The last year has proved to be both a time of remarkable accomplishments, and of significant challenges, for Pelister National Park. Whilst reviewing the past year’s endeavours, we celebrate our key achievements, address the challenges, and outline our commitment to the park’s sustainable management and biodiversity preservation.
“The PONT Foundation plays a crucial role in improving the working and monitoring conditions and conservation of the most picturesque parts of the park. Your support has been immeasurable in building sustainable environmental and biodiversity conservation initiatives that have made Pelister National Park accountable and fulfilling.
The PONT Foundation is not only a financial supporter but also a leader in promoting sustainable practices and innovations for nature conservation in the park.” Director Maliq Shemshedini
What we did:
- Successful METT Assessment
The Monitoring and Evaluation of the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) assessment demonstrated advancements in the park’s management. The assessment showed increased efficiency and transparency, serving as an excellent indicator of progress around governance.
- Engagement of Stakeholders
As part of governance refinement, Pelister engaged a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including the local community, activists, and scientific experts. This inclusive approach enriched management with diverse perspectives of needs and challenges.
- Biodiversity monitoring
One of the major triumphs for Pelister has been the successful monitoring of its rich biodiversity. Active measures were taken to protect key species and habitats, with a particular focus on endemic and relict species, contributing to the sustainability of the park’s ecosystems.
The monitoring initiatives at Pelister National Park have been revitalised, thanks to the unwavering dedication of the Ranger Service. With maximum commitment, the monitoring activities have been brought back on track, ensuring a meticulous and comprehensive approach to safeguarding the park’s natural treasures.
Rangers are actively engaged in regular field inspections, patrolling the diverse habitats of Pelister National Park. Their presence on the ground ensures a hands-on approach to monitoring, providing a first-hand assessment of the park’s health and responding swiftly to any emerging challenges.
- Photo trap camera monitoring
Incorporating technology, surveillance cameras were strategically placed throughout the park. These cameras helped with the monitoring of wildlife movement, providing valuable material for scientific and conservation research.
- Educational Workshops for Local Schools
Pelister National Park has actively reached out to primary schools in the surrounding municipalities, recognising the crucial role that early education plays in shaping environmentally conscious citizens.
The collaboration with local schools builds partnerships to sustain and expand these environmental educational workshops. This ongoing relationship ensures that environmental education remains a consistent and integral part of the student’s learning journey.
In a concerted effort to raise awareness about biodiversity and nature conservation, Pelister National Park has successfully conducted educational workshops targeting primary schools in the municipalities of Bitola and Resen.
One of the workshops’ focal points was educating students about biodiversity monitoring. Through interactive sessions, students gain insights into the wide variety of plant and animal species within Pelister National Park. They learned about the importance of tracking and understanding these species to ensure the conservation of the park’s diverse ecosystems.
The workshops also emphasise the significance of environmental protection within Pelister National Park. Students delve into preserving habitats, reducing human impact, and adopting sustainable practices.
Pelister National Park is sowing the seeds of environmental awareness and responsibility through these educational workshops. By reaching out to the younger generation, the park is cultivating a community of informed and committed individuals who will play a vital role in the ongoing conservation efforts for Pelister’s natural treasures.
The goal is to nurture a generation that appreciates nature’s beauty and actively contributes to its preservation.
- Еnvironmentally acceptable practices and principles in forest management
The training of the ranger service on “Harmonisation of forest management practices and introduction of new, more modern and environmentally acceptable practices and principles in forest management” has been completed.
- For this purpose, a “Guide for the management of the forest NP Pelister” was prepared, which provides the guidelines for the future management of the forest ecosystems. This way, a new practice has been introduced to understand forests from “a natural resource in the national park” to “ecosystems that support high biological diversity and provide a multitude of ecosystem services.” The management of Pelister is gradually moving away from what has been traditionally a use of forest resources for economic use to one where the forest is managed for its ecosystems.
- A long-term Plan (2020-2040) has been drawn up according to activities and time required for a beech forest plantation from scion (vegetative origin) and its translation into a plantation from seed (generative) origin from parent native species on an area of 46.85 hectares, section 20, in location Vrteshka. The plan was developed by forestry and ecology consultants, representing a new model of activities that will be applied in Pelister National Park.
- Economic Sustainability
Perhaps most importantly, Pelister started generating revenue from tourism. This progress contributes to the park’s economic sustainability and significantly reduces the volume of tree felling, promoting sustainable practices and responsible resource management.
Next three years
In the next three years, the sustainable and responsible implementation of the new PONT grant for monitoring and preservation of key values in Pelister National Park will continue.
We will actively and responsibly continue our efforts to monitor and preserve the essential ecological values of Pelister National Park. With the support of the new grant, our focus remains on monitoring and conserving five key species and habitats of Pelister National Park.
By, Violeta Sotirovska, Environmental protection engineer,
Pelister National Park