UNEP Vienna is the Environmental Reference Centre for the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, and as such, promotes cooperation and experience exchange in research, nature protection and sustainable development between the mountainous areas, such as the Alps, the Carpathians, the Caucasus, and the Dinaric Arc.

UNEP Vienna provides the interim secretariat to the Carpathian Convention - a framework for cooperation and policy coordination in various sectors – including on Education for Sustainable Development (Article 13 of the Convention) – and a platform for joint strategies and dialogue between all stakeholders involved.

UNEP, in partnership with the Carpathian Sustainable Learning Network (CASALEN), the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport  of Romania and local partners has trained more than 100 teachers in six rural areas of Romania, and produced the Carpathian Mountains ESD Training Tool Kit in Romanian and English languages. The Tool Kit aims to introduce the principles of ecosystem-based thinking, cooperation and sustainable development to the rural mountain communities, and to encourage critical thinking about the urgent development-related issues.

UNEP is a partner of the Regional Centre of Expertise in ESD Vienna – Bratislava, support this network especially in its connection and dissemination in the Carpathian Region.

Role in the Project

UNEP Vienna - ISCC is in charge of valorizing and exploiting the Big Foot achievements. As an organization dealing with sustainable development of the rural mountain communities, including through education for sustainable development, it provides support to the partnership in identifying the most suitable interventions in the experimentation areas.

In addition, as the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, UNEP will channel the Big Foot project process and results to a wide stakeholder community of the Carpathian countries, via disseminating the project information through the Carpathian Convention web-site and during relevant events, and thus by providing a forum for dialogue between the Big Foot partnership and the interested stakeholders.