Română | home | site map | google search  
Biodiversity conservation and community development in Transylvania
Conservarea biodiversităţii şi dezvoltare comunitară în Transilvania

ADEPT won the European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) Award 2017

Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism
1st Prize, Transylvania Mountain bike trails to revitalise the Târnava Mare cultural landscape, Romania

Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania was awarded 1st Prize as Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism, at the 2017 ECTN Award Ceremony, during the 10th international conference “Cultural Values, Diversity and Heritage: Pillars of Sustainable Tourism for Development’, held on 20 – 21 September 2017 in Sibiu, Romania, for the project “Transylvania Mountain Bike Trail to revitalize the Târnava Mare cultural landscape”.

2017 was designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by The United Nations 70th General Assembly. This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among all stakeholders (public and private sector, decision-makers) stimulating all parties to collaborate and generate a positive change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a mores sustainable tourism.

European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) joined the celebrations of the International Year by promoting tourism`s role in the key area of ‘Cultural Values, Diversity and Heritage’.

ECTN Awards 2017 | Fundatia ADEPT receiving the Diploma ECTN Awards 2017 | 1st Prize granted to Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania ECTN Awards 2017 | 1st Place Diploma ECTN Awards 2017 | Ben Mehedin speech ECTN Awards 2017 | The Awards

The conference, organized by European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) in close cooperation with Sibiu County Tourism Association and in conjunction with the Interreg Europe project CHRISTA – Culture and Heritage for Responsible, Innovative and Sustainable Tourism (2016 – 2020), pointed the latest trends in the field of cultural values, diversity and heritage towards sustainable tourism for development, including innovation, creativity and sustainable tourism product development.

The annual ECTN Award enhances the visibility of European cultural tourism destinations, creates a platform for sharing experience and knowledge Europe-wide and promotes networking between destinations and it is based on a contest around annual themes for the benefit of destinations, communities, businesses, citizens and visitors.

The 2017 ECTN Award brought into attention results of actions which have been implemented and which have produced significant results and achievements by destinations related to: cultural values contribution to sustainable tourism, cultural diversity, heritage interpretation facilities for cultural tourism, sustainable management of heritage site, cultural tourism as a driver for sustainable development, smart destinations, place marketing and branding of cultural destinations, European Heritage Label initiatives.

Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania was awarded 1st Prize as Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism for the project “Transylvania Mountain Bike Trail to revitalize the Târnava Mare cultural landscape”.


The Saxon Villages area of Southern Transylvania represents one of the most important natural, cultural, and historical landscapes in Europe. This is home of many variaties of plants and animal species, some extincted  in other European countries. Forested ridges and gullies, flower-rich pastures and hay meadows, arable land, forests, traditional villages with fortified churches make out the mosaic that is the Târnava Mare region.

The unspoiled beauty of the area needed to be promoted at the national and international level, therefore starting with 2011 Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania have built the first 100 KM mountain-bike trails in Romania, to have a base for the sustainable tourism in the area. The project was first supported by a grant from Innovation Norway and it was finalized with the contribution of a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged European Union.

This network of mountain-bike trails links together eight saxon villages (Viscri - Bunești - Criț - Meșendorf - Cloașterf - Saschiz - Archita - Daia), with their beautiful landscapes and fortified churche  in our region, and the most important touristic attraction, the medieval city of Sighișoara.

The Transilvania Mountain Bike trails has vastly increased the number of responsible tourists, who use the area sustainably, appreciate its natural and cultural values, stay in the area and contribute to the local economy. 
Our project has strengthened the relationships in the local network, between tourism service providers, (not only guest houses, but also local artisanal food producers), Town Halls and local communities. It has increased public appreciation of the cultural landscape and has brought the community together in many ways, some of them unexpected through acting as a catalyst creating viable sustainable tourism networks and promoting local pride and an extra element for sustainable strategies in Town Halls and Local Action groups.

Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania, with the support of Orange Foundation, has been working for more than 12 years to protect and promote the nature-rich, farmed landscapes and traditional values of Romania, nationally and internationally, always with an innovative and integrated approach, with permanent focus on biodiversity conservation and rural development. ADEPT's aim is to give these landscapes and communities an economic future and relevance in the 21st century without sacrificing their traditional culture, sustainability and productivity.

For more information about Fundatia ADEPT’s activities and about the mountain-bike trails please visit our websites:, and


European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN) is the only pan-European network for Cultural Tourism Development and promotion. ECTN aims to achieve a high level of collaboration between Members in the field of Cultural Tourism and to establish a close cooperation with the institutions of the European Union and other international organizations, networks and public institutions worldwide. ECTN mission is to bring together the tourism and cultural industry professionals working in different regions of Europe to exchange experience and information on best practice and to develop new approaches and innovations. Read more on


< back to news

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

2014: Top EU DG Environment prize 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

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]

2012: top EU prize for communication CAP Communication Awards

EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos presenting Ben Mehedin with first prize for communicating with farmers under the Best CAP Communication Awards competition.

Sponsorul Oficial - Fundația Orange România