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Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania
Conservarea biodiversităţii şi dezvoltare comunitară în Transilvania

Fundația ADEPT… protecting Transylvania’s unique farmed landscapes, their biodiversity, and the farming communities who live within them.

Pentru versiunea în limba română apăsați pe butonul de mai sus.

ADEPT won the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) Award 2017

Premiul European de Turism Cultural (ECTN) 2017 | Diploma pentru Premiul I

21st September 2017 — Sibiu. Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania was awarded 1st Prize as Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism, at the 2017 ECTN Award Ceremony, during the 10th international conference "Cultural Values, Diversity and Heritage: Pillars of Sustainable Tourism for Development, held on 20 - 21 September 2017 in Sibiu, Romania, for the project "Transylvania Mountain Bike Trail to revitalize the Târnava Mare cultural landscape".

Read more....

Operation Wallacea Transylvania - European Wild Cat footage

Operation Wallacea team in Transylvania captured this footage of a European Wild Cat in their first week on the project - wild cats are incredibly rare to spot in Europe, and this is some of the best footage we that we`ve seen!

Fundatia ADEPT - the first 10 years 

Fundatia ADEPT 10-year report

ADEPT has been working for 10 years to protect the nature-rich, farmed landscapes of Transylvania, and to support the traditional farming communities who have created them over centuries and who maintain them today. 

Download a copy of our 10-year report here.

Our aim is to give these landscapes and communities an economic future and relevance in the 21st century without sacrificing their sustainability and productivity, which are in fact an important model more widely in Europe.

Some of Europe’s most important high nature farmed landscapes are found in Romania, especially Transylvania. They provide high productivity and high local employment, and other important benefits for the wider European public ( more details).

ADEPT Transilvania - HNV Landscapes

LIFE  STIPA Project | Final Report

When ADEPT started work in 2004, these kinds of semi-natural man-made landscapes did not enjoy support. More recently, policy-makers have increasingly appreciated the wider social, economic and environmental benefits of these kind of farming systems. Fundația ADEPT is proud that it has contributed to this shift in policy at national and European level.

During the past 10 years, ADEPT has grown from a local project, to an NGO with national and European influence. Its strength in influencing policy derives from the fact that its proposals are based on practical experience through the innovative projects it carries out on the ground.

ADEPT has been working with farmers, local communities, universities, other NGOs, and government at all levels to solve the range of problems threatening the survival of these landscapes and farming communities.

An innovative approach is required if these landscapes and communities are to survive in the 21st century. Fundația ADEPT is carrying out an integrated programme linking economic and social benefits with biodiversity conservation, and raising local capacity for good management in the future. 

See summary poster on left.

For its pioneering, joined up and integrated approach to solving the problem of the viability of these high-nature farmed landscapes, the ADEPT Foundation has won awards at national (Romanian) and European level.

EU Life project: Saving the Important Pastoral Ecosystems of Transylvania (STIPA)

Natura 2000 logo

2010-13, Fundatia ADEPT carried out an EU LIFE project, STIPA, whose aim was to improve the conservation status of the important grasslands in the Sighișoara-Târnava Mare area. The project was co-financed by Orange Foundation. 

There are over 5,000 ha of special dry grasslands in the area, which have a special protection status throughout the European Union. These grasslands can only be preserved by the farmers who manage them.

 ADEPT, with the help of specialists, succeeded in improving the future of these grasslands, by doing demonstration conservation work themselves, and by working with local farmers, broader communities and community groups, and with Town Halls in the area.

To download a report of the Final Report in English click on the thumbnail on the left.

For a copy on the Final Report in Romanian, click here

For reports of project results, see the LIFE STIPA section.

Fundația ADEPT/ Fundația Orange – 10 years of achievement

We celebrate our partnership with a short musical clip summarising some of our activities in partnership

  Fundația Orange has given continuous support to  Fundatia ADEPT since it began work in 2004.

 Fundația Orange understands the need for flexible and  responsive  programmes to answer complex and constantly changing changing social, economic and environmental challenges.

Fundația ADEPT in parnership with EOCA builds mountain bike trails linking nature to rural incomes

Discover Tarnava Mare Mountain Bike trail

In 2013, Fundatia ADEPT’s project ’Discover Târnava Mare by bike’ won first place in an international competition for outdoor projects that support communities and protect nature. Under the project, 18km of high quality mountain bike trail has been built, encouraging responsible tourism, and linking guesthouses and bringing extra income to villages. An inaugural race was organised for local schoolchildren. All these are practical ways to protect this historic landscape. The project had the special support of the outdoor sports manufacturer and equipment supplier Vaude

See news report for further details.

FFL logoFundația ADEPT and Fauna & Flora International

In March 2013, Fundația ADEPT and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) have begun a major strategic partnership, under which they will work together protecting High Nature Value Farmed landscapes at local and national levels in Romania, and at European level.

