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

The STIPA Team

Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania is an NGO dedicated to protecting Romania’s unique
high-biodiversity farmed landscapes and the small-scale farming communities that have
created them.

Lenke Balint Gherghiceanu Cristian Popa Razvan Schuster Diana Ben Mehedin Cornel Stanciu Nagy Gizela Moldovan Gerogeta Monica Beldean

Relevant aspects of Fundaţia ADEPT activities in the Târnava Mare area, in the 10 years since it was established, include:
1. Policy support. Development of agri-environment schemes, assisting the link between small-scale farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development.
2. Farm Advisory Services. Farmer participation in agri-environment schemes is five times higher than national average, and includes higher proportions of small-scale farmers.
3. Dairy sector. ADEPT has helped several villages to improve their milk collection points, and to improve milk hygiene generally, significantly benefitting village economies.
4. Supporting common grazing. ADEPT has pioneered a project under which communal grazing land has been leased to the village grazing association, unlocking access to agri-environment payments, and securing the future of over 30 cattle, sheep and goat farmers.
5. Adding value to agricultural products, and diversification. ADEPT promotes local branding and labelling, farmers’ markets, local sales to hotels and restaurants. ADEPT worked with the authorities for a flexible approach to direct sales by small-scale producers, essential to the development of farmers’ markets. ADEPT also promotes rural tourism in the area, linking agro-tourism, nature guiding and mountain bike trails.

For more information, see

The Future

LIFE+ STIPA | The Future

There are reasons to be optimistic that the results of this project will be long-lasting.

  1. the mapping has revealed the importance of the area, and is a tool for future support payments through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
  2. the project has left skills in the area, contractors who can now make a business out of using the Brielmaier.
  3. there are over 4,000 ha of threatened grassland receiving support payments under the current CAP.
  4. local prodcuers are getting better value for their prodcuts now they are branded with the nature value of the landscape
  5. local people – farmers, and the next generation of farmers, the schoolchildren –understand much better the value of the land that surrounds them. Local pride is developing, which, combined with financial incentives, will assure a much brighter future for some of Europe’s last great lowland grasslands.

The following are the next actions which will strengthen the project results:

  1. We will incorporate the Conservation Action Plan for the target dry grassland habitats, developed under the STIPA project, into the overall management plan for the SCI/SPA to be finalised in 2015
  2. We will cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop better-targeted agri-environment schemes for dry grasslands
  3. We will continue to provide farm advisory services to promote economic viability of the broader landscape of which the target habitats are an integral part.

Tarnava Mare SCI: Saving Transylvania’s Important Pastoral Ecosystem


LIFE+ STIPA Project Results

Objectives of the project

Reasons for this project

The Grasslands

What did we do, in more detail?

The Future

The STIPA team

Progress Reports

What did the project achieve in the end? Some highlights

Innovative GIS mapping for large-scale conservation –


Conservation Action Plan agreed by Town halls –


Innovative mowers demonstrated –


Over 320 ha cleared of scrub, over 900 ha returned –


Monitoring shows significant improvements in the –


Flora and Lepidoptera Indicator species guides –


8 schools, 280 children per year in nature classes –


Over 1 million TV viewers in Romania have seen –


High-profile visits have raised awareness further –


New agri-environment measures designed –

Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România