Conservation Enterprise

We create sustainable economic opportunities for local communities.

CONSERVATION ENTERPRISE

To survive, the world’s remaining natural landscapes need to prove their economic worth.

Consequently, we have to develop economic incentives for local communities and prove that a protected area is more beneficial for them than the current, extractive economy.

With the help of our colleagues from Conservation Capital we have analysed the socio-economic situation around the Făgăraș Mountains and came to the conclusion that the best chances are in the sectors of eco-tourism, forest/restoration activities, and food production. Developing conservation enterprises now need to improve the conservation situation, create jobs and income opportunities for locals, and financially contribute to protected area administration and conservation easements for land ownership.

Our first step is to set up a conservation enterprise investment programme, which could be funded through donations, third-party investments, and loans. This entity, being run by financial specialists, will then directly invest in conservation businesses and develop a loan programme for third-party enterprises.

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ECO-TOURISM

The beauty, the wildness and the natural peculiarities such as the virgin forests or the large carnivores of the Făgăraș Mountains make the area ideal for eco-tourism development. In the tourism industry, Romania is long seen as the country with the highest potential for eco-tourism in Europe. However eco-tourism development would require specific investments in respective infrastructure, training, targeted financing facilities, and promotion.

FCC has started to develop an eco-tourism programme, based on wildlife, forests, and re-wilding. The construction of four wildlife hides, the training of specialised guides, and the development of itineraries for day or multi-day trips have been the first steps for developing a much more extensive programme.

COBOR BIODIVERSITY FARM

Another example is the 500 ha biodiversity farm in Cobor, the first business within the FCC conservation enterprise programme. This farm is a great example of how biodiversity conservation, traditional architecture and a profitable business can go hand in hand. The farm is based upon the breeding of Hungarian Grey cattle for high-quality pasture fed beef, as well as horse livery and eco-tourism. This combination allows land use with very low impact and a focus on preserving and enhancing biodiversity.

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