Funding across the ecoregion enabling ecosystem management of habitats and wildlife on a landscape level

PONT is active in the following sectors:

• Conservation and enhancement of biodiversity – we provide long-term operational grants to Protected Areas to increase management effectiveness according to European / International standards. We give grants to Environmental Actors (mainly NGOs and some research institutes) to support important conservations actions in the Protected Areas and in the wider landscape to enhance connectivity conservation in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. For the latter we determined the important Connectivity Conservation Areas.

• Sustainable management of natural resources – local people play a key role in the landscape and therefore we support activities linked to sustainable natural resource management (nature-based tourism; cultivation of medicinal aromatic plants and other non-timer forest products; support to various women groups; local participation; citizens science, support to seasonal workers to assist in fire management; maintenance of hiking trails; etc.). Since 2022 PONT adopted and is implementing an Environmental and Social Management System.

A donor willing to pay for staff salaries and overheads

Long-term secure financing

Long-term organisational development and presence on a local level

PONT managed to increase its funding base by 300%. This has resulted in a growth from 1 grant in 2016 to 40 grants in 2023 (10 PAs and 30 EAs). PONT disburses about € 3 million per annum for two grant programmes supported by various donors (BMZ/KfW; MAVA Foundation; Hans Wilsdorf Foundation; and Sigrid Rausing Trust). “PONT’s Value-Added to the Focus Region. PONT has the agility to work directly on transboundary cooperation rather than through bilateral arrangements which is often the case for multilateral or bilateral donors. PONT is viewed as being a neutral actor in the region. Having no “agenda” and being recognized as a good listener and problem-solver, PONT has been able to contribute to advances in sensitive policy areas. PONT has the flexibility to provide operating support that is complementary to investments made with donor funding. It is one of few institutions that can provide grants for operating costs. PONT has stepped in to finance just in time studies that would have been delayed by donors’ complex procurement processes”. K. Mikitin, External Evaluator, 2023