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  • Strada Gheorghe Şincai nr. 46, la parterul Palatului Administrativ, camera 20, Baia Mare.
  • tel. +40 262.206.113 | fax +40 262.206.114
  • office@visitmaramures.ro

Conservation Fund

The Fund was created in 2012 by WWF, as part of a project financed by UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the European Commission; it is one of the “assets” that helped the area of Mara-Cosău-Rooster’s Peak gain its official recognition as a national ecotourism destination.

The Fund collects fixed annual donations from:

→ local guesthouses,

→ tour-operators that organise trips to this area

→ the proceeds from the selling of the Maramureș Heritage Trail souvenir-map

→ individual donations from tourists who want to have a more substantial contribution

The Fund covers the needs of natural protected areas that cannot be covered by their custodians’ budgets, such as maintaining or marking visiting trails or creating new thematic trails; the Fund also covers needs regarding the sustainable development of the area, such as improving tourism services and the local tourism infrastructure, developing key capabilities of the local public administration or improving local development policies to integrate sustainability principles.

The Fund is managed by the Centre for Ecology and Tourism Maramureș – a local NGO that is part of the Local Partnership –, with technical support from WWF on conservation and AER on ecotourism. The principles of transparency and non-discrimination, together with a set of clear procedures ensure a correct management of funds.

Mara-Cosau-Rooster's Peak © Dan Dinu
Old oak tree in Crăiască Forest © Dan Dinu

Projects funded through the Conservation Fund


The first project is the Footpath of stories in Crăiască Forest (the Princely Forest).

Crăiască Forest is a forest with ancient trees, the kind that you cannot fully grasp with your arms or your sight. Although it’s a stone’s throw away from Ocna Șugatag, it’s not part of the life of the local community and it’s also isolated from other forested areas. Birds have found a good home here, though, inside this green patch which reminds of us imperial times and the vast swathes of forest that brought Maramureș its renown. The forest is inhabited by 51 bird species which create a constant clamour; they are the “soul” of the forest.

The project consists of the following:

1. Creating a visiting trail through the forest, with proper markings and boards which guide you through the places that can be accessed by the public; the boards will tell the stories of the forest, with its history and its place in the local identity, the species of trees, the forms of life and the webs of life, the various services offered by the forest, the afterlife of trees and the human impact on the forest.

2. Developing an educational package for the schools around here, that would include a manual for interpreting the subjects presented on the boards and other supporting materials (e.g. drawings of species); the manual will have interactive lessons to stimulate pupils’ engagement with the stories and the surroundings and will be used by teachers to create interesting and memorable outdoors experiences for the youngsters, in the middle of Crăiască Forest.

3. Promoting the rules for visiting the reserve by posting them up on the footpath and through the local tourism network and to find solutions, alongside the town hall and the forest custodian, to sort out the litter issue which affects some parts of the forest.

As funds collected by the local community are not enough to implement the project, we’re inviting all rural travellers and nature lovers to give their helping hand, by offering a donation.

The bank account is: RO87BTRL02501205M64756000, Transilvania Bank, Sighetu Marmatiei branch. Beneficiary: Centre for Ecology and Tourism Maramureș. Please mention „Donation for the Footpath of stories in Craiască Forest”.

Together with the local community we will give a new life to this forgotten forest, by putting it on the map and opening it up to the young generation and all the locals who wanted to have a serene place to go walking and to breathe some fresh air.

You can find more details about the forest here.

by flavius frantz | eeessential.tools