First place in international competition for outdoor projects that support communities and protect nature

Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania’s project ’Discover Târnava Mare by bike’ wins first place in international competition for outdoor projects that support communities and protect nature

Each year, conservation bodies worldwide apply to the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) for funding for a specific project which conserves threatened species or habitats, and which has a link to outdoor recreation. The winning projects are chosen by on-line voting worldwide. In 2013, one of the winning projects was from the Romanian NGO Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania.

Out of 55 applications received, Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania’s proposal ’Discover Târnava Mare by bike’ was shortlisted for the ‘outdoor projects’ category (for projects that use walking/biking tourism as a tool for local incomes and nature conservation). The proposal was made possible by co-finance from Fundația Orange, a charity established by Orange Romania, and the application was supported by the German outdoor recreation company Vaude. The other competing projects were from Gabon, Madagascar, Scotland, Netherlands, Sweden.

On-line voting took place from 14-28 March. Fundația ADEPT received strong support from the public, and from partner NGOs such as Plant Life International, Fauna & Flora International, World Wide Fund for Nature. In spite of strong competition, Fundația ADEPT won with over 10,000 votes (10,608), 44% of total votes caste in the category, after a campaign based mainly on Facebook.

Fundaţia ADEPT was funded by EOCA and Fundația Orange with €35,000 to create a 15 km all-weather mountain bike trail, providing local employment, linking three villages and involving 70 green tourism providers, 5 schools and hundreds of small-scale farming families, in the Tarnava Mare area.

The European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) is an initiative from the European outdoor sport and recreation industry, with the objective of protecting the wild areas it cares so passionately about. It is designed to harness the incredible power of the outdoor industry, and to raise money to donate to grassroots conservation groups. EOCA is funded by membership and other fundraising activities within the outdoor industry. To find out more about the Association please visit www.outdoorconservation.eu.

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