At the CBD COP14 held in Egypt, WildArk sponsored and presented the Innugural Pathfinder Award to the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT). This organization is dedicated to managing bodies of protected areas within the Prespa Ohrid region, its transboundary trust fund is one of only a handful in the world and enables it to finance conservation programs now, as well as generate income until at least 2030.
WildArk coordinated efforts with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) and PANORAMA-Solutions for a Healthy Planet Initiative to increase funding for the groups that are identifying and solving problems that concern the environment. From new technologies to sustainable financing, the candidates for the 2018 Pathfinder Award are focussed on conservation and management of protected areas all over the globe.
This year, PONT was awarded the $10,000 grant for representing the progress and the innovation employed to make change possible.
Mirjam de Koning of PONT
PONT went up against nearly 200 other nominated organizations and individuals. The selection committee was impressed by their ability to move beyond boundaries in their strategies to ensure long-term financing.
The Prespa Ohrid region is an ecologically significant area saddling the border tripoints of Albania, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It includes six protected areas and is widely considered one of Europe’s most valuable -and a refuge for rare species and cultural monuments. PONT’s mission is focused on the “sustainable management of biological diversity, natural processes, and ecosystem services in Prespa” for the benefit of nature and people. This ecoregional approach attracts stakeholders for funding, as well as engages with the government for leverage and political commitment towards the conservation movement.
(Left) Co-operation between protected areas, NGO’s and local people in Prespa National Park. (Right) Galicica National Park during Spring.
Given PONT’s previous accomplishments and solutions to some of conservation’s most significant obstacles, we know this organization will continue to be a trailblazer as the 2018 Pathfinder Winner. They manifest not only the potential of conservation efforts but the power of it, too.
Link to the full case study can be found: https://panorama.solutions/en/solution/prespa-ohrid-nature-trust-pont-innovative-partnership-enhancing-conservation-and