PONT News

All the posts published.
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On 19 October certificates were awarded to 18 participants of the Youth Academy on nature-based tourism in Prespa. In June the Albanian Centre of Environmental Governance (ACEG) published a call for applications for Prespa community members to participate in a Youth Academy in the field of nature tourism. ACEG in co-operation with GIZ ProSEED/IDEA programme organized the Youth Academy in both municipalities (Devoll and Pustec). The awarded participants have …

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Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) aims to expand its work beyond the Prespa region to include protected areas within the Lake Ohrid basin as a next step. With the help of KfW Development Bank, the GOPA Worldwide Consultants in association with Stritih Sustainable Development continued the work on a Feasibility Study for Expanding the Focus Area of PONT, expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The study …

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In 2007 a team from the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES), in cooperation with Serbian and French scientists (herpetologists and ecologists) commenced the long-term study of the population dynamics of the Golem Grad island reptiles. Population studies require capturing as many individual representatives of the population as possible, gathering as much morphological and ecological data as possible from them, marking them permanently in order to identify them at points of …

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Following the successful completion of the first grant in August 2020, PONT and Resen Municipality continue their cooperation over the completion of the 2020 Operational Plan for the Ezerani Nature Park (ENP) and Lake Prespa Monument of Nature (LPMN). Their second Grant Agreement, signed on 18 September by the PONT Executive Director –  Mirjam de Koning and the Mayor of Resen – Zhivko Gosharevski, will ensure effective implementation of …

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In January 2020, PONT signed a grant agreement with the Association “Sport for all – All for sport” – a non-governmental organization based in Ohrid, concerning the second edition of the Ohrid Ultra-Trail® – an international trail running event taking place at Galicica National Park. The grant enables the Association and its partner organization “Outdoor Sports Association – TREX” from Skopje, to strengthen their capacity for organizing the Ohrid …

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The challenge A Biodiversity Monitoring Scheme (BMS) is a long-term array of complementary surveys, censuses, surveillance and monitoring referring to a well-defined and ecologically meaningful area, the analysis of the results of which allows at least a basic understanding of trends in the values of some important elements and the causes of change. Monitoring is the systematic measurement of variables for a specific reason (Spellerberg 1991): the term census refers …

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PONT and CEPF awarded two complementary grants to the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Art (MASA) and ILIRIA – Protection and the Social & Environmental Development Association concerning the conservation of endemic plants restricted to the Galicica/Mali i Thatë mountain, spanning the borders of Galicica National Park, in North Macedonia, and Prespa National Park in Albania. Both grants implement actions designed to foster a new generation of young professionals …

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In 2006, the Public Institution Galicica National Park, in cooperation with the Macedonian Ecological Society, organized a workshop to address a pressing management problem – the impacts of the largest nesting colony of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) in the country, on the old stand of the Grecian juniper woods on the Golem Grad Island in the Greater Prespa Lake, North Macedonia – a priority habitat type in the …

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A formally approved Management Plan (MP), meeting PONT’s requirements laid out in the Framework Agreements with the governments of Albania and North Macedonia, is one of the key requirements for the Protected Areas authorities in the Wider Prespa Area in order to be considered by PONT for possible funding. PONT may also support the development of a Protected Area MP under the conditions specified in the Framework Agreements, including …

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PONT aims to expand its work beyond the Prespa region to include other areas such as the Ohrid lake basin. With the help of KfW Development Bank, the GOPA Worldwide Consultants in association with Stritih Sustainable Development recently started the work on a Feasibility Study for Expanding the Focus Area of the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT), expected to be completed in October 2020. The study will look at …

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In June the Albanian Centre of Environmental Governance (ACEG) published a call for applications for Prespa community members to participate in a Youth Academy in the field of nature tourism. In total 62 applicants registered, including 27 from Devoll Municipality and 35 from Pustec Municipality. The applicants belong to the following age groups: 40-60 years: 14 Individuals (5 women and 9 men) 30-39 Years: 15 Individuals (5 women and …

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Since North Macedonia’s lockdown was lifted on 26 May 2020, Galicica National Park has been a popular destination for the people in the Prespa-Ohrid region and across the country, seeking relaxation in nature after their indoor isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the park has kept the entrances open and waived entrance fees until the end of June. While respecting the Government measures and …

