Ecosystem Services

Conservation of such landscapes can also be promoted through proper valuation and recompense for ecosystem services. An important element for the future economic viability of the area is the proper evaluation of ecosystem services, and compensatory payments to farmers and landowners where suitable in recognition of the broader environmental benefits that they provide by good land management.

Ecosystem services are goods and services of nature which humans utilise for themselves. The food we eat, the clean water we drink, fuel, fibre, but also the formation of soil, the natural decomposition of waste or the maintaining of a stable climate on earth are all ecosystem services.

Cultural and economic links with landscape and conservation

The rural ecosystem

This intact rural ecosystem is an unbroken chain linking nature, society and economy. ADEPT identifies critical linkages and strengthens them by advice, practical help, and access to funding. Our website provides information, in English and Romanian, for local people and visitors who are interested valuing and protecting this area, and similar areas in Romania and in Europe more widely.

The flower-rich grasslands owe their survival to their intimate cultural, social and economic links to the villages. If these links are severed, the grasslands will be lost. A typical village in the area has 200 families, of which most have 2-3 cows, and 10-20 sheep. The cows are milked at home morning and evening: the milk is used for home consumption, and the majority sold, often as the only source of cash income. Sheep are kept for milk, exclusively for cheese-making, and meat. Almost all villagers are therefore actively involved in agriculture.

Each spring there is a village meeting where the shepherds to be in charge of the village flock are chosen, according to their reputation and to the amount of cheese they offer to the owners for ‘rent’ of their sheep. The sheep are kept at one or two temporary summer sheepfolds, often several miles away from the village, during summer months. There are wolves and bears in the area, and generally every summer a few sheep and perhaps a donkey are killed: usually by old bears rather than wolves. The sheep are guarded by fierce sheep dogs.

Sheep milking and cheese making is by hand, up in the summer sheepfolds. The unique richness of flowers and herbs in the grassland gives the cheese a special character. The cheese is transported down to the village by donkey or horse and cart once or twice a week.

During the summer most families are found out in their haymeadows, scythe or rake in hand, making hay for winter feed for their cattle and sheep. Winter heating and cooking is by wood-burning stoves, supplied by the coppiced beech and hornbeam forests on the hills that also supply materials for the many agricultural and household implements still made in the village. Thus, summer and winter, the villagers’ lives are linked to the surrounding landscape.

Related Projects

Rural Development and High Nature Value Farmlands in Romania

Improved economic viability of local livelihoods from HNV farmlands in Romania and conservation of agri-environmental benefits.
Funded by: the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme
Project Duration: 2013 - 2016 (3 years)

Social Economy - Stimulating Economic Development in the Regions of Bucharest - Ilfov, Center, North West and South Muntenia - POSDRU / 173 / 6.1 / S / 148732

Developing 5 social economy structures and increasing the chances of sustainable integration on the labor market in the social economy structures of 100 people (of which 50% women) from the Central, North-West, BI and South-Muntenia regions
Funded by: Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007-2013, Priority Axis 6: Promoting Social Inclusion, Key Area of ​​Intervention: 6.1 Developing the Social Economy
Project Duration: 2015 (1 year)

Revival of the old crafts - Saschiz Pottery Workshop

Training of young people from the Saxon Villages region of Transylvania in pottery skills in order to revive the old Saschiz pottery centre renowned for its blue ware since the 1700s.
Funded by: Camelia Botnar Foundation
Project Duration: 2012 - 2017 (5 years)

For Nature and Local Communities - Basics of a Natura 2000 integrated management in the Hârtibaciu - Târnava Mare area -Olt

Development of the Management Plan for the Natura 2000 site Sighisoara - Tarnava Mare; RO SCI 0027.
Funded by: POS Mediu
Project Duration: 2011 - 2015 ( 4 years)

Ecosystem Services from High Nature Value farmland - Green industry - Romania

Environmental friendly and profitable farmer’s production in five local communities in the Transylvanian region by combining traditional land management and ecosystem services.
Funded by: a grant from Norway through the Norway Grants 2009-2014, in the frame of Green Industry Innovation Programme Romania
Project Duration: 2012 - 2014 (2 years)

Our Strategic Partners

Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania