and introduce  programs of the renewal of traditional methods of farming in the mountains, to favour development and introduction of strategies of sustainable development of communities and local action plans of environmental protection, development of small business, training and retraining of staff;

-         to favour conservation and regeneration of biological and landscape diversity of the region;

-         to favour development of local ecologically balanced private business;

-         to work out and introduce programs of improving the hydrological regime of mountain rivers in the Carpathians, to favour introduction of ecologically substantiated, nature conservation anti-flood measures;

-         to favour change of method of the forest fund use, taking into account the priority of ecological and social functions of forest ecosystems.

 VII. Preparation and conduction of the conference were done in the high scientific and organising level. The Carpathian biosphere reserve provided all conditions for the successful work of the conference. The participants of the Conference express thanks to the administration of the Carpathian biosphere reserve for the excellent organisation of the international conference and wish its stuff a fruitful work in the introduction of the sustainable development idea in the Carpathian region.