This week PONT hosted a KfW mission in Galicica National Park, North Macedonia.
Janis Müller-Späth of the KfW office in Frankfurt, and Marsela Maci of the KfW office in Tirana, visited Public Institution Galicica National Park and the activities financed and supported by PONT over the last five years.
The mission started with a visit to the PONT office in Tirana where a detailed explanation of the grant programme, evaluation procedures, awarding and monitoring of the grants was covered. On the second day, the premises of the Public Institution Galicica National Park in Ohrid were visited. A presentation was delivered by the park staff highlighting the achievements of the last five years such as the:
- update of the park management plan,
- implementation of the biodiversity monitoring programme,
- income generated by tourism,
- growth in the environmental education programme, and,
- stopping the direct use of natural resources for self-financing of the national park since 2020.
After the presentation and verification of documents, the mission visited some sites in Galicica National Park – a picnic site, viewpoint, mountain hut Spiridon and the red deer reproduction centre. The new signboards, replaced with the support of PONT, were viewed, as well as the website application for tourists which explains the detailed network of trails for hiking and mountain biking.
They also had the opportunity to visit two of the Environmental Actors partnering with the Public Institution Galicica National Park, also supported by PONT. The Alpine Club Patagonia Ohrid explained the establishment and operation of the Via Ferrata while the Red Cross Ohrid Branch showed educational materials about bats and caves. Successful cooperation is key for the effective management of Galicica National Park, and after the successful completion of the first grants, PONT continues to support all partners with follow-up grants.