LIFE TransilvaCooperation

Demonstrating cooperative approach for good management of Natura 2000 grasslands at landscape scale in Transylvania and improving effectiveness of agri-environment measures, halting the loss of species and habitats of European importance.

Funded by: EU’s LIFE programme
Project Duration : 1st Sepgtember 2020 - 29th December 2023 (3 years)
Budget: 596.275 Euro

Project Objectives


Demonstrate how landscape-scale cooperation can improve conservation management of Habitats Directive grassland habitats of farmland N2000 sites in Transylvania, and improve effectiveness of agri-environment measures, halting the loss of species and habitats of European importance.



  • Develop habitat, species, land use maps for Angofa and Viscri valleys including landscape features.
  • Develop local management plans in the two valleys, co-designed with the many small-scale land managers, in order to implement cooperative agri-environment management with full local support.
  • Carry out concrete habitat restoration actions, whose effectiveness will be measured by baseline and then annual species monitoring, on minimum 240 ha, according to local requirements: reducing scrub, returning grassland from pasture to hay meadow, fencing of parcels to reduce stocking rate and reduce abusive grazing of haymeadows, returning abandoned land to managed grassland.
  • Return from unfavourable to favourable conservation status, by concrete conservation actions, minimum 240 ha of the following habitats: 40A0*; 6210; 6240*; 6510.
  • Promote future good management, to maintain favourable conservation status, of approximately 1800 ha of grassland and associated landscape features, at valley/water catchment scale, of which minimum 500 ha are HD grassland habitats, through local management plans.
  • Establish a demonstration farm at Angofa Valley, including by building innovative livestock buildings mostly on the footprint of the existing farm buildings, and by buying and demonstrating innovative (in Romania) equipment (including mowers, mobile herd management equipment). By using local materials and simple but effective designs, this will show how livestock and grassland management improvements (offering better biodoversity results, better income for farmers and better welfare for animals) can be done at costs accessible to local communities.
  • Training of farmers in Natura 2000 sites, especially young farmers, in cooperative landscape-scale biodiversity management.
  • Promotion/dissemination. Demonstrate to farmers, policy makers, general public how biodiversity friendly farming in N2000 areas can be economically viable by the use of innovative low-input management techniques, landscape-scale cooperation, well-targeted RDP payments (especially agri-environment payments but not only), and development of new products / better marketing.


  • Monitoring methodology developed incorporating as far as possible Nature 2000 Favourable Condition Tables, and results-based indicator species, to assist the two approaches being used together in N2000 sites. Two habitat, species and land use maps, one each for Angofa and Viscri valleys
  • Two local management plans (Viscri and Angofa), co-designed with land managers. Propose these to Min. of Environment for incorporation in N2000 Management Plan for the area
  • Demonstration farm established, equipped with innovative livestock handling buildings and equipment, grassland management equipment, with long term role in training, policy influence and public dissemination after project end
  • Concrete habitat restoration actions on min. 240 ha of HD grassland habitats, improved from unsatisfactory to favourable conservation status. Includes 40 ha of meadow and 200 ha of pasture, all HD grassland habitats
  • Approximately 1800 ha of grassland and associated landscape features, at valley/water catchment scale, including c. 500 ha of HD grassland habitats, assured future good management under the locally-agreed local management plans
  • Two farmer associations/ farmer groups attend courses in biodiversity management of HD grasslands in N2000 sites (2 courses each year for 3 years). Farmer associations will be total 50-60 farmers
  • Cooperative management approaches adopted by 8-10 farmers on c.800ha in Angofa valley, 40-50 farmers on c.1000 ha in Viscri Valley, including grassland and associated landscape features
  • Local/regional/national policy makers have better understanding of innovative management approaches, consider their use in implementation of Natura 2000 management plans.
  • Visitors and media understand better the role of integrated management approaches and of how N2000 can work together positively with communities in farmed Natura 2000 landscapes. Visitors will include general public, including special days organised for schoolchildren.


Project Updates

Activities done so far under the TransilvaCoop project:

  • November 2021. Field research methodology designed and implemented through establishing control parcels and vegetation monitoring in order to map out the habitats of Angofa and Viscri, complete the database and information interpretation.


