Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) aims to expand its work beyond the Prespa region to include protected areas within the Lake Ohrid basin as a next step. With the help of KfW Development Bank, the GOPA Worldwide Consultants in association with Stritih Sustainable Development continued the work on a Feasibility Study for Expanding the Focus Area of PONT, expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
The study investigates opportunities to provide PONT support for Protected Areas and Environmental Actors in the Wider Ohrid Region in both Albania and North Macedonia, replicating and scaling up the ongoing PONT approach and experience gained in the Wider Prespa Area.
From 4-6 October the consultants and PONT visited relevant stakeholders in North Macedonia to investigate PONT readiness of Protected Areas and Environmental Actors. On the first leg of the visit, the team met with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning in Skopje followed by a visit to the Municipality of Vevchani. The subsequent meetings included representatives of other major stakeholders involved in the management of Lake Ohrid.
The inputs from the meetings will complement the ongoing in-depth analysis of opportunities for expanding PONT’s grant programme to the Wider Lake Ohrid area that will enable the consultants to develop geographic expansion options taking into account available resources, in line with PONT’s mission and objectives. The study results will be presented to the PONT Supervisory Board before a decision with regard to the geographic expansion is taken