The Protected Areas (PAs) are the main pillars in PONT’s programme aiming at conserving nature for a sustainable future of the Prespa-Ohrid ecoregion through long-term partnerships and financing. Following up on the recent PONT Supervisory Board decision, taken on 30 September 2021, to roll out programme activities in the Wider Ohrid Area, PONT has awarded three planning grants to the authorities of the currently eligible PAs in the Wider Ohrid Area.
Vevchani Springs Monument of Nature in North Macedonia
The Municipality of Vevchani, responsible for managing the Vevchani Springs Monument of Nature, developed a proposal with support from the NGO Eko-svest and taking into account the experience in managing grants from PONT by the Municipality of Resen, as well as Galicica and Pelister National Parks in North Macedonia. The overall objective of the grant is to help the Municipality develop a full application for a one-year grant from PONT, based on the existing Management Plan. More specifically, the proposal aims at achieving the following objectives:
- Estimate the co-financing capacity of the Municipality in order to prepare a sound budget for the implementation of the 2022 operational plan;
- Review the implementation rate of the Management Plan (MP) and identify the priority actions for the 2022 operational plan;
- Update the management effectiveness assessment, using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT);
- Prepare the 2022 Operational Plan;
- Ensure the continuation of systemic management and monitoring in the PA.
Shebenik-Jablanica National Park and Pogradec Protected Landscape in Albania
On the Albanian side of the Wider Ohrid Area, the planning grant applications were jointly developed and submitted by the National Agency for Protected Areas (NAPA) and the Regional Administration for Protected Areas (RAPA) Elbasan, managing the Shebenik-Jablanica National Park and RAPA Korca, managing the Pogradec Protected Landscape. Following the existing Management Plans for the respective PAs the focus of the two grants is on supporting recurrent operations and preparation of a one-year grant application to PONT. More specifically, the planning grants will enable the NAPA and the PA authorities achieve the following in each of the two PAs:
- Strengthen the capacities to provide for a better control and effective law enforcement;
- Support education and awareness raising activities promoting the key PA values;
- Strengthen capacities to provide better services to tourist and visitors;
- Assess the implementation of the Management Plan, conduct a financial analysis and METT Assessment that are crucially linked to the annual operational planning;
- Develop a detailed Operational Plan for 2022 using the PONT Templates that are compatible with the official NAPA annual work plan templates;
- Develop and submit a full grant application to PONT for a one-year grant concerning the implementation of the 2022 Operational Plan.