The birth of PONT

Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (ΡΟΝΤ) was created to financially contribute to the growing environmental needs of the transboundary Prespa area. PONT is a Conservation Trust Fund (CTF) founded at the end of 2015 as an independent legal entity, based on the recommendations of a scoping study carried out by WWF Greece. PONT is the 1st transboundary CTF in the Balkans and the 8th in the world. Over the last 20 years, more than 50 CTFs have been created around the globe, aiming to ameliorate environmental management primarily on a national level.

The mission of PONT is to “provide long-term financing for the conservation and sustainable management of biological diversity, natural processes and ecosystem services in Prespa and its wider area for the benefit of nature and people in the region.”

The role of WWF Greece

Consistent with the vision of Luc Hoffmann for Prespa, the Swiss Foundation MAVA commissioned WWF Greece to conduct a feasibility study for a CTF and propose the most appropriate solution for the sustainable conservation of Prespa Lakes and their surrounding area. In collaboration with international experts, local stakeholders and the three neighboring governments, WWF acknowledged the necessity of a trust fund for the region and proposed the geographic, thematic, legal, institutional and financial structure that would suit the mission of PONT.

The financial commitment of MAVA and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which is working through KfW, made possible the establishment of PONT in less than two years. WWF coordinated the steps towards the creation of the organization using its local knowledge and expertise. WWF will continue supporting the mission of the organization as a member of the newly established PONT Board of Directors.

The focus area of PONT

The work of PONT will focus on the Prespa Lakes and their surrounding environment, including Lake Ohrid. This area is widely recognized for its high ecological, cultural and historical value and has attracted the interest of international organizations and funding agencies aiming to finance conservation activities across the three countries.

The prospect of PONT has been welcomed by regional stakeholders and local governments. table funding will encourage the inception, maturing and continuation of existing as well as new initiatives to protect core conservation values and positively impact the lives of communities in the focus region. In 2016 the management team of PONT will work on the strategy design of the co-financing PONT program, which is expected to begin allocating grants in early 2017.

For more information about PONT, please contact Ms. Panagiota Kaltsa, WWF Greece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

© P. Kaltsa / WWF Greece