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Forum Carpaticum 2014: Local Responses to Global Challenges

 

Took place during September 16-18, 2014 in Lviv, Ukraine

 

The conference was organised by The Science for the Carpathians (S4C) initiative and provided a discussion platform for over 100 scientists as well as practitioners, representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations in policy, economy, environment and management interested in the Carpathian Mountains.

 

The Forum Carpaticum integrates different fields of expertise to generate theoretical and practical environmental and social knowledge for the Carpathian mountain region. The objectives of Forum Carpaticum are:

•  to link research and practice related to coupled human and natural systems in mountain regions;

•  to scientifically support actions leading towards sustainability in the Carpathian region;

•  to increase the visibility of the Carpathian region in global change research agendas.

 

The 1st Forum Carpaticum (FC2010) in Kraków, Poland identified the need for better data generation, availability, and accessibility to information in the Carpathian Mountain ecological region. The 2nd Forum Carpaticum (FC2012) in Stará Lesná, Slovakia addressed this need by covering the whole Data-Knowledge-Action cycle, i.e. focusing on how data are generated and transformed into useful knowledge, how the knowledge is transferred to policy and practice, and how it can feed back to research planning.

 

Forum Carpaticum 2014: Local Responses to Global Challenges aimed to explore ways to address global challenges in the local and regional context. The main themes of the 3rd Forum Carpaticum (FC2014) conference in Lviv, Ukraine were related, but not limited, to the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Horizon 2020 Programme, focusing on major challenges affecting the Carpathian ecoregion:

1. Ecosystem services and land use change. This theme was intended to concentrate on the problems of sustainable forest management (SFM), agriculture, agro-ecology, eco-tourism, as well as of control of infrastructure development, urban sprawl, rational utilization of mountain resources, communities and their roles in regulating the access to various ecosystem services.

2. Climate change, water and extreme events/hazards. The theme had to look into the complex relations between climate change and water resources in the Carpathian area. The focus was on integrated impact analysis, the resilience of mountain ecosystems as well as their management, conservation and restoration while paying attention to problems of flood protection, water availability and use.

3. Natural and cultural heritage. This theme dealt with preservation of and threats to various types of natural and cultural heritage of the Carpathians. A critical issue was assessment, monitoring and forecasting changes in complex Carpathian landscapes both in socio-economic and as well as ecological terms for sustaining biodiversity, traditional economy and human well-being.

4. Smart mountains. This theme considered the chances offered to mountain areas by a knowledge-based economy, technology development and green growth including environmental-friendly tourism development, mobility, interrelations between rural mountain areas and urban centres in and outside the Carpathians.

 

The conference programme offered plenary and parallel sessions, workshops, and poster presentations.