Kalnoky Conservation Trust
Romania is a land between change and tradition. To find find ways of combining both is the challenge.
Transylvania is often referred to as "the land that time forgot", and in many ways this is an appropriate description. Horses and carts share the road with cars, farming is small-scale and organic, and shepherds tend their flocks in the hills. Nature has also benefited from the slow pace of development.
Transylvania boasts the best examples of wild flower meadows in Europe, not forgetting the large expanses of forest that cover the landscape and provide a refuge for wolves and bears.
Yet, change is a foot, not least in the form of Romania's accession to the EU. There are many who fear progress and others who embrace it; regardless, no one wishes to see traditional ways of life lost, forests cut down, or historic buildings in ruins.
Culture is often intimately linked with buildings, so their conservation can have a profound effect upon a community, helping to keep traditions alive. A watermill, for example, should continue to mill flour for a village community, not be preserved as a museum piece.
Owners of private forests should be assisted in finding alternatives to chopping down trees, for example, by making nature trails for tourists. Raising awareness of economic activities that do not threaten Transylvania's biodiversity is the key to conserving it. These are just a couple of examples of the kind of projects that KCT aims to encourage and support.
“In order to conserve natural and built heritage in Szeklerland, Transylvania, it is necessary to confront the realities of the future by making positive changes now.”