Pelister National Park – 17,150 ha – IUCN Category II
Pelister National Park is managed by the Public Institution Pelister National Park (PIPNP) in North Macedonia. It is the oldest park. Created in 1948, it is widely renowned for its extensive forests of the relict Molika pine (Pinus peuce). The entire park is included in the Ohrid-Prespa Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. The western part of the park falls within the Lake Prespa basin, i.e., the transboundary Prespa Park.
The ongoing 3-year grant from PONT supports the initiation of a systematic and gradual transition from profit- to conservation-oriented forestry management. The transition requires an adjustment to the established forest management practices and profound changes in the conservation financing model. It also needs to be accompanied by gradual and systematic capacity development to attain the management objectives set out in the new management plan. The management plan has a focus on biodiversity conservation and monitoring, environmental education and visitor management. Under the new Management Plan, the new zoning has increased the area where no extraction of natural resources is allowed (75% of “nature zone” or “core zone”) at the expense of the Zone of Sustainable development where sustainable extraction of resources is still permitted.