Sigrid Rausing Trust

We are delighted to announce that the Sigrid Rausing Trust has granted 3 years funding, starting August 2020, to support our biodiversity conservation work, especially linked to High Nature Value farmed landscapes, and to support us in building our resilience as an organisation. This is a continuation of a 1-year grant made in August 2019. This will enable ADEPT to focus strongly on core biodiversity conservation activities, and to remain flexible and innovative in our approach in this rapidly changing world.

Rainforest Concern

In late 2018 ADEPT started working in partnership with Rainforest Concern, who work to protect threatened habitats, especially forests but also associated habitats such as grasslands, in Latin America, India and Romania. Forests and natural and semi-natural grasslands are the two habitat groups with the highest percentage of anthropogenic loss worldwide, and many species depend on the interaction between the two habitats. With Rainforest Concern we will develop projects that recognise how forest, isolated trees, small mown and arable patches, and broad grazed pastures and scrub, all work together to provide a range of habitats that offers sanctuary for many species lost elsewhere in Europe, and provide a good income to support the small-scale farming communities that maintain these landscapes.

Earthworm Foundation

ADEPT started working with Earthworm Foundation, formerly The Forest Trust, in 2017. Earthworm works in innovative ways on the value chains that link people and nature. In particular, ADEPT is pleased to have helped introduce to Romania Earthworm’s Rurality Programme, which leverages the power of local and global supply chains by engaging with suppliers, producers and brands to drive change and transformation that creates value for all, particularly for farmers. With Earthworm’s help, we have made a partnership with Carrefour Foundation for the Viscri cheese plant (see under projects). We hope to develop further joint activities with Earthworm in Romania, especially with their Rurality and Landscape programmes.

Carpathian Convention

The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention) was adopted and signed by the seven Parties (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine) in May 2003 in Kyiv, Ukraine, and entered into force in January 2006. It is the only multi-level governance mechanism covering the whole of the Carpathian area and besides the Alpine Convention the second sub-regional treaty-based regime for the protection and sustainable development of a mountain region worldwide.

European Commission

With the help of European Commission funding, ADEPT brought constructive, practical ideas and knowledge to the challenges faced by Romania’s rural communities and their valuable farmlands. ADEPT carried out several projects in Târnava Mare area with European Commission funding:

  • RBAPS - Results-Based Payments for Biodiversity
  • STACCATO - SusTaining AgriCultural ChAnge Through ecological engineering and Optimal use of natural resources
  • AgriSpin – Space for innovations in Agriculture
  • ESSEDRA - Environmentally Sustainable Socio-Economic Development of Rural Areas
  • Wild Flower Europe – Celebrating rural cultures and landscape
  • CAP Information Measure

The EU provides funding for a broad range of projects and programmes covering areas such as: regional & urban development, employment & social inclusion, agriculture & rural development, maritime & fisheries policies, research & innovation, humanitarian aid.


ADEPT’s project funded by LIFE+ (EU Life Nature: Saving the Important Pastoral Ecosystems of Transylvania (STIPA)) aimed to improve the conservation status of two priority dry grassland habitats in the Sighisoara -Tarnava Mare SCI: semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia) with important orchid sites, and sub-Pannonic steppic grasslands. Both of these habitats are included in Annex I of the Habitats Directive.

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

Fauna & Flora International

Since 2009 Fauna & Flora International has been assisting ADEPT in conservation of the Târnava Mare area, with technical assistance and with funding. In 2013 FFI began a major partnership with ADEPT, under which it will help ADEPT develop its role further in protecting the High Nature Value Farmed landscapes of Transylvania.
FFI has always carried out biodiversity conservation on the principle that landscape-scale projects will only be successful and sustainable if they give benefits to local people who live within the landscapes – and who have helped to create them. This principle clearly applies strongly to the Târnava Mare area in Transylvania.

Fundatia Orange Romania

Support from Orange Romania, and since 2013 from Fundația Orange, has enabled ADEPT Foundation to develop a unique role in Romania, contributing to the prosperity and economic stability of thousands of small-scale farmers, while protecting High Nature Value landscape which are unique in Europe.
Orange Foundation finances programmes that improve the lives of disadvantaged communities. In 5 years of activity, the Orange Foundation invested over 3.5 mil euro in digital education and development projects in rural areas and in education, health or cultural projects for the social integration of people with sensory disabilities.

Innovation Norway

Through Norway Grants programme ADEPT helped rural communities to bring local benefits from the traditional land management. The projects, “Promoting sustainable production for small-scale farming communities in a Natura 2000 landscape in Transylvania“ and “Ecosystem Services from High Nature Value farmland - Green industry – Romania”
Innovation Norway is donor programme partner in green industry programmes in Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia, as well as in a programme on environmental and climate change related research and development in Spain. Innovation Norway also acts as programme operator for the green industry innovation programmes in Bulgaria, Poland and Romania and the global fund for decent work and tripartite dialogue that funds projects in 12 countries.

Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme

Through the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme, ADEPT helped preserving and boosting the social, economic and environmental values of Europe’s most important HNV farmed landscapes, by bringing an innovative approach which can increase prosperity while protecting the sustainable use of natural resources.

ADEPT and partners carried out three projects co-financed by Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme:

  • Rural Development and High Nature Value Farmlands in Romania
  • GIRO - Development of Geographical Indication in Romania
  • Green infrastructure in Sighișoara-Târnava Mare Natura 2000 Site – Discover Târnava Mare by Bike

The Swiss financial contribution aims to reduce the economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union and between different regions of development of beneficiary countries.

Darwin Initiative

In the period 2005-2009, Darwin Initiative for Biodiversity (under the British Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Defra), in partnership with Orange Romania, were the main sponsors for the range of activities carried out by ADEPT: biodiversity studies and conservation, and innovative measures to support the small-scale farming communities of the area. Check more info about the two projects:

Târnava Mare: securing the future of a Transylvanian HNV landscape

Research: identification and conservation of the habitats and species of Târnava Mare as a model for European conservation

The Darwin Initiative is a UK government grants scheme that helps to protect global biodiversity and the natural environment through locally based projects worldwide.

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Watch our videos

See film clips below about ADEPT activities, nature & school projects and agriculture projects in Târnava Mare.

Our Strategic Partners

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania