In 2008, Rainforest Concern formed a new partnership with the Carpathia Foundation to protect Romania's ancient Carpathian Forests. Although we may be called Rainforest Concern, we have sometimes partnered with projects to protect highly threatened native forests and biodiversity in temperate zones. This is the case with this new project to protect up to 50,000 hectares of the Carpathian forests in the Southern Carpathian Mountains of Romania, home to charismatic animals such as the brown bear, lynx, chamois, wild boar and wolf, which are still present in genuinely viable populations, and numerous rare and endemic plant species and insects.
Our major goals are to protect the forests and alpine meadows, promote research and restoration (including reforestation of cleared patches and the re-introduction of native animals such as black grouse, vultures and marmots), community involvement and the development of eco-tourism. Unfortunately we only have a very short window of opportunity to do this: in the next two years, all former nationalised forests will be returned to former owners; in three to four years, there will be a completely new property structure in the country and if nothing happens, most forests will be logged and much biodiversity lost forever.