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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.

Forthcoming events

Transylvania Festival London 13-15 May.

A festival will take place, 13–15 May at the Romanian Cultural Institue in London, to celebrate celebrate 10 years of work by Fundatia ADEPT. To find out more see the festival programme

Fundatia ADEPT - the first 10 years 

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. Its 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

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

In 2010, Fundatia ADEPT successfully applied for EU LIFE funding, for the STIPA project, 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.

LIFE  STIPA Project | Final Report

The STIPA project ended in late 2013.

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.

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

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

Discover Tarnava Mare Mountain Bike trail

In March 2013, it was announced that Fundatia ADEPT’s project ’Discover Târnava Mare by bike’ had won first place in an international competition for outdoor projects that support communities and protect nature. Under the project, 13km of high quality mountain bike trail would be built, encouraging responsible tourism, and bringing extra income to villeges, and so using practical ways to protect this historic landscape. The project had the special support of the outdoor sports manufacturer and equipment supplier 

By November 2013, 8 of the 13 km had been completed, and an inaugural race organised for local schoolchildren. The remaining 5 km will be competed early next year in time for inaugural events involving national and international mountain bike enthusiasts. 

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 Clip 1 (about Fundația ADEPT), Clip 2 (about OpWall nature projects in Tarnava Mare) and Clip 3 (about OpWall agriculture projects in Tarnava Mare).

Play Clip 1 | ADEPT short clipPlay Clip 2 | Wallacea nature clipPlay Clip 3 | Wallacea agriculture clip

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 and democratically redesigned to ensure the human right to adequate food and freedom from hunger.

Mr De Schutter said “At the local, national and international levels, policy must urgently support alternative, democratically-mandated visions. 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. Respect for their access to productive resources is key in this regard,” he added, calling for priority investments in agro-ecological and poverty-reducing forms of agriculture.

Click here for more details

About Fundația ADEPT

ADEPT activities

Our team

4th Edition - 02.02.2014


In February 2014, at Sighişoara, Fundaţia ADEPT repeated its popular annual event dedicated to Family Farmers and Small-scale Producers from the Târnava Mare area, bringing together local farmers with the specialists who have contributed to the survival and prosperity of their landscapes.

LIFE STIPA project final report

The LIFE STIPA project, working with local farmers for conservation of important grasslands in the Târnava Mare region, ended in late 2013. The project was jointly funded by the European Commission and Fundatia Orange.  To download a report of  project results, click here. [.pdf file ~ 1.57MB]

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. During the visit he was instructed in the use of an innovative Brielmaier mower, and enjoyed trying it out.

See news report for further details.

Trophy for 1st place at Brussels won again for Romania in 2013 by Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania

9 December 2013, Brussels. For the second year in succession, Fundația ADEPT Transilvania has won a top European Commission COMMUNICATION PRIZE. ADEPT won 1st Prize in the "Innovative Communication" section, with its SMS Family Farms project. 

The project presented by Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania 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

Economic development of HNV landscapes

Fundația ADEPT is leading a 3 year project to develop and implement policy and market measures to assist the economic development of Romania’s High Nature Value farmed landscapes, in partnership with Agridea (Switzerland) and WWF and ProPart (Romania).
See news report for further details.

European Landscape Award

Fundația ADEPT has been selected to represent Romania in a competition for European Landscape Award 2013. This is an award given every 2 years by the Council of Europe. The awards will be decided in June 2014.

See news report for further details.

High Nature Value Grasslands: filling gaps in policy and practice

The importance of High Nature Value Grasslands, the threats to them, and possible policy solutions, are summarised in document below, which provided inputs into the proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. 

Conference brochureHigh Nature Value Grasslands brochure contains an introduction to the farming systems of the HNV landscapes of Transylvania.
See HNV conference page for further details, and links to policy documents.

News Headlines

Dec 2013: ADEPT wins CAP Communication Award with SMSFamily Farms project  Read more

Brussels conference promoting best implementation of the new CAP  Read more

May 2013: Fundatia ADEPT launches Smartphone application for Android  Read more

May 2013: EU Commissioner for Agriculture meets innovation  Read more

April 2013: Fundația ADEPT represents Romania in European Landscape Award competition, 2013  Read more

See all news headlines

Orange-ADEPT film clip

ADEPT has created a short musical clip for showing in Orange Romania outlets. This will increase the interest of a younger Romanian audience in our aims and activities. See film clip here.

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