On April 14 2022, PONT joined the journalists’ trip to German Development Cooperation (GDC) projects that contribute to improving people‘s living conditions in Albania, organized by the German Embassy in Albania.
The German Ambassador, his excellency Mr. Peter Zingraf, and Dr. Judith Hoffmann, Head of Development Cooperation at the embassy, as well as the KfW Country Director, Ms. Brit Horschke, had the opportunity to get familiar with some of the achievements of the coordinated and complementary work in the Prespa National Park, supported by PONT, on the one hand, and the KfW financial assistance and GIZ technical assistance projects, on the other.
The trip began at the Prespa National Park Visitor Centre at the Zvezda pass, at the southern entrance of the park. The construction of the visitor centre and the supporting infrastructure has been supported by the “Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa” project, a German Financial Development Cooperation Project funded by KFW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. On the other hand, PONT has provided financial support to the park authorities to hire a communication officer and environmental education specialist that will be operating the centre.
The trip continued with a visit of the village of Pustec and then a boat trip to the island of Mali Grad. The experts from the locally based NGO Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania explained how their research of island’s biodiversity, supported through a PONT grant, will inform the park authorities in managing visitors on and around the island.
During the trip, PONT explained how the sustainability of the investments and technical assistance provided through the GDC projects is greatly enhanced by the long-term co-financing of PONT of operational costs of the Regional Administration for Protected Areas, Korça and by the grants to the locally present civil society organizations enabling them to strengthen their role in the governance and management of the Prespa National Park.