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 active locally.
The grant will enable HIO – the oldest scientific institution in the country – to develop a five-year Strategic Plan for its contribution to PONT’s mission through providing scientific evidence and technical advice on priority conservation actions identified in the PONT Strategic Framework and the management plans for the protected areas in the Macedonian part of the WPA.
PONT’s Strategic Framework has already identified a few specialised actions to be implemented by HIO, such as research and investigations concerning the population trends of endemic fish species and the potential impacts of invasive fish species, as well as preparation of action plans for rare wildlife species in the WPA.
The Strategic Plan will be developed with contribution from all of its ten departments and in consultation with key external stakeholders, in particular the Protected Area management authorities, competent ministries, local governments and NGOs in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as relevant scientific institutions in Albania.
A full grant proposal will be developed, covering a period of three years, following the priorities to be set out in the Strategic Plan.