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

Farming in the area: High Nature Value (HNV) landscapes

Târnava Mare is a typical High Nature Value (HNV) landscape – an important concept for biodiversity conservation, which emphasizes that
  • man-made or semi-natural landscapes often have higher biodiversity, or natural richness, than wilderness areas, and are just as worthy of conservation effort
  • HNV farmland (HNVF) is often found outside defined protected areas
  • active local support is essential to the success of protecting HNVF landscapes.

The need for conservation measures to be designed with local consultation, to ensure ‘buy-in’ by local communities, is especially great in economic landscapes such as HNVF. Local benefits will be persuasive. Measures to protect high biodiversity landscapes on which people depend for a living must be linked to local prosperity, or they will fail.

HNV landscapes are fragile. Application of artificial fertilizers would seriously damage or destroy the wildflower meadows, allowing coarse or vigorous grasses to invade. The most substantial threats to wild plants and animals and their habitats in HNV landscapes are
  • intensification of grassland management, with nutrient over-enrichment by fertilizers or high stocking rates, or over-grazing, especially by sheep
  • abandonment of land and cessation of traditional land management practices such as mowing or scrub clearance.

Târnava Mare as a model for the conservation of HNV farmed landscapes across Europe

Fundatia ADEPT is carrying out projects in:

Biodiversity conservation and research
- ADEPT has funded and coordinated considerable work in creating an inventory and GIS-database of habitats and species that are protected under EU Habitats Directive, and work continues on urgently-needed practical management prescriptions. At the same time, ADEPT is carrying out research on how to measure the effectiveness of these habitat/species conservation management prescriptions, and how to improve them.  → Further details.

Agri-environment management and research - ADEPT is promoting farmer participation in agri-environment schemes, and has advised on the design of these schemes in Romania. At the same time, ADEPT is carrying out specific research on the management of High Nature Value grasslands: identifying indicator species, and devising ways of measuring the biodiversity benefits of agri-environment management prescriptions and of improving their effectiveness. Further details

Improving incomes from High Nature Value farming - HNV landscape conservation actually depends on a healthy HNV farming economy. Adding value to local food is not a luxury for small-scale farming communities – it is a means of survival.  ADEPT is implementing a range of measures to create demand for products, and to boost local income from agriculture linked to the marketing image of the HNV landscape. See → local products.


Farming in the area



Food hygiene

HNV Grasslands Conference
EFNCP logo

Fundatia ADEPT is a member of the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (EFNCP), a Europe-wide network which raises awareness of the importance of low-intensity farming for nature conservation and aims to improve the way public policies respond to the needs of these farming systems. For more information of High Nature Value Farmland in Europe, visit


International Conference on High Nature Value Farmland - policy and practice, Sibiu, September 2010.

In September 2010 EFNCP, with local partners Fundatia ADEPT and University Lucian Blaga, held a conference in Sibiu, Romania, focussing on the public goods supplied by Europes High Nature Value grasslands, the threats to these landscapes, and the policy responses required to protect them and the vital ecosystem services they provide. Details.

Farming cows
Conservation of the biodiversity of this semi-natural, anthropogenic area is only possible by maintaining the area’s economic viability.

horse and cart

Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România