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You are here: Home / Environmental topics / Biodiversity / Europe's protected areas / Policy framework / Conventions at the European level

Conventions at the European level

Environmental policy instruments important for the establishment of protected areas in Europe.

Conventions at the pan-European level

The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) *


The Bern Convention is a binding international legal instrument in the field of nature conservation, which covers most of the natural heritage of the European continent and extends to some states of Africa. It was opened for signing in Bern, Switzerland, and came into force in 1982.

Alpine Convention


The Alpine Convention sets out the basic principles and general measures for sustainable development in the Alpine region and includes the Protocol for the Implementation of the Convention in the field of Nature Protection and Landscape Conservation. The Convention entered into force in March 1995.

European Landscape Convention (Florence Convention)


The European Landscape Convention promotes the protection, management and planning of European landscapes, and organises European cooperation on landscape issues. The Convention was adopted in Florence, Italy, and came into force in March 2004.

Carpathian Convention


The Carpathian Convention, signed in Kiev, Ukraine, provides the framework for cooperation and multi-sectoral policy coordination, a platform for joint strategies for sustainable development, and a forumfor dialogue between all stakeholders in the Carpathian region.

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Note: * Instruments marked with an asterisk lead to a specific designation of protected areas.

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