PONT has been selected, from over 200 submissions from around the world, as the winner of the 2018 Pathfinder Award that recognises outstanding and innovative solutions for protected areas, developed and implemented by individuals, organisations or groups.
The Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT), winner of the award, is a conservation trust fund that supports transboundary conservation of nature in the Prespa Ohrid ecoregion, covering parts of Albania, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and including six protected areas.
PONT uses a highly innovative approach by combining a strong partnership between MAVA Foundation and KfW (on behalf of the German government), transboundary cooperation between government and non-government partners, and funding for conservation and management of natural resources on a landscape level.
The award was presented to Mirjam de Koning, Executive Director of PONT, at the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the world’s largest gathering on biodiversity in 2018 that was held in November in Egypt. A small ceremony was organized in Ohrid on 12 December to celebrate the winning of the 2018 Pathfinder Award with the local partners from the three countries, including representatives from the protected areas in the Prespa-Ohrid ecoregion, international organizations, non-governmental organizations active in the region as well as the Ohrid Hydrobiological Institute.
The ceremony was organized in the frame of the transboundary workshop organized by PONT and the management authorities of the six Protected Areas in the ecoregion that gathered in Ohrid on 11 and 12 December to develop a three-year capacity building strategy, focusing on improving skills and competencies related to planning operations in protected area, to be implemented with co-financing from PONT. Mirjam de Koning presented the Panorama Solution and announced that the price will be used for capacity building of staff working for the Prespa National Park in Greece.
Media representatives joined the last session of the workshop on 12 December, held at the premises of the Public Institution Galicica National Park, which was followed by a reception full of fruitful exchange between the local partners of the three countries.