Our purpose

Wilderness is disappearing worldwide at an alarming rate. Less than 2% of Europe’s surface is still in its original state. The Carpathian Mountains form some of the largest contiguous forests on the continent with the highest percentage of still virgin woodlands; they contain an extraordinary high number of species, amongst them many autochthonous species; and they are home to the largest European populations of large carnivores. Starting in 2005, formerly nationalised forests have been restituted to private people in Romania. This process triggered massive clear-cuts on these restituted lands and many thousands of hectares of forests were illegally logged, posing a severe threat to the integrity of the Carpathian ecosystem.

Foundation Conservaton Carpathia (FCC) was founded in 2009 by 12 philanthropists and conservationists with the goal to stop this illegal logging, and to protect a significant surface of Carpathian forests in form of a completely protected area for future generations. This is done by purchasing land and leasing hunting rights for full protection of all natural elements with private and public money. . We intend to ultimately return our landholdings to the public domain for permanent protection in the form of a National Park.

Our vision

We aim to create a world-class wilderness reserve in the Southern Romanian Carpathians, large enough to support significant numbers of large carnivores and to allow evolutionary processes to happen. The project consists of the wider Fagaras Mountains Natura 2000 site, Piatra Craiului National Park and Leaota Mountain and forms a total of over 250,000 ha.

FCC is involved in creating a new, non-destructive economy around the Fagaras Mountains, for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities. Once the project is completed, this new National Park should be a world-class wilderness, an icon for conservation in Europe and an emblematic National Park on our continent.

Our team

CARPATHIA is a very dynamic project and by now, many people are directly involved.

Fundatia Conservation CARPATHIA is led by a Board of Directors, currently consisting of (in alphabetical order): Anders Holch Povlsen (Denmark), Charlie Burrell (UK), Christof Schenck (Germany), Hansjoerg Wyss (Switzerland/USA), Hedi Wyss (Switzerland), Markus Jebsen (Denmark/Hong Kong), Paul Lister (UK), Peter Bennett (UK), Toby Aykroyd (UK), Dan Dimancescu (RO)

All activities are being managed and directed by (in alphabetical order)
  • Anca Mercea (grant manager)

  • Angela Pop (responsible communications and community outreach)

  • Barbara Promberger-Fuerpass (executive director)

  • Christoph Promberger (executive director)

  • Daniel Bucur (responsible protected areas)

  • Emil Cseh (conservation enterprise manager)

  • Ioana Savulescu (legal advisor)

  • Madalina Gavrilita (financial director)

  • Mihai Zotta (technical director)

  • Oliviu Pop (biologist, responsible Leaota Conservation Plan)

On the administrative level, project work is being supported by (in alphabetical order)
  • Adina Teslaru (accounting department)

  • Alina Brumă (legal department)

  • Ana-Maria Șutic (personal assistant to executive directors)

  • Cristina Grigore (accounting department)

  • Elena Serban (forest service department)

  • Georgiana Tarnea (accounting department)

  • Georgiana Popa (accounting department)

  • Marius Ursaciuc (administrative assistant)

Field work, which is most important to protect and restore all forests and wildlife, is being executed by (in alphabetical order)
  • Alexandru Oprei (ranger)

  • Codrut Voinescu (ranger)

  • Constantin Diaconescu (ranger)

  • Constantin Simion (chief ranger)

  • Cosmin Mihai (ranger)

  • Dan Nicolae (ranger wildlife)

  • Daniel Bîrloiu (ranger)

  • Daniel Ungureanu (assistant LIFE restoration project)

  • Florin Nicolae (ranger)

  • George Nicolae (restoration worker)

  • Ioan Mosu (game warden)

  • Ion Chirocea (restoration worker)

  • Ion Cozma (restoration worker)

  • Ionut Cretu (assistant LIFE restoration project)

  • Ionut Preda (machine operator)

  • Ionuț Țoanță (ranger)

  • Laviniu Terciu (ranger)

  • Liviu Bulgaru (ranger)

  • Lorin Diaconescu (ranger)

  • Octavian Gheorma (machine operator)

  • Răducu Geantă (ranger)

  • Toma Serb (ranger)

  • Valeriu Ganci (ranger)

On the Cobor Farm, project work is being supported by (in alphabeetical order):
  • Alexandru Pinzes (farm animal caretaker)

  • Catalina Graef (manager Cobor farm)

  • Martin Graef (manager Cobor farm)

  • Roxana Gherase (horse responsible Cobor)

  • Viorel Marian ( farm animal caretaker)


Our Masterplan

The FCC executive team has developed a Masterplan for the CARPATHIA project throughout 2013 and 2014, which was approved by the Board of Directors of FCC in October 2014. The Masterplan includes activities in the following fields:

  • Conservation & Restoration (land purchase, restoration, and protection, protected area status and management, and wildlife conservation)
  • Communication (communication, education, and public awareness)
  • Economic Development (development of conservation enterprises)
  • Infrastructure (the building of a multifunctional CARPATHIA Centre and the development of a tourism infrastructure)
  • Organisational Development. (project organisation and project funding)

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