See FFI partnership page for further details.

Operation Wallacea and Fundația ADEPT 

In 2013, Fundația ADEPT began a long term partnership with operation Wallacea. OpWall carries out a worlwide programme in which schoolchildren and university students gather information about the changes in and threats to globally important areas of biodiversity. Tarnava Mare is the chosen European hotspot. See film clip below. Other clips, about OpWall schools projects, nature projects and agriculture projects in Tarnava Mare, can be found on the Opwall page.

Democracy and diversity can mend broken food systems 

10 March 2014: United Nations special report

  • warned that current food systems are efficient only from the point of view of maximizing agribusiness profits
  • emphasized that  local food, and smallholders, must be helped to provide the food security for the future.

Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, called for the world’s food systems to be radically reformed to ensure the human right to adequate food and freedom from hunger.

Mr De Schutter said “Objectives such as supplying diverse, culturally-acceptable foods to communities, supporting smallholders, sustaining soil and water resources, and raising food security within particularly vulnerable areas, must not be crowded out by the one-dimensional quest to produce more food.

"Food security must be built around securing the ability of smallholder farmers to thrive. Food democracy must start from the bottom-up, at the level of villages, regions, cities, and municipalities” he added, calling for priority investments in agro-ecological and poverty-reducing forms of agriculture.

Click here for more details

Transilvania Bike Trails Race 2016

The 3rd edition of TBT Race took place on 20 August 2016, starting and finishing in Saschiz, on two routes (the long distance - 75 km and the short distantce - 40 km, for the beginners).

Transilvania Bike Trails Race (TBT Race) is a mountain-bike race that takes place every year, starting and finishing in each of the eight interconnected Saxon villages. The aim of the race is to promote the 100 km mountain bike trails and these natural, cultural, and historical landscapes unique in Europe.
The route passed through areas designated as bike trail network, grassy hills , forest roads, streets of old villages and the fortified churches' courts.
The unspoiled beauty of the area needed to be promoted at the national and international level, therefore starting with 2011 we have built the first 100 KM mountain-bike trails in Romania, to have a base for the sustainable tourism in the area. The project was supported by a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.
This network of mountain-bike trails links together eight saxon villages (Viscri - Bunești - Criț - Meșendorf - Cloașterf - Saschiz - Archita - Daia), with their beautiful landscapes and fortified churches  in our region, and the most important touristic attraction, the medieval city of Sighișoara.

For more information about the mountain-bike trails and about the TBT Race please visit our websites: and

"Unconventional conservation" to the rescue

Successful lobbying reduces widespread damage to Romania’s traditional family farming see details...

News Headlines

25.01.2018 24-26 Jan 2018 - Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania is attending the ILCN Global Congress in Santiago, Chile  Read more

21.09.2017 ADEPT won the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) Award 2017  Read more

See all news headlines

ADEPT wins top EU prize three years in succession for bringing benefits to small-scale farmers

ADEPT wins top EU prize three years in succession for bringing benefits to small-scale farmers
In May 2014, ADEPT won top prize for the socio-economic benefits category of the newly-launched Natura 2000 prize from DG Environment. This follows EU top prizes in 2012 and 2013 from DG Agriculture for best communcation with farmers. This shows how ADEPT is crossing policy boundaries, delivering top-quality integrated programmes for the benefit of small-scale farmers in Romania. ADEPT hopes to replicate this successful, innovative model more widely in Europe. more

EU Commissioner for Agriculture meets innovative grassland mower

EU Commissioner for Agriculture came to the Fundația ADEPT project area, to see some of our farm advisory activities. See news report for further details.

2013: top EU prize for communications won again in Brussels by Fundatia ADEPT 

9 December 2013, Brussels. For the second year in succession, Fundația ADEPT won a top EU prize for innovative communication with small-scale farmers, with its SMS Family Farms project. The project was developed with communication specialists KAMA System Ltd, and supported by Fundatia Orange and by the Swiss Romanian Cooperation Fund.

Visit SMSFF project. [RO | EN]
Read News Report [EN]
Get ADEPT Press Release CAPCA.pdf [RO]
Watch Video [YouTube - EN]

Smart phone app to encourage responsible tourism

Scan QR Code to download App from GooglePlay

Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania’s project – "Discover Târnava Mare" is a touristic mini guide through which you can visit and plan, overall, a walk through Târnava Mare - Transylvania.

Get it on Google Play

Peasant food for modern people

Through our national communication campaign, part of ESSEDRA project, we aimed to inform as many people about the importance and relevance of peasants (i.g. small scale farmers) in an ever changing and growing global market. It is of upmost importance for people to realise that these small scale farmers, that have a special connection with the land and thus the food they produce, hold in their traditional knowledge the key for a sustainable agriculture, capable of delivering high-quality food that is Good, Clean and Fair. read more...

Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România