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 and beyond and 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 their effective mechanisms for improving conservation management and were awarded extra funding to expand, not only to the foreseen Ohrid region, but also to the Korab-Shara region and the Albanian Alps region.
As a conservation trust fund, PONT is able to 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 provide them with shared services. NTA is a collaboration between four Conservation Trust Funds aiming to reduce their costs and increase their outputs.