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On 3 July the Korça Regional Administration for Protected Areas (RAPA) for Prespa National Park, Albania, met with PONT and the KfW financed project “Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa” (KfW PRESPA), implemented by GFA and INCA. In the meeting the results of the previous PONT grant were evaluated and lessons learned were discussed. The highlights of the previous grant period include: Recruitment of new staff and introducing them to the …

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A large amount of data, information and knowledge is needed for the conservation and sustainable management of biological diversity, natural processes and ecosystem services in Prespa for the benefit of nature and people in the region – a mission that PONT and its grantees share. The largest body of information concerning Prespa’s biodiversity is collected through field observations conducted by PONT grantees as part of scientific surveys, monitoring and …

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Following up on the previous full grant by PONT, the latest proposal from the National Agency for Protected Areas (NAPA) and the Korça Regional Administration for Protected Areas (RAPA) for Prespa National Park, Albania, builds up on the achievements of the previous grant and continues the implementation of the 2020 Operational Plan for Prespa National Park in the period July – December 2020. The new grant application is based …

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PONT and CEPF have recently awarded two complementary grants that address Strategic Direction 4 – the conservation of plants, under the joint Call for proposals, opened in January 2020. An additional grant was awarded to the Balkan Foundation for Sustainable Development (BFSD) in North Macedonia that addresses Strategic Direction 2 (Sustainable management of water catchments) of the Call. The grant will support actions concerning the conservation of the endemic …

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In January 2020, PONT and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) published a joint Call for Proposals for grants inviting eligible organisations to address the sustainable management of water catchments and conservation of plants in the Wider Prespa Area. Applications from NGOs and academic institutions from Albania and North Macedonia were evaluated in a two-stage process: the applicants whose concept notes were selected by the joint evaluation panel of PONT and CEPF …

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Building upon the 2016 Review of Conservation Efforts in the Transboundary Prespa area, conducted by the PrespaNet NGO network, and in close cooperation with the protected area authorities and Environmental Actors, PONT adopted its Strategic Framework in 2017, comprising a set of objectives, funding priorities and indicators of progress for 2018–2027. Over the past two years PONT has supported the PrespaNet members, the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment …

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PONT provides much of the financing for Society for the Protection of Prespa’s (SPP) 5-year strategic framework (2018-2022), supporting its core financial and administration operations as well as co-funding its projects and activities, highlights of which for 2019 are mentioned below. Active wetland management – vegetation and streams Now in its third year, the LIFE Prespa Waterbirds project, co-funded by the EU, Stavros Niarchos Foundation and PONT, saw large-scale …

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Through the ongoing grant from PONT, the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) has recently completed the first detailed study of wetland habitats in the Prespa National Park. The study covers the entire Albanian part of the Lake Prespa catchment area. The mapping study has built upon the results and experience gained in mapping the wetland habitats in the Macedonian part of Prespa, which was conducted …

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A year after the opening of its local office, MES and PrespaNet continue to work alongside regional stakeholders for the protection of Prespa. 2019 was an interesting year, with many achievements for the network. Wetland restoration After the mapping of Prespa shoreline habitat types in 2018, which resulted in the production of recommendations on habitat management in Macedonian Prespa for the Municipality of Resen, MES focused its research on …

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Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) recently opened a local satellite office in Albania. The country’s oldest environmental NGO invited numerous stakeholders to celebrate the opening ceremony of the local office in Goricë e Vogël in Prespa. Representatives of the National Agency for Protected Areas, the Regional Administration for Protected Areas in Korça, local authorities, other civil society organisations, students and local people all joined the …

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Improved staffing levels with sufficient technical and human capacity are critical elements required for improving the current management effectiveness of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas (RAPA) in Korça. The RAPA overseas the management of Prespa National Park. The effective implementation of the Management Plan of the Prespa National Park in Albania for the period 2014-2024 requires further staffing of the RAPA. This cannot be achieved through the budget, which …

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PONT grantees actively participated in the 54th count season of the annual International Waterbird Census that took place on the second weekend of January 2020. Although situated at high altitudes, the Greater and Lesser Prespa Lakes consistently host 35,000 to 55,000 waterbirds every winter, significantly exceeding the requirement to be considered a Wetland of International Importance. The census provides a valuable snapshot of waterbird population sizes and trends at the …

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In December 2019 PONT signed a grant to the Public Institution Galicica National Park (PIGNP) to cover 50% of the total costs for implementing their 2020 Operational Plan. PIGNP’s resources will be directed to maintaining and developing the key functions of the institution, in line with the IUCN Category II protected area management guidelines, with the following being priorities for 2020: biodiversity monitoring and reporting in line with national and …

