PONT News

All the posts published.

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