Highlights of the year included:
- Strengthening local identity. An innovative project with national and local partners aiming to create a ‘self-portrait’ of one rural community in the Geopark`s territory. Main results were: exhibitions in Bucharest and Santamaria Orlea, seven publications including a tourist guide and a cook book, two documentary films, training courses in cultural tourism and the setting up of a small tourist information centre.
- During the year we provided educational packages for children in local schools and involved them in indoor and outdoor activities. A new course, ‘Local Tradition’ was introduced into the local curriculum for 11 – 12 year old children.
- Training courses on Agriculture, Tourism and Land planning were offered to the local inhabitants by the consortia of four universities within the newly renewed Centre of Adult Education from the commune Berthelot.
- Field application and research studies on paleontology, architecture, local tourism and biodiversity were carried out by staff and students from University of Bucharest, University of Petrosani, University of Architecture. BSc, Msc and PhD theses are in preparation in order to further the Geopark management plan activities.
- Tourism activities have been incorporated into the new strategy for ecotourism developed in partnership with Retezat National Park and PanParks Network, including the opening of the exhibition “Butterflies and Dinosaurs in Hateg Country”, development of a tourist geo-trail: “Butterflies and Dinosaurs trail” and a partnership with tour-operators, local administration and local entrepreneurs financed by the Partnership Fund and local communities.