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The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) recently agreed to combine their efforts in the Wider Prespa Area by issuing a joint Call for Proposals for small grants. With similarities in both their strategies, and the view to enabling longer-term interventions with greater impact, PONT and CEPF invite applications from eligible organizations to address the conservation needs around the sustainable management of water catchments and …

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Since its launching in 2007 by WWF and the World Bank, the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) has become the world’s most applied tool for assessing management effectiveness. It has been applied to over 2,500 Protected Areas (PAs) in more than 120 countries. METT assessments are an integral part of PONT’s monitoring and evaluation system at both programme level and with respect to individual grants. Grantees managing protected areas …

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PONT recently commissioned a report, which recommended supporting communities and entrepreneurs in Prespa to focus on developing and delivering nature-based tourism products and services to increase the chances of commercial success in the region. The partnership of protected area authorities and local governments is crucial. PONT subsequently published a call, in August 2019, inviting environmental actors to submit proposals that support tourism businesses operating in the Wider Prespa Area …

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Water quality monitoring scientists from the three sides of the Prespa basin met in Stenje, in October 2019, to build on the cross-border co-operation initiative taken a year ago on the other side of the lake.  The workshop aimed to further promote the dialogue and joint work set off in Laimos last autumn and was organised by the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) with the support of …

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The Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid (HIO) and the Municipality of Resen in North Macedonia have recently formalised their partnership through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, with the aim of strengthening management effectiveness of Lake Prespa Monument of Nature and Ezerani Nature Park in North Macedonia. With a planning grant from PONT, HIO has adopted a strategic plan for its contribution to conservation and sustainable management of biological diversity, …

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PONT provides most of the financing of the 5-year strategic framework (2018-2022) of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) by supporting its core financial and administration operations, and the implementation of the activities highlighted below. Research on vegetation dynamics As part of the collaboration between the SPP and the French research institute, and SPP member, Tour du Valat, under the LIFE Prespa Waterbirds project, a report entitled …

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PONT has identified two areas among its funding priorities that are not being addressed adequately by its current grants or actions supported by other donors: Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and Sustainable Nature-Based Tourism. PONT published a call in May 2019 to address the first gap, inviting proposals by environmental actors that are active in the Wider Prespa Area in Albania, North Macedonia, or in both countries, and have interest …

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The National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA) and PONT have agreed on a follow-up grant for the Prespa National Park in Albania. The grant proposal was prepared by the Regional Administration of Protected Areas (RAPA) in Korca, with the support of the KfW financed project ‘Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa’. It focuses mainly on the requirement of additional manpower to implement priority conservation actions, which are outlined in the park …

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PONT recently engaged the Connecting Natural Values and People Foundation (CNVP) to investigate the modest outcomes of past initiatives concerning ecotourism in the Wider Prespa Area (WPA) and to develop recommendations to increase the impact of future efforts. Contents of the report Following a thorough review of documents and structured consultation of a wide range of stakeholders in Albania and North Macedonia, the Report presents a detailed overview of …

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From 8-12 July many stakeholders joined forces in the Wider Prespa Area to work on the implementation of Natura 2000. PONTs cooperation partner, the EU Twinning project, ‘Strengthening the capacities for effective implementation of the acquis in the field of nature protection’, organised the following events in Pelister NP (National Park) and Prespa Lake Monument of Nature: invertebrate inventory and monitoring training; habitat and vascular plant monitoring training; management …

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Collaboration between governmental, scientific and civil society organizations is of critical importance for improving the quality and efficiency of natural resource management in the Wider Prespa Area, and for achieving the desired impact of PONT’s funding on biodiversity conservation. In line with priorities outlined in its 2017 Funding Strategy, PONT is supporting the Regional Administration for Protected Areas in Korca (RAPA), managing Prespa National Park in Albania, and the …

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PONT and Galicica National Park have been working together to create a video highlighting the recent reorientation undergone by the park management: the move from a reliance on deforestation for funding to a conservation focused financing model. Last week, a team of professionals from PONT, Galicica National Park and Focus Pocus Films gathered in various locations across the stunning vistas offered by the park to film a number of …

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Sustainable nature-based tourism in the Wider Prespa Area is increasingly seen as a source of income to cover the cost of nature conservation and protected area management, and also as an opportunity for local development. A 2016 review of conservation efforts in Transboundary Prespa, conducted by the PrespaNet network, concluded that the actions and initiatives over the last two decades related to ecotourism or agro-tourism have yielded modest outcomes …

