ΡΟΝΤ was established in 2015 with funding from the MAVA Foundation and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), working through the KfW Development Bank. Their aim was to support the increasing environmental needs of the Prespa-Ohrid region to respond to the lack of sufficient funding for conservation efforts.
The Prespa-Ohrid region is regarded as one of Europe’s most ecologically valuable areas. The Prespa-Ohrid lake basin is a refuge for many rare and endemic species as well as many cultural and historical monuments. Within its boundaries is the transboundary Prespa Park as well as a UNESCO designated transboundary mixed World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve.
Since 2015 PONT has shown to be a very effective funding mechanism for improving conservation management and was awarded extra funding to expand, not only to the Ohrid region but also to the Korab-Shara region, the Albanian Alps region, and further into Greece.
As a conservation trust fund, PONT can provide long-term sustainable financing to the region’s parks and local environmental actors. PONT is a small but effective team based locally in Tirana, Albania. They are supported remotely by the Nature Trust Alliance (NTA), who provides them with services. NTA is a collaboration between four Conservation Trust Funds aiming to reduce their operational costs and increase their outputs.