Living in Pogradec, pampered by Nature, you can become a poet or an environmentalist, or both!
Living in Pogradec, gazing at the Lake, surrounded by the rich flora and fauna of the area, you feel as if you are at the heart of biodiversity. At the Une, Gruaje (UG) association, we have always taken care of the environment, through many local initiatives to reduce waste, and inform and raise awareness of the community, through the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign on the risk of plastic pollution and many others.
We were excited to start the project “Crossing Border for environmental protection of Prespa-Ohrid region” last November supported by PONT/CEPF. Together with the members of the Local Action Group (LAG), which had just been created during the implementation of an environmental project, we decided to extend the cooperation for the protection of biodiversity to the entire Ohrid-Prespa region. We aimed to replicate the local network model we had created by collaborating with associations and other groups, active in our neighborhood and in North Macedonia. The shadow of the pandemic was still hanging over us, making communication virtual. “Zoom Meeting” has been the go-to phrase over the last two years. This time we decided to cross the border, without the help of technology, and drive there. Katerina e Jasminka, from LDA in Struga, partners with UG in two cross-border projects, and offered us a list of NGOs and of active groups in the field of environment operating in Struga and Ohrid. We met local associations like us working with small projects at the grassroots level. We shared our achievements, our problems, funding, and donors, the difficult period of the pandemic, and even our losses.
We talked about the project and the transboundary network. We invited them to Pogradec for our “Exchange Workshop” to share best practices on conservation t in the Ohrid-Prespa Region, Participants at the May 2022 workshop were from PPNEA in Gorica e Vogel, AEEM Center, Local Development Agency in Struga, Enheleus Lihnid, Regional Green Center Ohrid, Cist Ohrid, Red Cross Ohrid, Explorer, members of LAG Pogradec, etc.
We shared our best experiences, and our priority toward the protection of the environment and biodiversity. We communicated our belief in the power of the network and cross-border cooperation, our hopes for youth activism, and our enthusiasm for the future. Our hopes are for a healthy environment and a guarantee for our well-being.