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concerning sustainable, nature-based tourism in the Wider Prespa Area in Albania and North Macedonia PONT has identified two topics among its funding priorities that are not being adequately addressed by its current grants or actions supported by other donors. The first concerns the Non-Timber Forest Products that was the topic of the call for grant proposals to Environmental Actors launched in May 2019 (see above). The second topic is …

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On 24 May 2019, the European Day of Parks, the Prespa National Park in Albania offered a guided tour for the local schools “Dy Deshmoret” and “Rezidenca e Goricareve” of the Municipality of Pusteci. The 5th grade students learnt about the history, culture and nature of their environment. Vasil Male and Olsi Duma, chief specialists of the regional administration of protected areas of Korçë selected trail#4 of the hiking …

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Germany’s Lower Saxon State Government has provided funds to the Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation for a project that aims to assist the cross-border Prespa-Ohrid ecoregion to develop nature-based tourism activities, and to start building up capacities in this respect on a regional level. The project aims to accomplish two objectives: To develop initial nature-based tourism activities in the Prespa-Ohrid Ecoregion through a pilot project in which interested …

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On 7 May 2019, PONT was honoured by the visit of Achim Mortier and Maren Kneller of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to the Prespa National Park in Albania. BMZ has provided tremendous support to PONT over the past years. In the presence of representatives of the National Agency for Protected Areas, KfW, GIZ and the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa Project – Albania (Phase …

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PONT recently engaged the Connecting Natural Values and People Foundation (CNVP) to prepare a report that assesses the opportunities and challenges related to non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in the Wider Prespa Area. Contents of the report Fully endorsed by PONT, the report sets out a number of recommendations related to the collection, production, processing and marketing of NTFPs, taking into account input from a number of key stakeholders in …

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On behalf of PONT, the Connecting Natural Values and People Foundation conducted an assessment of the opportunities, and associated challenges, for local small-scale production, processing and marketing of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in the Wider Prespa Area in Albania and North Macedonia. The Foundation prepared a draft analysis, which summarizes findings from the review of past initiatives and actions, as well as interviews with numerous stakeholders. A number of …

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2018 was an interesting year for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) and PrespaNet, with many activities focused on laying the groundwork for the upcoming year and projects. Being locally active is very important for PrespaNet and its organisations. PPNEA Local Officer PPNEA is looking to increase its presence in the area, promote its project and raise awareness about nature protection and preservation in Prespa. As …

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Since its establishment in 1958, the management of Galicica National Park (NP) has been funded through revenues generated from the park administration, predominantly from selling firewood. Following a significant increase in revenue from entrance and user fees in 2018, the park administration has adopted an operational plan and budget for 2019 with a strong focus on the primary management objectives of the park. These are protecting biodiversity and the …

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PONT provides most of the financing of the 5-year strategic framework (2018-2022) of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) by supporting its core financial and administration operations, and also the implementation of the projects mentioned below. Pelicans census The South East European pelican census was conducted in May 2018 at wetlands across South East Europe for the third consecutive year. Pelicans were recorded in a total of …

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The importance of wetland habitats Wetlands are one of the most important environmental assets in Prespa, home to many plant and animal species, providing significant economic, social and cultural benefits to the people of Prespa and the society at large. Wetland habitats across Prespa are impacted by various human activities, such as water extraction, modification of beaches and streams, fishing, farming, sand excavation, agriculture and forestry. Addressing these threats …

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PONT has been selected, from over 200 submissions from around the world, as the winner of the 2018 Pathfinder Award that recognises outstanding and innovative solutions for protected areas, developed and implemented by individuals, organisations or groups. The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT), winner of the award, is a conservation trust fund that supports transboundary conservation of nature in the Prespa Ohrid ecoregion, covering parts of Albania, Greece and the Former …

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The objective of PONT as a co-funding instrument is to assist the management bodies of Protected Areas (PAs) in the Wider Prespa Area (WPA) in improving the quality of their management. The progress on this objective is being measured by using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT), developed by WWF and the World Bank in 2002, and later amended in 2005 and 2007. The METT has two datasheets and …

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The German Government, through its Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the KfW Development Bank (KfW), has contributed another €5 million to PONT’s core endowment fund. A signing ceremony was held on 15th November in the KfW offices in Frankfurt. A memorandum confirming KfW’s latest contribution was signed by Thomas Eisenbach, Head of Division; Frank Mörschel, Senior Project Manager at KfW; and PONT’s Executive Director, Mirjam …