  • May 2021. Adaptation of farmer smart app that will offer information on farming techniques, how to make nature-friendly farming more profitable, processing and marketing of products, and new ways to increase income at farm and village level by diversification and cooperation. The free app also provides news, information on current problems, and answers to readers’ questions.


  • Participating in various meetings and conferences on topics related to the project’s objectives, including
    • 28 Feb 2021: Attended meeting on the use of pesticides and chemicals, organised by the Romanian Ministry of Environment & Forests
    • 5 March 2021: presented to TransilvaCoop project at on-line workshop the new thematic European strategy 'Healthy soils' is coming. it's time for people to ask 4 soil protection /joining forces for soil protection in Europe
    • 24-25 March 2021: presented TransilvaCoop project at the “EIP-AGRI workshop ‘Towards carbon neutral agriculture’
    • 13-14 April 2021 EIP-AGRI seminar: Healthy soils for Europe: sustainable management through knowledge and practice.
    • 20 April 2021 and 11 June 2021: meeting with regional NGOs WWF and Milvus, exchanging information on projects to identify common objectives (including the approval of Results based Agri-environment Schemes in the new National Strategi Plan) and maximise synergies between projects.
    • 27 April 2021: Presented TransilvaCoop project at thematic webinar: Territorial and local approaches that help disseminating environmentally sustainable practices in agriculture and other land management, organised by European network for Rural Development (ENRD)
    • 28 April 2021: EEB, BirdLife and IEEP Regional Workshop on CAP Strategic Plans, at which ADEPT made presented the project t under the title: How to build a good environmental measure - in theory and in practice
    • 10 June 2021: attended webinar on Getting the CAP Strategic Plans done: the voice of regions and stakeholders, organised by European network for Rural Development (ENRD)
    • 12 July 2021: Online meeting Ministry of Environment – Natura 2000 payment system Results based Agri-environment Schemes
    • 7-9 Sept 2021, 20 Jan 2022: meetings with partners in the EU Safeguard project - developing indicators for pollinators
    • 27 February 2022 and 16 June 2022: Discussion with University and other institutions in Latvia on Results based Agri-environment Schemes
    • 29-30 March 2022 and again 18 June 2022 at Angofa: Workshops on butterflies and EU Biodiversity Strategy targets, including local farmers
    • 12-13 May 2022: participated in IUCN workshop on pollinators.
    • 19 May 2022: held a presentation about the project at LIFE Info Day, event organised by the Ministry of Environment in Romania and


  • October 2021: Purchase of necessary equipment and installations: we have purchased cattle handling equipment, and created now bore holes to improve water points in Angofa and Viscri, for community use, which will allow better grazing management.


  • October 2021: Study and evaluation of various tools for farm assessment including platemeter for measuring plant mass in fields, Soilmentor soil and biodiversity monitoring app, and access to analysis software provided by UNISECO project (implemented by WWF), the SMART and Cool Farm Tool.


  • October 2020- June 2022: series of meetings with neighbouring and other local farmers and other stakeholders, including other NGOs (Colinele Transilvaniei, Milvus, WWF).


  • May-October 2021: restoration of grasslands carried out in the two project valleys: Viscri and Angofa Valleys (scrub clearing, harrowing, mowing, etc.). Equipment provided such as bore holes for improved water for livestock, encouraging rotational grazing, and refrigeration unit to improve marketing/local incomes.


  • October 2020- June 2022: continuous discussions and meetings with various experts on insects, plants, animals and GIS mapping.


  • June 2021: film clips created. We have arranged photographing and filming the project’s progress, including interviews with monitoring specialists, ADEPT staff and farmers.


  • October 2021: field visit for collection of approximately 100 soil samples. Soil samples have been taken in total 20 parcels, 10 in Viscri and 10 in Angofa. 5 samples were taken in each parcel, which will be mixed to generate soil carbon baseline on each parcel.


  • December 2021: Baseline surveys of biodiversity and socio-economy carried out in the two valleys and communities, Angofa and Viscri.


Managing Body & Contact

Laura Chirilă-Pașca

Marketing & Enterprise Manager
Fundația ADEPT Transilvania

Tel: 004 (0) 744 650 582

The TransilvaCooperation project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union


Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Our Partners

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania