We are an interdisciplinary group of professionals specialized in geology, social-cultural sciences, sustainable development, protected areas, non-formal education, graphic design, IT, community engagement and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. Impressed by Buzău Land’s development potential and by the talented people we met here, we decided to contribute to the area’s development. We are using our expertise and knowledge to define and coordinate the “Buzău Land” initiative. In 2017 we founded the Buzău Land NGO (Asociația Ținutul Buzăului), a non-profit non-governmental organization. This has become the legal framework for our initiative and activities.
Our mission is to build a sustainable development model that is adaptable and replicable in other areas of the world, using the natural and cultural heritage as a primary resource. We strive to find a balance between the protection and innovative use of this resource. Our scope is to improve the quality of the environment and the cultural, social, economic and educational life of the communities, as well as the ability of local communities to decide and act. We are promoting the development of an alternative tourism that is carried out responsibly and in harmony with the environment.
For us, the future is a place where humankind accepts its role as a component of the environment. In this future the development of the society takes place in harmony with nature. The future we are trying to build is defined by a society that adds value to the natural and cultural environments each time it progresses.
The short answer is: nowhere! Sustainable development is a process that never ends. There will always be new challenges, but also new tools, technologies and concepts that we can apply to maintain and improve the quality of life, education, of the natural environment, civic spirit, but also to improve the experience that a territory can offer. We are not limited to applying new tools and concepts, because we also develop, innovate and experiment. We’re always on the lookout for new challenges and new opportunities to support and learn with and from other initiatives.
The first time Răzvan set foot in Buzău Land was in 2009, while he was still a student. He quickly grew attached to the places and people and came back as often as he could. He realized just as readily that he could call Buzău Land “home”. In 2013 he gathered a few dedicated people and started a team, which he presently manages, and with which he hopes to make a difference. He’s currently overseeing the area’s development strategy, and because he enjoys talking a lot to people from various communities, it can be quite a challenge to make him stop.
Răzvan is a geologist who is specialized in volcanology (PhD) and who already has experience in sustainable development (MSc). He’s quite familiar with team management as well :).
No.1 hobby: photography
Alice has been exploring Buzău Land since 2009 when she discovered her passion for amber. The first time she visited the area was quite an experience for her: she got lost in the forest, she was absolutely convinced that there were bears waiting to turn her into a snack at every turn of the path, she got chased by dogs... Long story short, she vowed never to set foot in Buzău Land again. But once you’ve seen this amazing area, it’s hard to forget it. So, Alice started learning about heritage and conservation, about nature and culture and about sustainable development. She now spends more time in Buzău Land than in any other place in Romania and she knows the bears by name.
Alice is a specialist in sustainable development and she is “the plant” of the team, meaning she always comes up with new ideas. She has a natural knack for marketing and branding. If you read one of our texts and it’s really funny, she probably wrote it.
He first found out about Buzău Land from Răzvan while he was still a student, but the first time he really discovered the area was when he worked on building the “Time of Man Museum”: a project close to his heart that has forged friendships and created memories.
Ciprian studied geology but decided to follow his passion for Graphic Design and has become a professional, with many years of experience.
When he’s doing field work, he’s able to handle extreme conditions: from clearing country roads from donkeys, to going into abandoned houses to retrieve cultural heritage objects. His colleagues call him “the black goat” because he manages to make his way through hard-to reach environments.
He hopes that together with the team, he will take Buzău Land to the next level.
Sergiu is (Răzvan’s edit: was) the team’s most free-spirited member who didn’t want to follow the manager’s guidelines regarding the structure of this presentation. He has a practical mind-set, is an autodidact and a tech enthusiast, especially when it comes to electronics and computers. Although he is specialized in software, he also likes to develop IoT devices (Răzvan’s edit: ???). He was „kinda” forced to visit Buzău Land, but he became very attached to it, and now comes back as often as he can, always with his PC in the rucksack.
Sergiu is a software developer and he is also a member of an international team that develops computer games.
His hobbies include gaming (Alice’s edit: of course), playing the guitar and making sure Răzvan’s conversations with the community members are no longer than they should be (Răzvan’s edit: :o).
Cecilia is a teacher and has always been a part of Buzău Land because she was lucky enough to live here since she was born. Throughout her teaching years, she had the privilege of getting to know the village life with all its joys and happiness, but also with all its shortcomings. She is a restless explorer of the area’s intangible heritage. And when she starts telling a story, you have to check your watch from time to time because it can be a challenge to stop her.
Cecilia is now the instructor of the „Slănicul” traditions and customs group. She is also the curator of the “Time of Man Museum” from Mânzălești. She is very passionate about her role and is always ready to greet museum guests, even outside working hours.
Born in Buzău, Irina spent her childhood in the villages along the Salt River Valley, where she experienced country life, with all its charm, magic, hardships and stories. She enjoys art, in all its forms, photography, literature and exploring nature. She invests her time, energy and skills in the projects taking place in Buzău Land. One of her greatest wishes is to restore the dynamics of village life, as it once was, with its charm, traditions and stories.
Alexandru launched the concept of this innovating and ambitious project in 2007, together with local stakeholders and specialists. After 3 years of cultural adventures, meetings, presentations and debates, Buzău Land Geopark, version 1.0 was developed. As an honorary citizen and inhabitant of Buzău Land, he helped built and develop this very enthusiastic and professional team. His role is to ensure national and international cooperation within the UNESCO Geoparks Program.
Alexandru is a geologist, professor, and director of the UNESCO Hațeg Country Geopark (member of the Global Geoparks Network). He is also a UNESCO Geopark expert. He likes to inspire and be inspired by creative and optimistic dreamers.
George became fond of Buzău Land while doing student practice, enrolled in the University of Bucharest’s Masters Programme on “Applied Geobiology for the Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage”. He came very close to wrecking his feet, car and motorcycle while trying to get to the most remote places of Buzău Land. However, while documenting the natural and cultural heritage together with the team, George got stuck to the Geopark like glue. He is still here today…
He is now specialized in protected areas (PhD) and non-formal education. In his spare time, he’s either connecting sensors on micro-controllers, or traveling the seas with his sailboat.
Roxana has been in contact with Buzău Land since she was a student. She graduated Geography at the University of Bucharest, in 2015, and two years later she finished a Masters in Geographic Information Systems. She is attracted by the idyllic landscapes of Buzău Land, and hopes to contribute to the development of the area.
Being passionate by beautiful things in general, she started learning Graphic Design. At the same time, she discovered her more analytical side, and she is now our Office and Documentation Wizard.
Marius has been introduced to Buzău Land back in 2009, when he first came here during a student field practice. After graduating he worked as a geophysicist for a while, but gave that up to pursue his greatest passion: photography. For Marius, nothing beats wandering through forests to capture images of wild animals.
Since he joined our team, he practically almost moved in Buzău Land. But we rarely see him because he spends most of his time somewhere in the forest, camouflaged, waiting for the next perfect camera shot of wild animals. Be careful next time you’re in a forest in Buzău Land: you may come face to face with Marius :).
Anca has been in love with stories, especially visual ones, for as long as she can remember. She is a movie critic, and a movie and TV script writer, and in the past few years she has been writing and directing documentaries for DigiWorld.
Until she started working with us for the Buzău Land TV documentary trilogy, this region was just a transit route on her way to Iași, her hometown. Since then, however, she started feeling more and more attached to Buzău Land, and now she is completely addicted to the landscapes, the people and the local brandy.
She joined our team because she is convinced this wonderful area is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and she wants to share its stories with the world. And she is convinced the world also wants to discover them: the proof is the popularity of the videos we posted on the Buzău Land YouTube channel. Anca is already working on a few new documentary series: one about the area’s culinary heritage, and one about the area’s incredible vitality and longevity.
Andrada likes to explore the world and strongly believes she can contribute to a better world by creating memorable experiences for people, while taking care of nature. After obtaining her degree in tourism and experience design in Austria, Andrada came back to Romania, eager to implement everything she has learned. When she heard about Buzău Land’s initiative to become a UNESCO Global Geopark, she knew this was the perfect place to create new perspectives on the visiting experience, and continue her learning process.
The local stories, where the everyday life casually mixes with the extraordinary, impressed her the most in Buzău Land. Andrada strongly believes that miracles really are a part of our daily lives. One of the best ways to observe them is to spend more time in nature and pay more attention to the things around us.
Nicu is the luckiest member of our team because he was born in Buzău Land and has been living here all his life. He is very familiar with the mountain village lifestyle in all its complexity, and never gets tired of looking for amber in the surrounding hills, or for stories, whether they are written or passed down from generation to generation.
Nicu’s stories encourage listeners to keep local traditions alive, and maintain their cultural identity. He is a dedicated contributor to the Buzău Land initiative, and when he is not actively participating in sustainable development activities, he is promoting the area on social media with his “From Colţi, with love” brand. Nicu is our representative in Colți, overseeing the projects implemented here by our team, together with the local community.
Mihai works as a finance expert but describes himself as an outdoor junkie who loves exploring nature, climbing mountains, studying and photographing wild orchids. Postgrad in banking, finance and insurance, he is a self-taught botanist interested in rare and remarkable flora and keen on the protection and conservation of species and habitats.
A mix of naturalist and bonviveur, he began exploring Buzău Land in 2011 and he quickly fell in love with the beautiful places and diverse scenery, but also with the tasty Pleșcoi Heritage :) He has recently joined the Buzău Land team and is in charge with interpreting plant biodiversity.
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