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Experts from the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment (PPNEA), in cooperation with RAPA Korce, have just completed the first assessment of camera traps set in Prespa National Park and they are happy to share photos of the wildlife diversity of this park. With the support of PONT, PPNEA will continue wildlife monitoring and bear scat sample collecting through to December 2018. This is aimed at generating data for the …

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PONT has been selected, from over 200 submissions, as the winner of the 2018 Pathfinder Award. The Award, which recognizes outstanding and innovative solutions for protected and conserved areas, is presented by the United Nations Development Programme; the International Union for Conservation of Nature; the World Commission on Protected Areas; and WildArk, and supported by the Biodiversity Finance Initiative and PANORAMA. The winners of the award were determined through …

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PONT recently facilitated a successful exchange between the Society for Protection of Prespa (SPP), GIZ CSBL (Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity at Lakes Prespa, Ohrid and Shkodra/Skadar – Phase III) and the Albanian Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa Project – Phase II. On 14 and 15 October, several sites were visited on the Greek side of Prespa with a focus on Small Prespa Lake, which straddles Albania and Greece. …

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PONT has recently engaged an international independent consultant, Jernej Stritih, to support Protected Area authorities in the Wider Prespa Area in enhancing their capacity for effective management of operations and assets. With a focus on co-financing operational costs of Protected Areas, PONT requires that the Protected Area authorities submit an updated annual operational plan, monitoring plan and budget as part of their grant applications. PONT’s Framework Agreements with the …

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A team from the 100 Villages Academy, focusing on villages in the region of Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa, presented initial proposals for how to strengthen tourism development at two events in Korça, on Friday 28 September. The team lived in Gorice e Vogel, inside Lake Prespa National Park, for four weeks, beginning in mid August, while also working in the villages of Lin, Tushemisht, Gurras, Zvirinë, and Zaroshkë. …

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Joint initiatives for the Prespa region were presented in Tirana on 25 September 2018. The event brought together approximately 50 stakeholders, including government and numerous institutions, that are working in the wider Ohrid-Prespa ecoregion, highlighting the importance of German-Albanian cooperation through the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust and the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa Project – Phase II to the conservation efforts in the region. Phase II of the Transboundary Biosphere …

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Signed on 3 September, the Regional Agency of Protected Areas (RAPA) Korçe applied for a planning grant in close consultation with the National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA). RAPA manages the Prespa National Park in Albania, and this monumental signing marks an important shift in Albania’s involvement in the conservation of the Prespa region. The planning grant is the first step in PONT`s support to NAPA for the benefit …

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A Grant Agreement between PONT and the Public Scientific Institution Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid (HIO) was signed in Ohrid on 13 August 2018. The grant to HIO is part of PONT’s support to Environmental Actors that contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in the Wider Prespa Area (WPA), such as legally established NGOs, municipalities, academic or scientific institutions with a non-profit focus that are present and …

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A grant agreement between PONT and the Public Institution Galicica National Park (PIGNP) was signed on 3 August 2018, symbolizing the start of a new phase in the collaboration of the two institutions. The agreement was signed by Mirjam de Koning, Executive Director of PONT, and Andon Bojadzi, Director of PIGNP, and honoured in a meeting on 13 August in Ohrid. The grant will enable PIGNP to strengthen their …

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The official opening of the Macedonian Ecological Society’s (MES) new office in Resen took place on 9 July. Of great local significance, the ceremony was attended by representatives from the local government, the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP), Galicica and Pelister national parks, the Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP), donor organizations, as well as local residents …

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The first Grant Agreement between PONT and the Municipality of Resen concerning the management of the Lake Prespa Monument of Nature and Ezerani Nature Park was signed on 28 June 2018 in Resen. The Agreement provides for PONT to co-finance activities related to improving the technical and management skills of the municipal staff involved in the management of the two protected areas. This includes monitoring of priority habitats and …

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Mirjam de Koning, Executive Director of PONT, and Amet Axhiu, Director of the Public Institution Pelister National Park (PIPNP) signed the first Grant Agreement on 28 June 2018 in Resen. The Agreement provides for a financial contribution from PONT to develop a new Management Plan for Pelister National Park. PONT’s financing is matched by contributions from the park administration and the European Union through the Twinning Project “Strengthening the …

