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 on the annual Operational Plan prepared by RAPA Korça, developed with assistance from the KfW financed project “Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa” (KfW PRESPA), implemented by GFA and INCA, and following the standard adopted by NAPA.
The grant from PONT will be managed by RAPA Korça, jointly with NAPA, and with strong support from KfW PRESPA. The activities are aimed at achieving 14 outputs in the following programmes:
- biodiversity conservation and monitoring activities;
- tourism and environmental education;
- administration and management of the park;
- natural resource management and local development; and
- administrative support from NAPA.
The co-financing from KfW PRESPA will mostly focus on investments, including solid waste and wastewater management, energy efficiency, visitor infrastructure, sustainable forestry and a range of socio-economic development measures. Other co-financing will come directly from NAPA as part of their budget from the Ministry of Tourism and Environment. All activities are in line with the Management Plan for Prespa National Park.
The grant from PONT continues the financial support for the new staff hired under the previous grant, providing for a significant increase of the human resources of RAPA Korça, as well as two part time staff at NAPA tasked with supervising and assisting RAPA Korça.
The grant will contribute to ongoing efforts to improve the capacity of the permanent and the newly engaged staff, ensuring they are adequately equipped and trained to carry out their regular duties in a timely and effective manner. In this grant period NAPA and RAPA staff will also finalise the mid-term review of the current Management Plan (2014-2023), financed with support from the KFW PRESPA, and in compliance with NAPA’s regulations. The exercise is expected to reassess priority actions for the remaining four years and update the timetable that will in turn inform the preparation of the annual/operational plans for the next four years. This will eventually pave the way for preparing the next application by NAPA/RAPA to PONT, covering a three-year period.