Between the 20th and 24th of September 2016, 85 participants from 25 countries met in Sighisoara in Southern Transylvania for the 13th annual conference of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group. The focus of this year’s conference was Management and Conservation of Semi‐Natural Grasslands: from Theory to Practice. Read more
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).
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.
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 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.
See FFI partnership page for further details.
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.
10 March 2014: United Nations special report
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
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.
Fundatia ADEPT has begun a fund-raising campaign to assist a nature school, including for sight- and hearing-impaired children, and to buy a small herd of beef cattle as a model for grassland conservation in Transylvania. If you are able to donate, including by setting up a standing order, please use Charity Checkout link here.
For other ways of donating to ADEPT activities, see our donations page here.
TV5 Monde documentary about Saschiz, Romania and Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania`s contribution to develop and sustain the area.
View the full video on youtube.
SusTaining AgriCultural ChAnge Through ecological engineering and Optimal use of natural resources. Read more ...
ADEPT has won European Commission funding to test an innovative results-based agri-environment payments scheme (RBAPS) in Romania.
Instead of paying farmers according to inflexible management rules as in typical agri-environment schemes, the scheme pays for the “result” – species-rich meadows – which is measured using indicator plant species. Farmers have the freedom to manage their meadows according to local conditions and annual weather variations, instead of having to follow inflexible mowing dates that do not respond to local and seasonal variation. For more information click here.
The Family Farming Knowledge Platform gathers digitized quality information on family farming from all over the world; including national laws and regulations, public policies, best practices, relevant data and statistics, researches, articles and publications. Read more here.
This three-year project, implemented by Fundatia ADEPT on cooperation with Agridea (Switzerland) WWF Romania and ProPark, was completed successfully in 2016. Its goal was to improve the economic viability of local livelihoods from HNV farmlands in Romania and conservation of agricultural biodiversity.
Download project final report here.
For further details, click here.
Successful lobbying reduces widespread damage to Romania’s traditional family farming see details...
06.06.2016 On 4 June HRH The Prince of Wales visited Saschiz commune Read more
12.04.2016 HNVF Conference - Press release Read more
21.02.2016 Sixth Annual Meeting of Family Farmers and Small-scale Producers Read more
09.12.2013 10 Dec 2013: ADEPT wins CAP Communication Award with SMSFamily Farms project Read more
Help us to continue our work.
ADEPT is seeking further funding for this innovative project that is successfully giving equal emphasis to nature conservation and local prosperity. Our work has shown the great value of corporate and private donations – they enable us to react immediately and flexibly to problems or opportunities as they arise, and so are a very effective addition to more restricted institutional funding.
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. ...read more
On 21 February 2016, at Sighişoara, Fundaţia ADEPT repeated for the 6th consecutive year, its popular annual event dedicated to Family Farmers and Small-scale Producers from the Târnava Mare area, bringing together around 200 local farmers with the specialists who have contributed to the survival and prosperity of their landscapes.
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.
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.
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.
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...