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Following an initiative of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP), a meeting was held on 28 June 2018 in Resen to coordinate activities supported by PONT’s grant agreements concerning the protected areas in the Macedonian part of Prespa. The meeting was opened by Ajman Al Malla, head of the Environment Sector at the Municipality of Resen, followed by short speeches by Vlatko Trpeski, Head of Nature Protection …

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The Dutch Ambassador to Albania, Dewi van de Weerd, visited Greater Prespa Lake on 19 May 2018, where she enjoyed a boat trip and sighted more than 100 pelicans. The trip was organized by the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT), Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), and the park authorities. Prespa is home to the Dalmatian pelican – the world’s largest freshwater bird. These birds nest …

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The Supervisory Board of PONT recently conducted a tour of the Prespa-Ohrid ecoregion. This was a fantastic opportunity to further develop understanding of the issues and challenges unique to the region, as well as to build upon and foster new relationships. Some highlights of the multi-faceted visit include: research and monitoring activities of the Hydrobiological Institute Ohrid, demonstrated aboard the Institute’s monitoring boat at Lake Ohrid; excursion in Galicica …

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A ceremony was held on 14th of May in Skopje to mark the launching of PONT’s grants programmes in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The event was opened by PONT’s Executive Director Mirjam de Koning who, in her opening remarks, noted that PONT is a private, independent grant-making foundation providing long-term co-financing to protected area authorities, non-governmental organizations and other environmental actors active in the Prespa-Ohrid ecoregion. Jani …

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In 2018, PONT has granted the NGO, Macedonian Ecological Society in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MES) (www.mes.org.mk), an initial one-year grant aimed at strengthening MES’s institutional capacities by opening a local office in the municipality of Resen. The PONT grant provides core funding aimed at supporting MES’s key objectives in line with its mission, as well as operational support for a dedicated staff position at the new …

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Integrated landscape approaches provide a basic framework for balancing competing demands and integrating policies for multiple land uses within a given area. In the Prespa region this approach includes sustainable agriculture activities, certification and labelling of agricultural products, and so-called agritourism or ecotourism activities aimed at community engagement and empowerment; resulting in an overall “greening” of the local economy. Local stakeholders in the Greek part of Prespa have worked …

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In 2018, PONT granted the NGO, Protection and Preservation of Nature Environment in Albania (PPNEA) (www.ppnea.org), an initial one-year grant. The grant is aimed at strengthening PPNEA’s institutional capacities through enhancing its involvement in transboundary projects and projects specific to Prespa, Albania, and through improving overall operations and research activities, including large carnivores conservation activities. A lot remains unknown about the population of brown bears that inhabit the region. …

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The Wider Prespa Region covers parts of Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Greece. The transboundary area houses five protected areas, three wetland areas, part of a transboundary Biosphere Reserve as well as the transboundary Prespa Park. To ensure sustainable conservation and effective management of the protected areas, cooperation across borders is crucial. In 2013, to strengthen cooperation between local stakeholders, three environmental NGOs – the Macedonian …

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As part of the development and establishment of PONT’s grant programme, PONT has conducted a conflict assessment. The study followed a participatory approach to identify existing and potential conflicts and engage different stakeholders to come up with mitigation measures and implementation strategies in line with the PONT grant programme.  The study, Conflict Assessment in Wider Prespa Area can be found on the PONT website and will be an important …

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Summer is nearly here and I’m so proud of all that we have achieved over the last few months. Since arriving in Tirana in late January, my team and I have established our program office and signed  a Framework Agreement with the Ministry of Environment of Albania—two very important milestones in furthering PONT’s successful future. PONT’s Regional Program Office (RPO) officially opened its doors in May in the center …

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21 February 2017, Tirana As announced I moved to Tirana in the second half of January to be closer to the relevant stakeholders in the Wider Prespa Area (Natural Prespa Catchment Basin and Pelister & Galicica National Parks) and to start-up PONT’s activities in the region. Upon arrival I had the pleasure to be invited by Mihallaq Qirjo, the Director of Regional Administration of Protected Areas Korce, Albania, to attend …

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04 January 2017, Frankfurt am Main Prespa-Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) is pleased to announce that Mirjam de Koning has been named as Executive Director, effective 10 January 2017, replacing interim Executive Director David Morrison, who led the organization’s initial start-up phase. Mirjam will be responsible for the overall leadership of PONT and will oversee the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, while guiding the organization into a regional …

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PONT News Archives - Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust