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Lake Prespa

 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.

ΡΟΝΤ was established in 2015 with funding from MAVA Foundation and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which is working through KfW Development Bank to support the increasing environmental needs of the Prespa Ohrid region and respond to the lack of sufficient funding for conservation efforts.

As a conservation trust fund, PONT will be able to provide long-term sustainable financing to the region’s national parks and local environmental actors.


Church, Ohrid, FRY Macedonia

PONT’s Mission is to “provide long-term financing for the conservation and sustainable management of biological diversity, natural processes and ecosystem services in Prespa and its wider area for the benefit of nature and people in the region.

In accordance with its mission and role, PONT seeks to:

  • Invest and raise funds aiming to generate complementary funding and provide long-term financial support to conservation initiatives.
  • Co-finance key conservation actions, as a solid partner providing funding continuity for its beneficiaries, thereby contributing to long-term conservation objectives.
  • Incite regional stakeholders and environmental actors to improve the quality and efficiency of management and to use the provided co-funding to reach the optimal impact on biodiversity conservation. This increases also their chances of receiving funding in the future.
  • Promote transboundary cooperation and a collective ecoregional approach.
  • Raise public environmental awareness and community engagement.
  • Engage with governments to leverage funding and political commitments towards conservation.



Lake Prespa

PONT is a transboundry conservation trust fund. As a trust fund, PONT’s approach to conservation differs from the standard “project based” or “short-term” solutions. PONT’s funding is long-term and designed to ensure the sustainable management of the Prespa Ohrid ecoregion. Our model emphasizes long-term commitment, transparency, accountability and collaboration.

PONT combines investment income from its endowment with other available capital and annual donations to generate grant-making resources for the protected areas and environmental actors, including civil society, municipalities and science/academic institutions addressing nature protection in the region.

PONT raises and manages funds for the allocation of conservation grants supported by a rigorous monitoring and evaluation program, as well as to leverage collaboration, political commitment and funding towards the achievement of its mission.

Over the last 20 years more than 50 conservation trust funds have been created around the globe, aiming to ameliorate environmental management  primarily on a national level. To date there are only 8 transboundary conservation trust funds including PONT. PONT is the first transboundary conservation trust fund in the Balkans.


Prespa Island Cows
PONT provides grants to the national parks and civil society organizations working to conserve the Prespa Ohrid ecoregion.

Initially PONT will focus its funding on the Prespa lakes basin, including the six protected areas surrounding them. This area covers the most significant biodiversity features of the Prespa lakes and their surroundings.

PONT aims to expand its work beyond the Prespa region to include the Ohrid lake basin, this step will be based on available resources and in line with PONT’s  mission and objectives.


  • Mirjam de Koning

    Mirjam joined PONT as Executive Director in 2016. She is an expert on natural resources management and brings more than 20 years of …

    Executive Director
  • Suela Mehmeti

    Suela joined PONT RPO as Office Manager on May 2017. Prior to joining PONT, Suela was Project Accountant and Administrator of project office …

    Office Manager
  • Oliver Avramoski

    Oliver has joined PONT as Grants Coordinator in May 2018. He has more than 15 years of experience in biodiversity conservation, including conservation …

    Grants Coordinator
  • Gwenaelle Joubert

    Gwen has recently joined PONT as Fundraising Officer to support the development and implementation of a Fundraising Strategy for the organisation. She has over …

    Fundraising Officer


  • Lynda Mansson

    Lynda has been Director General of the MAVA Foundation since 2010. MAVA’s programmes are focused on nature conservation in West Africa, the Mediterranean basin and …

  • Demetres Karavellas

    Demetres is the CEO of WWF Greece, a position he has held since 1998. Over the last few years, he has worked on key …

    Vice President
  • David Morrison

    Having led the successful development of Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) from its inception in 2008 until 2015, David has been involved with the development …

    Board Member
  • Gabriel Schwaderer

    Gabriel Schwaderer graduated University with a Geography degree.  He has more than 25 years of experience in protected area management, international nature conservation, and …

    Board Member
  • Dr. Klaus Mueller

    Dr. Klaus Mueller is Director at KfW Development Bank and currently Head of the Department South East Europe and Turkey. He began his professional …

    Board Member
About - Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust