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

Small-scale community projects


Reviving the use of wild dye-plants

ADEPT, with other organizers, hopes to revive the use of dye plants, and also to give an opportunity to Transylvanian artists to diversify and add value to their products by using naturally dyed wool. This is a way to make use of local resources - wool, and wild dye-plant species in the area. The products will thus be closely linked with the biodiversity of the Târnava Mare area.

The project also has an educational component, as it will include children, after the model of other traditional occupations (pottery, weaving, wood carving) which are being taught in several villages in Romania in crafts workshops or at craft schools.


© Ramona Cazacu – preparation of wool for dyeing.
© Andreea Bell 2008 – rug dyed in natural colours.

One result from the experimental camp will be a brochure explaining, in English and Romanian, the virtues of using natural dyes, and identifying some local plants and their uses, which will be of interest both to visitors and local people.

We call this activity şezătoare cu fierturi, from şezătoare: gathering of women, from late autumn until early spring, doing various traditional occupations in the evening (spinning, weaving, etc. while singing or story telling), and fierturi: boiled things.

Tarnava Mare Sustainable Development Awards

ADEPT plans to establish a  small competitive grant scheme, funding sustainable development projects that are proposed within the Tarnava Mare area. Applicants may be small businesses, community groups, Town Halls or NGOs.

The applications will be judged by an independent panel, including outside specialists and community representatives.  This award will be very effective in
  • providing funding for small community projects that are not eligible for other funding (for example, tree planting projects in schools)
  • stimulating local debate about priorities and nature-friendly principles in community development.

Involving the community in keeping villages tidy

The management of litter and domestic waste is a problem in many of the villages of the Tarnava Mare area.

Two inspiring Saschiz villagers, Anca Calugar and Charlie Dalmasso, have worked with the NGO Aves France, as well as ADEPT, to create a community project to keep their village tidy. At publications you may see and download an example of the educational material they have produced. They are also working directly in schools, and arranging stream cleaning and other small environmental projects. We hope that this initiative will spread to other villages in the area.

If you want to support this with small donations, or volunteer labour, please contact them directly:


ADEPT and the local community



Small-scale community projects

Community Fund

The ADEPT Foundation launched a community fund in 2006, which pays for small projects that bring immediate benefit to the community. In 2006/7 the fund paid for repairs to a water fountain that brings fresh spring water to the heart of Saschiz. In 2008, the fund provided support for traditional weavers in the village of Malancrav to form a Tarnava Mare Weavers Association, which will help them gain access to markets.

Tourists visiting the area have welcomed the creation of this fund. If you would like to contribute to this initiative please contact us or make a donation when visiting the Tourist Information Centre, Saschiz.


The Community Fund paid for repair of this spring in Saschiz, which provides the best water in the village. Whoever drinks from it, will never leave, it is said! 

tidy brochureAnca Calugar, Charlie Dalmasso and Aves have designed simple brochures for village environmental projects. See publications for downloadable version.
Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România