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

Fundația ADEPT… protecting Transylvania’s unique farmed landscapes, their biodiversity, and the farming communities who live within them.

Pentru versiunea în limba română apăsați pe butonul de mai sus.

Fundatia ADEPT - the first 10 years 

Fundatia ADEPT 10-year report

ADEPT has been working for 10 years to protect the nature-rich, farmed landscapes of Transylvania, and to support the traditional farming communities who have created them over centuries and who maintain them today. 

Download a copy of our 10-year report here.

Our aim is to give these landscapes and communities an economic future and relevance in the 21st century without sacrificing their sustainability and productivity, which are in fact an important model more widely in Europe.

Some of Europe’s most important high nature farmed landscapes are found in Romania, especially Transylvania. They provide high productivity and high local employment, and other important benefits for the wider European public (more details).

ADEPT Transilvania - HNV Landscapes

LIFE  STIPA Project | Final Report

When ADEPT started work in 2004, these kinds of semi-natural man-made landscapes did not enjoy support. More recently, policy-makers have increasingly appreciated the wider social, economic and environmental benefits of these kind of farming systems. Fundația ADEPT is proud that it has contributed to this shift in policy at national and European level.

During the past 10 years, ADEPT has grown from a local project, to an NGO with national and European influence. Its strength in influencing policy derives from the fact that its proposals are based on practical experience through the innovative projects it carries out on the ground.

ADEPT has been working with farmers, local communities, universities, other NGOs, and government at all levels to solve the range of problems threatening the survival of these landscapes and farming communities.

An innovative approach is required if these landscapes and communities are to survive in the 21st century. Fundația ADEPT is carrying out an integrated programme linking economic and social benefits with biodiversity conservation, and raising local capacity for good management in the future. 

See summary poster on left.

For its pioneering, joined up and integrated approach to solving the problem of the viability of these high-nature farmed landscapes, the ADEPT Foundation has won awards at national (Romanian) and European level.

EU Life project: Saving the Important Pastoral Ecosystems of Transylvania (STIPA)

Natura 2000 logo

2010-13, Fundatia ADEPT carried out an EU LIFE project, STIPA, whose aim was to improve the conservation status of the important grasslands in the Sighișoara-Târnava Mare area. The project was co-financed by Orange Foundation. 

There are over 5,000 ha of special dry grasslands in the area, which have a special protection status throughout the European Union. These grasslands can only be preserved by the farmers who manage them.

 ADEPT, with the help of specialists, succeeded in improving the future of these grasslands, by doing demonstration conservation work themselves, and by working with local farmers, broader communities and community groups, and with Town Halls in the area.

To download a report of the Final Report in English click on the thumbnail on the left.

For a copy on the Final Report in Romanian, click here

For reports of project results, see the LIFE STIPA section.

Fundația ADEPT/ Fundația Orange – 10 years of achievement

We celebrate our partnership with a short musical clip summarising some of our activities in partnership

 Fundația Orange has given continuous support to  Fundatia ADEPT since it began work in 2004.

 Fundația Orange understands the need for flexible and  responsive  programmes to answer complex and constantly changing changing social, economic and environmental challenges.

Fundația ADEPT in parnership with EOCA builds mountain bike trails linking nature to rural incomes

Discover Tarnava Mare Mountain Bike trail

In 2013, Fundatia ADEPT’s project ’Discover Târnava Mare by bike’ won first place in an international competition for outdoor projects that support communities and protect nature. Under the project, 18km of high quality mountain bike trail has been built, encouraging responsible tourism, and linking guesthouses and bringing extra income to villages. An inaugural race was organised for local schoolchildren. All these are practical ways to protect this historic landscape. The project had the special support of the outdoor sports manufacturer and equipment supplier Vaude

See news report for further details.

FFL logoFundația ADEPT and Fauna & Flora International

In March 2013, Fundația ADEPT and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) have begun a major strategic partnership, under which they will work together protecting High Nature Value Farmed landscapes at local and national levels in Romania, and at European level.

See FFI partnership page for further details.

Operation Wallacea and Fundația ADEPT 

In 2013, Fundația ADEPT began a long term partnership with operation Wallacea. OpWall carries out a worlwide programme in which schoolchildren and university students gather information about the changes in and threats to globally important areas of biodiversity. Tarnava Mare is the chosen European hotspot. See film clip below. Other clips, about OpWall schools projects, nature projects and agriculture projects in Tarnava Mare, can be found on the Opwall page.

Democracy and diversity can mend broken food systems 

10 March 2014: United Nations special report

  • warned that current food systems are efficient only from the point of view of maximizing agribusiness profits
  • emphasized that  local food, and smallholders, must be helped to provide the food security for the future.

Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, called for the world’s food systems to be radically reformed to ensure the human right to adequate food and freedom from hunger.

Mr De Schutter said “Objectives such as supplying diverse, culturally-acceptable foods to communities, supporting smallholders, sustaining soil and water resources, and raising food security within particularly vulnerable areas, must not be crowded out by the one-dimensional quest to produce more food.

