With the approval of the new 627.05 km2 National park, Shar Mountain, North Macedonia is the latest to offer the world a new protected area that connects wildlife beyond its borders. PONT’s geographical expansion in 2022 was timely and offered the newly established managing authority a helping hand as its first donor.
The Public Institution Shar Mountain National Park is now responsible for all management of land and wildlife, the sustainable tourism development and works closely with the local communities on park and wildlife protection. With 75% of its territory under high level of protection (strict protection and active management zone), the institution faces an ambitious mission to protect nature and to change the old habits of local people and visitors.
The National Park successfully completed a preparatory grant in 2022 which was supported by PONT. During the project implementation, all administrative procedures were completed, and the young institution is now prepared for regular operational functioning.
Some of the key outputs of the grant include:
- Established effective management of the National Park and an operational program for 2023 developed;
- Financial management, procedures and operations for effective nature protection are in place;
- Local communities and visitors are aware of park’s regulations and rules;
- Stakeholders from all seven municipalities on the territory of the park are actively involved;
- An application for a full grant from PONT developed and approved.
The National Park Director Ibrahim Dehari said: “The preparatory grant was an excellent opportunity to establish a solid administrative base for the future nature conservation actions. It was an excellent opportunity for the new team to gain hands-on experience in PA management. As a new protected area, we expect additional support from donors in the future. To follow the new trends of payment for environmental services and implement progressive approaches we need stable administrative systems and an experienced team”.
Aiming to conserve the outstanding natural values of Shar Mountain the National Park will continue its efforts on strengthening the institutional capacities with PONT’s support in 2023.
Authors: Public Institution Shar Mountain National Park