The overall objective of this project is assisting the country in addressing priority needs in improving the management of natural resources within protected areas, promoting more sustainable use of natural resources thus demonstrating through practical examples that nature protection and the economic development of communities can go hand in hand.
The central feature of the project is grant scheme for up to 20 grants for nature protection projects. Given the wide variations in management structures for protected areas and their varying capabilities, the grant scheme is consisted of two separate mechanisms: one for larger protected areas with established management structures; and one for smaller, less developed protected areas, where a management authority has not yet been created.
With the implementation of capacity building program of the potential grantees and application of multicriteria selection procedure, 8 large protected areas were selected for grant funding: National Parks Pelister, Mavrovo and Galicica, Multipurpose area Jasen, Prespa, Dojran and Ohrid Lakes monuments of nature and Vodno & Matka protected areas and 17 small less developed protected areas where selected,
In addition to the grants scheme, the project will support piloting at least two wastewater treatment facilities in or around protected areas. Building on successful models, these facilities will demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits of community-based wastewater treatment technologies. In the competitive multicriteria selection procedure Municipality of Bitola and Vevchani were selected for piloting wastewater treatment facilities.