Southwestern Carpathian Wilderness and Sustainable Development Initiatives

Project completed

The project was aimd to contribute significantly to the preservation of the Southwestern Carpathians as Europe’s premier wilderness area, demonstrating opportunities for conservation and management of wilderness areas including the implementation of EU legislation and support of local and regional development. The project was part of the thematic fund civil society participation in Romania.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Protecting the environment
01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016
CHF  999’465


Target groups

Protected area administrators Natural resource administrators and managers (ca 50), the National Forest Administration (NFA), communities located in the five protected areas (approximately 98,000)
National authorities and their regional/local representatives relevant for the efficient management of Natura 2000 sites and for influencing sustainable development processes Investors

Activities The project createed conditions for a functional network of wilderness areas in a core area of 5 protected areas in the Southwestern Carpathians, including improved policy and management, increased capacity of protected area managers and greater awareness and acceptance of key stakeholders. Sustainable local and regional development related to the promotion of the Southwestern Carpathians as Europe’s premiere wilderness area have been supported, including the development of the area as part of the national Ecotourism Destinations programme. Relevant stakeholders such as local authorities and entrepreneurs have been trained to develop, fundraise for and implement local development initiatives. Key stakeholders have been assisted to develop a Wilderness Strategy for the Southwestern Carpathians. Finally, project results and lessons learnt have been used to inform national policymaking regarding the management of wilderness areas as well as related opportunities for sustainable local and regional development through the organisation of a national roundtable and other lobbying activities.

Achieved results:  

  • The baseline for the development of the Wilderness Strategy for the Southwestern Carpathians that will guide the future development of the region, was developed (data collection, stakeholder meetings etc.)
  • The Wilderness Leaders Group is a functional database with 56 members (by end of Dec 16)
  • The training of 130 persons of different sectors of the natural resource management (water; forest; planning)
  • a study trip for 10 portected area representatives and specialists to national parks across Hungary, Austria and Switzerland
  • Five field trips with 100 young wilderness ambassadors from the Wilderness Youth Clubs
  • The Wilderness Stakeholders Platform is established and functional, with a database of more than 250 persons who are familiar with and support the wilderness concept (by end of December 2016)
  • 2 acceptance studies
  • around 40 press releases
  • more than 15 TV appearances
  • around 30 publications
  • Wilderness movie in RO and EN (see above)
  • factsheets developed and printed
  • Ecotourism Action Plan for 5-PA focal area.
  • One pilot area launched including ecotourism map, hiking and cycling trails.

The project has been completed at an operational level.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Swiss Private Sector

Other partners

Intermediary Body: KEK-CDC

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    999’465 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    531’658
Project phases Phase 7 01.07.2014 - 30.09.2017   (Completed) Phase 6 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)

Phase 5 01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016   (Completed)

Phase 4 01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016   (Completed) Phase 3 01.04.2013 - 30.04.2016   (Completed) Phase 2 15.05.2012 - 30.11.2019   (Completed) Phase 1 01.07.2011 - 30.11.2019   (Completed)