About the Foundation
Carpathians Biodiversity Conservation Foundation
Carpathians Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (hereinafter referred to as "the Foundation") is a legal successor of the Eastern Carpathians Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (hereinafter referred to as „ECBC"). ECBC was established by the World Bank in 1995 as part of the GEF Biodiversity Conservation project. The capital of the Foundation was provided by the World Bank and several other donors (MacArthur Foundation, WWF and others). Due to the unstable banking and legal environment in Slovakia at the time when ECBC was established, it was eventually established under the law of the Swiss Confederation and registered in the Federal Commercial Register of Switzerland, Geneva. The bank account of ECBC was also established in Switzerland and its capital was transferred to this account.
ECBC main mission was to support the International Biosphere Reservation East Carpathians, which was created as part of UNESCO international scientific programme Man and Biosphere. This unique international biosphere reservation is located in the cross-border area at the Polish, Slovak and Ukrainian border and covers extensive protected areas in these countries. ECBC operation followed the rules set out in its internal documents, mainly Statute and Deed of Foundation, and internal rules.
ECBC had a two-level management. The supreme authority of ECBC was the Management Board composed of representatives from Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, the World Bank and other donors. The Chairman of the Management Board was elected president and this position rotated by countries. The management structure was rather complicated but ECBC successfully fulfilled its mission and objectives. In the period from the establishment till 2009 (active period) ECBC implemented about 65 activities and projects on the territory of Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia, that were focused mainly on the implementation of scientific and management programme of the UNESCO International Biosphere Reservation. The projects were implemented i cooperation with several scientific institutions (especially forestry and environmental institutions), municipalities, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions from all three countries. Projects were financed or co-financed from the ECBC resources of as well as from several international projects and programmes. In 2009, ECBC activities were suppressed for several reasons and a decision was made to transfer the Foundation to the region where ECBC performed its activities.
When Poland and Slovakia joined EU, the ECBC activities became more complicated and costly. Hence the Management Board adopted a decision to move ECBC from Switzerland to one of the home countries, either to Poland or Slovakia. As it turned out, it was extremely complicated to set up a new foundation in Poland, therefore it was decided that the successor organization should be set up in the Slovak Republic (according to the Act No. 34/2002 on Foundations). At the same time the process of closing down the ECBC and its deletion from the Register in Switzerland was started. The Swiss authorities have agreed with the termination of ECBC activities and its removal from the register in 2011. The establishment of the Foundation following the legal procedures of the Slovak Republic was launched.
The proposal of the new foundation Deed retained all the original goals and mission of ECBC but its territorial scope was extended to the whole territory of the Carpathian mountains in both Poland and Ukraine. The management of the Foundation was simplified. The Management Board is the managing authority consisting of four representatives - from Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and the World Bank. The executive body of the Foundation is its General Manager and apart from that accounting and auditing functions are used.
Formally the Foundation was established on 10 October 2012 when the Charter was approved by the Ministry of the Interior SR and the Foundation was registered in the Register of Foundations of the Ministry of Interior under no. 203/Na-2002/1035. The official seat of the Foundation is a border village Stakčín in Snina district. This seat is centrally located in the area of the Foundation’s operation, in the heart of the Carpathians.
Based on the written agreement with the mayor of Stakčín the address of the Foundation is Municipal office Stakčín, SNP 574/6, 067 61 Stakčín.
Core mission and objectives of the Foundation stated in its Deed (article II) are as follows:
a) protection and sustainable use of the biodiversity of the region and Carpathian mountains,
b ) the nature and landscape protection of the Carpathians and the Carpathian protected areas,
c) support of the UNESCO programme Man and the Biosphere in the territory of the Carpathian Mountains especially in the East Carpathians Biosphere Reservation),
d ) cooperation at the level of the Carpathian Convention (Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians, UN 2003), its goals and mission,
e ) support of activities under the Convention on Biological Diversity (UN 1992) and related international activities,
f) protection of environment in the Carpathian region,
g ) protection of geo-eco-diversity and landscape diversity in the Carpathian region,
h ) protection of spiritual and cultural values of the Carpathian region,
i ) promotion of the conservation of natural values and natural resources,
j ) promotion of the maintenance of traditional forms of land use,
k) special support for the development of science, research, education and knowledge, and the Carpathian region,
l) support of civil initiatives, activities, solidarity and subsidiarity,
m ) promotion of tourism in the Carpathian region,
n) exchange of information and especially cross border cooperation in the Carpathian region,
a ) promotion of natural and landscape values of the Carpathian region,
p) development of local communities, towns, municipalities and regions.
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