A Romanian project could gain funding from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) – if it wins a vote the organization is currently running. The project is seeking primarily to set up a mountain bike trail in the Târnava Mare area of South Eastern Transylvania.
The area’s “many valuable habitats have evolved in association with traditional low-impact agriculture, and they harbor a vast diversity of flora and fauna including many threatened species,” according to EOCA. Traditionally home to Transylvanian Saxons, Târnava Mare’s habitats and rural way of life are under threat, due to poverty and the abandonment of the area, as people move to the cities in search of work. It is this way of life that has preserved both the habitats and the medieval heritage of the area, where the management of the landscapes by small-scale farming communities is vital for the continued existence of the unique region.
Working with the local communities, Romanian NGO Fundatia ADEPT aims to build 15km of mountain bike trails, which will connect three villages. Generating more sustainable eco-tourism should be a catalyst for “multiple benefits to the local economy,” according to EOCA.
The project is up against five others for EOCA funding, which include schemes in The Netherlands, Sweden, Scotland, Madagascar and Gabon.
Find out more and vote on the EOCA website.
photo source: discovertarnavamare.org