2024 and the start of the new operational year has brought five 3-year grants of 1.8 million EUR from PONT to the Regional Administrations of Protected Areas (RAPAs). PONT awarded these grants within the Albanian PONT focus area, and under the oversight of the National Agency of Protected Areas (NAPA):
- RAPA Korçë for the protected areas Pogradec Terrestrial and Aquatic Protected Landscape and Prespa National Park
- RAPA Elbasan for the protected area Shebenik National Park
- RAPA Kukës and RAPA Dibër for the Korab-Koritnik Nature Park
- RAPA Shkodër and Kukës for the Albanian Alps National Park
The new grants come as a follow-up to a long-term cooperation between NAPA and PONT, with the latest awarded grants consisting of four 1-year grants in 2023 and one 3-year grant (2021-2023), in the same protected areas.
PONT has been supporting NAPA since 2018, providing operational grants through co-financing of the day-to-day activities of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas. Such sustainable support is crucial in ensuring long term conservation actions.
The new grant applications submitted by the RAPAs in 2023 were prepared based on the immediate and long term needs they face, while struggling to ensure proper conservation and implementation of the management plans in their respective protected areas. The main gaps were identified through a thorough analysis conducted during the yearly METT (Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool) meetings, organized by NAPA/RAPAs with the participation of PONT and other stakeholders.