Association "Apuseni Mountain Club"

Association "Apuseni Mountain Club" was founded in 1997 in Cluj Napoca, the cultural capital of Transylvania, Romania, by a group of enthusiastic lovers of nature. The club are currently 25 members enrolled, of which 10 participate in weekly meetings and participate regularly in office and field activities.

The mission of the Apuseni Mountain Club (CMA) is to protect and preserve endangered wildlife species in the Apuseni Mountains, for present and future generations, through implementing sustainable development programs in partnership with local communities.

Our history starts in 1984, when a group of 5-6 mountain lovers decided that they want to climb all the mountains of Romania. It was at the final of Ceausescu's period, it was difficult for us to buy goog equipement, so we had to use heavy tents and army backpacks. However we were not discouraged, and we decided that we will continue to go up the mountain. First we joined other organizations, then in 1997 we decided to set up our own organization called Railway Tourism Association, named in that way because the founding members worked at the railways at that time.
In 1998 we obtained the right to use the building of the former school in Cheia, a village of Rimet commune, Alba county. The Rimet area is a well known tourist destination downstream of „Cheile Rimetului” (Rîmet Gorges) and is a generic name for central part of the Trascau Mountains, an important region of Trascau Nature Park. The building is situated upstream of Rimet Gorges and is now organized as CMA’s field base and Ecological Surveillance Centre for central part of Trascau Nature Park.
In parallel, we climbed almost of the romanian mountains and we have acquired knowledge about all mountain ranges of Romania. Our way of visiting was based on tent camps in remote places, that allowed us to discover the real shape of the wilderness in mountains. We had also participated at a lot of orienteering reunions which allowed us th know the trails in the mountains.

In year 2000, Apuseni Mountain Club initiated a sustainable development strategy for Nature Protected Areas in the Rimet region (Apuseni Mountains). The first four stages have been realized with funding from Environmental Partnership Foundation from Miercurea Ciuc.

 Within the period November 2000 – June 2001 we implemented the project „The Preservation of Râmeţ Gorges”, then starting from November 2001 until July 2002 the project „Rehabilitation of ecotouristic infrastructure of protected areas within Rîmeţ region” and from January 2003 until October 2003 the project „Rîmeţ 2003 – Protection and education”. This was followed with the project „Trascău 2005 – People and nature”, partly funded by the Environmental Partnership Foundation, which started on 1 January 2005 and was finalized in December 2005 and the project “Biodiversity protection in Piatra Cetii by local community involvement”, funded by the Dutch Embassy in Romania, implemented between August 2005 and Septenber 2006.

Three other projects as an important part of this 7 year strategy were: “Ecodidactica”, “The Limestone Trail” and “EcoTrascău 2006”

“Ecodidactica” proposes to especially use the natural reservations in CMA custody, and nature in general, as a classroom for active on-the-ground environmental education for the youth. The project was financed by the Manfred Hermsen Stiftung, Bremen, Germany, started in October 2005 and was finalized in December 2006. The purpose of the project was the development and the implementation of methods for education and awareness about nature protection and conservation, through environmentally sound camps and excursions for school groups and students from the Alba, Cluj and Sibiu counties.

“The Limestone Trail” is a greenway project and within this frame the natural attractions of the Southern Trascău Mountains will be identified, “The Limestone Trail” will be built-up in the field and will be promoted. Also a campaign will be initiated informing the local communities about the opportunities available through the implementation of “The Limestone Trail”. The project was financed by TOYOTA through the Partnership Foundation from Miercurea Ciuc.

“EcoTrascău 2006” was initiated for supporting the sustainable development of the local communities from the CentralTrascăuMountains through developing and promoting three ecotourism programs in collaboration with the “Green Mountain Holidays” Tourism Agency in Cluj Napoca. This project was funded by the Partnership Foundation from Miercurea Ciuc.

In 2007 CMA was running two projects:
“Greenways” was finished in December. Project's objectives awere the extending of Limestone trail routes to north and west and promotion of these routes and their launch at the FânFest 2007 festival.
The other objective is Greenways popularization through local communities informing and through realization of three tourist offers.

“The management of biodiversity from Piatra Cetii Natural Reserve”
The main purpose of the project is the development and implementation of the management plans of Nature Reserves from the organization’s custody, through scientific studies, and by involving of all local communities in a stable and durable management of biodiversity.

In period 2009-2013 Apuseni Mountain Club was partner at 5 projects developed in partnership with French- Romanian Association “Rencontres du Patrimoine Europe- Roumanie-rper”. 
The main purpose of the projects was the restoration of the roman roads in ApuseniMountains, in 2009 and 2010 and an inventory of the traditional houses of a village from Apuseni Mountains in 2011-2013.

 Starting 2007 we prepared a tourist offer in order to offer to local communities a way of sustainable development.

 Along time, the members of the club were involved in a lot of prepearing and restorations of tourist trails.

Specification

Clubul Montan Apuseni (Apuseni Mountain Club) is an association created under the Romanian Law (Law 26/2000) whose purpose is to protect the endangered species and to promote responsible tourism. Based on our member's qualification as travel guide we are legally offering assistance and guidance for the tourists. The gains will be used for achieving organization’s goal.

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