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

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

LIFE logo Natura 2000 logo STIPA logo

Total budget: €356.330
EU contribution: €259.515
Orange Romania contribution: €96.815
Period: 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2013.

Read the LIFE+ STIPA Final Report

Summary

The Sighisoara-Tarnava Mare SCI (Natura 2000 site  declared under the EU Habitats Directive) is characterised by dry grassland habitat  types which are threatened in Europe. About 6.000 ha of the 85,374 ha area is comprised of these habitats. Much of this area is common grazing, under management of the Town Halls. A significant part of these habitats in the project area is either abandoned or overgrazed, for economic reasons. Farmers do not get sufficient economic return for managing them traditionally. Overgrazing causes loss of species richness. Abandonment leads to the spread of thorny scrub, and accumulation of dead grassy material. In both case, loss of habitat condition in common grazing land and in privately owned hay meadows leads to loss of associated flora and fauna including important bird and butterfly species. These effects are obvious but still easily reversible by re-establishment of traditional management.  The STIPA project is the only LIFE Nature project granted to Romania in 2010.

Communication between LIFE grassland projects

The STIPA project is in contact with other LIFE projects that are concerned with grassland conservation.

In 2011 we visited the Cranbourse Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (CCAONB) project in UK. CCAONB are responsible for one of the UK’s largest dry grassland sites (chalk grassland) including 5 counties and 22 organisations, and is a good model for linking conservation to communities and rural development. The CCAONB is funded 25% by local government and 75% by central government.

Although based on chalk, rather than limestone/marl as in the Tarnava Mare area, there are many similarities between the flora and the management challenges. In addition, CCAONB works with a Local Action Group (EU LEADER programme), through which they secured Euros 3m funding for the sustainable development of the area. This visit gave useful information for both projects.

See link here to CCAONB.

In 2013 we visited the LIFE RI.CO.PR.I Project (Restoration and Conservation of arid grasslands in Central and Southern Italy), aimed at recovery and conservation of two dry grassland habitats, 6210 (Festuco-Brometalia, also target of STIPA project) and 6220 (pseudo-steppes of Thero-Brachipodietea). It is coordinated by the Province of Rome. The Province of Potenza, the Park of Gallipoli Cognato, the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Italian Confederation of Farmers of Basilicata are associated beneficiaries.

These habitats are in progressive regression after abandonment and poor management of grassland farming. The project activities take place in three Sites of Community Interest (SCI), including two in the province of Rome - the SCI Monte Ruffi, in the municipality of Cerreto Laziale, and SCI Monte Guadagnolo mainly in the territory of Capranica Prenestina; and one in the province of Potenza, the SCI-SPA Dolomiti di Pietrapertosa, which is located in the municipalities of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano.

See link here to LIFE RI.CO.PR.I project.

In addition, the RI.CO.PR.I meeting attended by ADEPT in May 2013 also hosted five other LIFE+ Dry grassland projects, with who much useful cross-fertilisation of ideas took place:

  • Life+ MONTI DELLA TOLFA - Urgent long term nature conservation actions for the SPA and the pSCIs of the Monti della Tolfa – Stefano Picchi, Project Manager
  • Life+ PRATERIE - Urgent actions for the conservation of meadows and pastures in the territory of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Annette Mertens, Project Manager
  • Life+ DRY GRASSLAND IN DENMARK -  Restoration and conservation – Annette Strøm JACOBSEN
  • Life+ TOTAL COVER HELNÆS - Restoring semi-natural habitat types to a total cover of site Helnæs - Annita Svendsen
  • Life+ TOTAL COVER HELNÆS - Amphibian and Reptile conservation on LIFE dry grassland- Lars Briggs, Amphi Consult

Machair LIFE project

In June 2013 we hosted a visit from the Machair LIFE project (Scotland), http://www.machairlife.org.uk/. 5 Machair project members visited STIPA project in period 2-6 July 2013. Since the project was focused on grassland conservation and Crex crex conservation (characteristic species if STIPA project area) this was a useful exchange.

