Massive international support for the Făgăraș Mountains

By 1 March 2019 No Comments

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to inform you about our new project, an initiative with a vision to restore biodiversity and natural ecosystem processes to Europe’s landscapes.

Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC) has the long-term goal to develop a world-class wilderness reserve in the Făgăraș Mountains of the Southern Carpathians. FCC now has five years of support from the Endangered Landscapes Programme. ELP is managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and funded by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing.

The funding will be used for a variety of activities such as the reintroduction of bison and beavers, the development of a sustainable local economy built on conservation enterprises, and creation of a programme to mitigate human–wildlife conflicts.

The project will run until 2023, targeting 28 localities in 4 counties in the Făgăraș Mountains region in Romania: Argeș, Brașov, Sibiu, and Vâlcea. To maximise feasibility for a project of this size, the funding will be split between five different areas of activities encompassing specific conservation tasks.

The project understands the sensitivity of conservation issues and a strong focus is put on finding nature-based solutions to some of the problems on the local communities’ agenda. The project partners will have US$ 1,500,000 available to understand the needs and opinions of residents in the project area, to organise a stakeholder platform, events, and excursions in order to come to a shared vision for the conservation and future development of the Făgăraș Mountains. To reach the long-term goal of growing a sustainable local economy, the project has allocated US$ 500,000 for promoting and developing conservation enterprises. US$ 1,000,000 will be invested in reducing and mitigating conflicts between humans and wildlife, especially bears.

Although the Făgăraș Mountains are rich in biodiversity, with some amazing natural habitats, they have also been degraded in many areas, and some native species are locally extinct. Therefore some immediate restoration work is needed to protect and enhance biodiversity, and for this the project plans to spend US$ 2,000,000. The action plan includes restoration of cleared forest lands and degraded alpine habitats, reconversion of artificially constructed spruce forests, removal of invasive species, as well as bison and beaver reintroduction into the wild.

“The Endangered Landscapes Programme is in the Champions League of European conservation and we are proud that a Romanian project has been selected as one of only eight projects on our continent. This shows the high recognition which the Făgăraș Mountains and our initiative have on an international level,” say Barbara and Christoph Promberger, Executive Directors of FCC.

The project will be implemented by Foundation Conservation Carpathia and three strategic partners. Associated partners in the implementation of these activities are Conservation Capital (UK), who will share their knowledge and help develop a conservation enterprise programme, ProPark Fundația pentru arii protejate (Brașov), who will contribute their expertise in local community involvement and developing educational activities, and the University of Newfoundland Canada, who will support the project with social research to better understand the attitudes and concerns of local communities.

We will keep you posted with the up-dates of this unique project in Romania and Europe!