"Food security must be built around securing the ability of smallholder farmers to thrive. Food democracy must start from the bottom-up, at the level of villages, regions, cities, and municipalities” he added, calling for priority investments in agro-ecological and poverty-reducing forms of agriculture.

Click here for more details

About Fundația ADEPT

ADEPT activities

Our team

Rural Development and High Nature Value Farmlands in Romania

"Unconventional conservation" to the rescue

Successful lobbying reduces widespread damage to Romania’s traditional family farming see details...

ADEPT pilots an innovative agri-environment schemes

ADEPT is beneficiary of European Commission funding to test an innovative results-based agri-environment payments scheme (RBAPS) in Romania. The payments are targeted at High Nature Value hay meadows. The scheme rewards practical management that produces good quality hay and protects wild species. Instead of paying according to inflexible management rules as in typical agri-environment schemes, the scheme pays for the “result”, species-rich meadows, which is measured using certain plant species as indicators. This means that farmers have the freedom to manage their meadows according to local conditions and weather, instead of having to follow precise
mowing dates and other rules which do not take account of local conditions, and differences in weather from year to year. For more information click here.

News Headlines

12.04.2016 HNVF Conference - Press release  Read more

21.02.2016 Sixth Annual Meeting of Family Farmers and Small-scale Producers  Read more

See all news headlines

Donate today to protect nature, landscapes and communities.

Help us to continue our work.

ADEPT is seeking further funding for this innovative project that is successfully giving equal emphasis to nature conservation and local prosperity. Our work has shown the great value of corporate and private donations – they enable us to react immediately and flexibly to problems or opportunities as they arise, and so are a very effective addition to more restricted institutional funding.

The Prince of Wales attends Transylvania Festival on 13 May

The Transylvania Festival took place 13–15 May at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London to celebrate the remarkable cultural landscapes of Transylvania and the work Fundatia ADEPT has been doing over 10 years to protect these landscapes and communities, and to recognise the many benefits that they bring to Romanian and wider European society. To find out more see the press release, or see this article of 10 May in the (London) Daily Telegraph.

ADEPT wins top EU prize three years in succession for bringing benefits to small-scale farmers

ADEPT wins top EU prize three years in succession for bringing benefits to small-scale farmers
In May 2014, ADEPT won top prize for the socio-economic benefits category of the newly-launched Natura 2000 prize from DG Environment. This follows EU top prizes in 2012 and 2013 from DG Agriculture for best communcation with farmers. This shows how ADEPT is crossing policy boundaries, delivering top-quality integrated programmes for the benefit of small-scale farmers in Romania. ADEPT hopes to replicate this successful, innovative model more widely in Europe. more

Sixth Annual Meeting of Family Farmers and Small-scale Producers

On 21 February 2016, at Sighişoara, Fundaţia ADEPT repeated for the 6th consecutive year, its popular annual event dedicated to Family Farmers and Small-scale Producers from the Târnava Mare area, bringing together around 200 local farmers with the specialists who have contributed to the survival and prosperity of their landscapes.



Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania, WWF-Romania and Fundatia ProPark organized on 15 March 2016 an international conference presenting the HNV concept, how it can offer a viable economic future for rural communities, provide healthy food and landscapes, and maintain the vital core of Romania’s cultural identity.

EU Commissioner for Agriculture meets innovative grassland mower

EU Commissioner for Agriculture came to the Fundația ADEPT project area, to see some of our farm advisory activities. See news report for further details.

2013: top EU prize for communications won again in Brussels by Fundatia ADEPT 

9 December 2013, Brussels. For the second year in succession, Fundația ADEPT won a top EU prize for innovative communication with small-scale farmers, with its SMS Family Farms project. The project was developed with communication specialists KAMA System Ltd, and supported by Fundatia Orange and by the Swiss Romanian Cooperation Fund.

Visit SMSFF project. [RO | EN]
Read News Report [EN]
Get ADEPT Press Release CAPCA.pdf [RO]
Watch Video[YouTube - EN]

Smart phone app to encourage responsible tourism

Scan QR Code to download App from GooglePlay

Fundaţia ADEPT Transilvania’s project – "Discover Târnava Mare" is a touristic mini guide through which you can visit and plan, overall, a walk through Târnava Mare - Transylvania.

Get it on Google Play

Economic development of HNV landscapes

Fundația ADEPT is leading a 3 year project to develop and implement policy and market measures to assist the economic development of Romania’s High Nature Value farmed landscapes, in partnership with Agridea (Switzerland) and WWF and ProPart (Romania).
See news report for further details.

European Landscape Award

Fundația ADEPT and Târnava Mare area have been nominated by the Romanian Government to represent Romania for the European Landscape Awards 2014.
This is an award given every 2 years by the Council of Europe.

See news report for further details.

High Nature Value Grasslands: filling gaps in policy and practice

Policy documentThis policy document describes the need for targeted support of HNV farming systems, and proposals for achieving them under the CAP post 2013. 
See HNV conference page for further details.

Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România