LIFE+ Networking | PraterieLIFE+ “PRATERIE”
Community Project LIFE11NAT/IT/234
URGENT ACTIONS FOR THE CONSERVATION OF GRASSLANDS AND PASTURES IN THE TERRITORIES OFGRAN SASSO AND MONTI DELLA LAGA

The "LIFE Praterie" Project aims at the long-term conservation of the high nature value grasslands and pastures in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park. The Park Authority is the only beneficiary of this project, and all the Park services are involved.

For further informations: www.lifepraterie.it/Eindex.php

Published papers

STIPA was also disseminated in the conference paper for the grasslands conference in Thuringen, published October 2013.

STIPA was also

  • used a a case study in DG Environment report Farming for Natura 2000, published 2013 – See attached, pages 16-14, and the main document on managing farmland in Natura Sites, which is a valuable contribution to the best guiding principlesforsupporting high-biodoiversity farmland.
  • ADEPT is included as a good example as a green SME in the Environmental Compliance Assistance programme –see European Commission website, or see EC [.pdf] version.

    LIFE+

    About Our partners

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    Fauna and Flora International

    Fundatia Orange

    Grundtvig

    Innovation Norway

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    Other partners

    LIFE+ Networking

    Other LIFE projects that are concerned with grassland conservation:

    [LIFE CCAONB] Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty project in UK. CCAONB are responsible for one of the UK’s largest dry grassland sites.

    [LIFE RI.CO.PR.I] Project (Restoration and Conservation of arid grasslands in Central and Southern Italy), aimed at recovery and conservation of two dry grassland habitats which share very similar threats with the dry grassands of the STIPA project.

    [LIFE PRATERIE] The "LIFE Praterie" Project aims at the long-term conservation of the high nature value grasslands and pastures in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.

    Other networking:

    We have had contact with two other LIFE+ Nature grassland projects, with whom we have exchanged information and added links on our respective websites, to aid networking:

    Community Project LIFE11/NAT/IT/234 Urgent Actions for the conservation of grasslands and pastures in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga territory (www.lifepraterie.it), aimsedat the long-term conservation of grasslands and pastures in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park. The premise of the project is the fact that the conservation of the different types of habitats cannot exclude the careful and sustainable management of the production activities connected with them, such as extensive farming and tourism. Therefore the project aims at intervening on different levels: harmonization of the grazing system, more careful ways to manage the tourist services, the spread of good conservation practices and of a new culture of sustainable utilization.

    www.rale-des-genets.fr, a French project to be implemented in the Corncrake's last three strongholds, where numbers declined from 2 800 calling males in the mid-1970s to only 300 in 2011. In consequence, the Corncrake, formerly emblematic of the area's flood plains, has become designated a national endangered species. The LIFE + Nature programme "Protection des sites de reproduction et realisation d'actions novatrices et demonstratives favorables au Rale des genets" (sept.2011 / dec.2015), coordinated by LPO France, proposes to prevent the loss of the species by restoring Corncrake breeding in the Pays de la Loire (Anjou LPO), Poitou-Charentes and Picardy (CEN Picardie).

    We have also had contact with other Romanian and wider EU NGOs who have dry grassland conservation and survival of traditional management of grasslands as objectives:

    • European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism
    • We were invited to attend, and produce a poster for, the European Innovation Partnership meeting in Brussels (DG Agri) in 2012
    • We were invited to make a presentation at the DG Envi Workshop on "Guidelines on Management of Farmland in Natura 2000", 25 September 2012
    • We attended meetings of the High Nature Value farmed landscape coalition including other Romanian NGOs (Pogany Havas, Agora, Mosaic).

    We attended meetings with WWF Romania and Romanian Ornithological Society to discuss amendment of agri-environment measures.

    STIPA was also

    • included in a newsletter from the European Dry Grasslands Group, March 2010. See page 11 of bulletin, attached.
    • invited to present a poster to the DG Agriculture European Innovation Partnership conference in November 2012, in which the Brielmaier is featured.

    Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România