Mountain bike trails in Romania win vote for funding from European conservation NGO

A Romanian project has won a competition for funding from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), beating off competition from schemes in The Netherlands, Sweden, Scotland, Madagascar and Gabon. A plan to build mountain bike trail in the Transylvanian Târnava Mare area won the public vote and will now receive EOCA funding for the scheme.

EOCA posted a congratulatory message on its Facebook page for Fundatia ADEPT, which is running the Discover Tarnava Mare project.

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 should now be able to build the planned 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.

Adapted from Romania-Insider