CNVP / PONT sub – grantees on a study visit to Prespa region

10 Jun, 2024


On June 7 and 8, CNVP / PONT sub-grantees participated in a study visit to Prespa, North Macedonia. The visit targeted grantees whose grants focus on non-wood forest products, medicinal aromatic plants, and women's associations. About 20 participants from the association of women farmers ‘’Moja Farma’’ from Gostivar, the association of women CIRZ from Tetovo and the local business Gostilica Samet were part of the study visit to Resen.

Our hosts were the Rural Women of Prespa, renowned for cultivating Prespa mountain tea and preparing traditional Prespa region food. The study visit began with a tour of the mountain tea plantation in Carev Dvor. Here, sub-grantees exchanged their experiences of mountain tea cultivation, processing non-wood forest products, and marketing these products. They then visited "Spirit of Prespa" to learn about a successful rural tourism concept.

Nehat Ramadani, Director of CNVP (North Macedonia) emphasised the importance of collaboration during a working meeting in Prespa. He stated, "If several organisations with similar missions and projects join together, only then will there be a real impact on nature conservation. These study visits are crucial as they provide opportunities to gain additional knowledge, network, and support each other during project implementation."

On June 8th, sub-grantees visited a second plantation of Prespa mountain tea in Krani, which is in its third year of cultivation and soon ready for harvest. They also visited the Alesto family winery, a model of successful rural development. Here, they attended the final event of the "Empowering Women for NTFPs Development of Prespa" project, implemented by CNVP Macedonia with PONT's financial support. The event included presentations on the project's results, discussions on mountain tea cultivation, sustainable NTFP collection, and rural development.

Mirjam de Koning, executive director of PONT, who highlighted the project's success in her speech said ‘’it is great to see all these initiatives working together for the benefit of nature and people. The protection of biodiversity in the region depends on active and engaged local communities’’

The study trip concluded with the joint preparation of traditional dishes by the Rural Women of Prespa, the Moja Farma woman association from Gostivar, and CIRZ from Tetovo, followed by a wine tasting from the Alesto winery.

The study visit to Prespa region is implemented as part of the project "Sustainable use of natural resources in Shar, Korab Koritnik and the Albanian Alps", implemented by CNVP with financial support  by Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust - PONT.