Integrated landscape approaches provide a basic framework for balancing competing demands and integrating policies for multiple land uses within a given area.
In the Prespa region this approach includes sustainable agriculture activities, certification and labelling of agricultural products, and so-called agritourism or ecotourism activities aimed at community engagement and empowerment, resulting in an overall “greening” of the local economy.
Local stakeholders in the Greek part of Prespa have worked together for many years and are ready to embrace this ambitious approach. PONT encourages this move towards a more integrated landscape approach as it is the basis for better results for conservation and sustainable development.
The villages located in the Greek part of Prespa all belong to one municipality and therefore the local inhabitants share a unique cultural identity and way of living and depend on each other to make things work. These are preconditions to ensure the success of the integrated landscape approach.
In 2018, PONT granted the Society for Protection of Prespa in Greece (SPP) (www.spp.gr) a five-year grant aimed at further strengthening its institutional capacities in order to continue its successful involvement in implementing conservation actions and facilitating integrated landscape approaches in the region. Activities will focus on increasing efforts to improve the “greening” of the local economy and will include an emphasis on transboundary projects, applied research, and monitoring and management of important habitat and species.
The PONT grant also provides core funding to support SPP’s main conservation work and operational support for a dedicated team living and working in the Prespa region. A portion of the grant will support the involvement of local people beyond conservation actions through the formation of a Local Action Group consisting of local authorities, farmers and cultural associations. This long-term core funding for SPP’s five-year programme will enable SPP to raise sufficient co-financing from other donors in order to realise its ambitions and goals.