Common Agricultural Policy has three major objectives: viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action and balanced territorial development (Overview of CAP Reform 2014-2020). Given the pressure on natural resources, agriculture has to improve its methods with minimum repercussions on environment through more sustainable production. Farmers also have to adapt to challenges by pursuing climate change mitigation and adaption actions. Many European rural areas face significant challenges. These are considerably important as they own great natural and cultural wealth. For the development of rural areas, the Lisbon Strategy for jobs and growth, and the Göteborg Strategy are just very relevant (Rural Development policy 2007-2013).

The oligotrophic semi-natural grasslands with Arnica montana are permanently under the influence of stand, social, economic and political factors. Certain factors remain constant (soil, orographic) but others alter very much and, consequently, show strong influence upon the species and its habitat. Theclimatic factors generate certain biological aspects of the species which are noticed at the level of the potential yield. They are very difficult to control and they will determine a high fluctuation of the yield from one year to another. The socioeconomic factors are the ones that put a high pressure upon the Arnica montana habitats. On one hand there are the landowners who perform maintenance tasks and use the habitats, the harvesters (most of them are landowners too) who harvest the arnica inflorescences and, on the other hand, there are the collecting companies, community’s outsiders, who, in most of the cases, aren’t interested in maintaining the Arnica sites and their sustainable use. All these three social categories are very important to the preservation of oligotrophic grasslands and Arnica montanaspecies. Forbidding the harvest of Arnica montana is not a sustainable solution as it would draw the decrease in locals’ interest in oligotrophic grasslands habitats and they will be with certainty abandoned. Therefore, optimum solutions, to be anchored in the reality of the territory, must be identified.

The Goal of Ecoherba-Bioflora Apuseni System:

conservation of oligotrophic grasslands within the cultural mountainous landscape and improvement of local people standard level through sustainable use of the natural resources.

The Objectives of Ecoherba-Bioflora Apuseni System:

  • to conserve the Arnica montanaspecies in oligotrophic grasslands and its sustainable use;
  • to raise landowners’ cognizance of the conservative value of oligotrophic semi-natural grasslands and to train them concerning the optimum grassland management;
  • sustainable use of Arnica montana in order to increase the local interest in oligotrophic grasslands;
  • monitoring Arnica inflorescences using specific methods and setting the sustainable harvest which will ensure perpetuation of the species;
  • to shape the collectors and harvesters’ habits concerning the sustainable harvesting and the quality of the fresh material;
  • monitoring harvesting manner of the inflorescences in order to verify the success of training actions;
  • processing by drying of the fresh material in order to add value at local level;
  • fair trade and ensuring a proper income to harvesters and landowners;
  • to conserve the cultural mountainous landscape and traditional practices;
  • continuous scientific research in order to develop innovative ideas of conservation through sustainable use;
  • collaboration with the state institutions, NGOs and SMEs for sustainable use of resources in oligotrophic grasslands.