We are pleased to announce that the National Agency for Protected Areas (NAPA) and the (RAPA) Kukes, RAPA Shkoder, and RAPA Diber finalised grant agreements for the Albanian Alps National Park and Korab-Koritnik Natural Park. The grant agreements signed by NAPA Director Daniel Pirushi and PONT Executive Director Mirjam de Koning will serve as the first step towards an envisaged 10-year cooperation co-financing the operational cost of the Regional Administrations of Protected Areas managing Albanian Alps National Park and Korab-Koritnik Natural Park
The planning grant application for Albanian Alps National Park was jointly submitted by NAPA and RAPA Kukes and RAPA Shkoder, and for Korab-Koritnik Natural Park by NAPA and RAPA Kukes and RAPA Diber.
These proposals follow an additional generous contribution to PONT by the German Government and the PONT Supervisory Board decision, taken in December 2021, to extend the PONT Focus Region and the programme activities to the Korab-Shara-Albanian Alps areas, including the ecological corridors between the three clusters of Protected Areas. The planning grants will enable NAPA and the RAPAs to improve the law enforcement, assessing the status and mapping rare and endangered species and maintenance of visitor infrastructure by hiring additional rangers, seasonal workers, one staff at the visitor centre – Theth and project (office) assistants on temporary contracts. Information boards and procurement of some goods have been planned as well. The planning grants will enable NAPA and the RAPAs develop the operational plans for 2023 and the related budgets, using the PONT templates. The Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) assessments for both PAs scheduled for the second half of 2022 will help develop realistic operational plans for 2023, addressing the most urgent needs and management priorities. The 2023 operational plans will constitute the basis for new, one-year full grant proposals of these two important PAs to PONT, starting from January 2023.