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


In the period 2005-2009, Darwin Initiative for Biodiversity (under the British Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Defra), in partnership with Orange Romania, were the main sponsors for the range of activities you see described in this website: biodiversity studies and conservation, and innovative measures to support the small-scale farming communities of the area.

In 2010, Darwin Initiative awarded Fundatia ADEPT a post-project grant, entitled: Tarnava Mare: securing the future of a Transylvanian HNV landscape.

Objectives were to consolidate management measures developed under main project into an official management plan triggering state support, while continuing to build local capacity, to secure the future good management of the project area and conserve its remarkable biodiversity, plus leaving a wider legacy in Romania of increased capacity for conservation of High Nature Value Farmed (HNVF) landscapes. 

This project consolidated the achievements of the main Darwin project, including by transferring of the conservation and protection of the area to local management.

Key elements are:

  • The Târnava Mare HNV project created the first management plan for a lowland farmed landscape in Romania.
  • An innovative database using GIS has been developed and is operational and accessible to all those involved in habitat/species management in the area
  • Capacity was built among dairy farmers to produce higher quality milk and enable the sale of that milk at much higher rates than was previously possible
  • 19,675 ha of forest has been FSC certified
  • 463 people received some form of training through the project
  • The project received the “Best CAP communication award” by the European Commission (out of 118 candidate projects)
  • Over 500,000 people were reached (both directly and indirectly) by the project media strategy
  • The project proved to be excellent value for money, with over £8 generated for local biodiversity conservation linked livelihoods from every £1 invested

This has maximised the results of the original project, and significantly strengthened its long-term impact and legacy. This gives the area with a more secure future. It also represents recognition of the scientific strengths and social, environmental and developmental good practices being implemented through the project.

Darwin Initiative Newsletter highlights the ADEPT project

The Darwin Initiative newsletter of January 2009

  • summarises some underlying concepts of the ADEPT project - the European and global importance of the biodiversity of man-made landscapes, and the key role played by farmers in maintaining such landscapes - and
  • describes some outputs of the project, in particular research into the practical links between specific agricultural management and maintenance of high biodiversity, and economic incentives to promote continued biodiversity-friendly management by linking high nature value farming and agricultural income.

See all newsletter pdf


About Our partners


Fauna and Flora International

Fundatia Orange


Innovation Norway


Operation Wallacea

Other partners

Final report on ADEPT Darwin project

The final, independent report on the Darwin funded ADEPT project 2005-13 was released in June 2014.

The report praises the ADEPT project for the socio-economic benefits and sustainable long-term management it has brought to the Târnava Mare protected area, and the very favourable cost:benefit ratio of 1:9 which the project achieved.

13th Darwin Annual Report highlights ADEPT project

The 13th Darwin Unitiative annual report, October 2010, describes some of the lasting contribution made to the conservation of High Nature Value farmed landscapes, and to the conservation of wildflower-rich High Nature Value grasslands, one of the most threatened biotopes in the world. See the Annual Report (5MB pdf)
The Saxon Villages Region of southeast Transylvania - 2007
UK Darwin Initiative supported the preparation and publication of research work carried out in the ADEPT project area: see Volume IV: The Saxon Villages Region of southeast Transylvania - 2007 , in the series published by Transylvanian Review of Systematical and Ecological Research (University Lucian Blaga Sibiu).
Adept conservation group

The UK Darwin Initiative funds collaborative projects bringing together UK and host country expertise, to help conserve global biodiversity. 

Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România