“Healthy Park, Healthy People” starts in the Prespa National Park through the Collaborative Efforts of the ACEG Center, Pustec and Devoll Municipalities and the Park administration (ADZM Korce)
Prespa, 3 August 2023 – In an important step towards promoting the well-being of nature and humanity, Prespa National Park is proud to announce the launch of the “Healthy Park, Healthy People -HPHP” initiative. This innovative program is the result of a collaborative effort between the Center for Environmental Governance (ACEG), the municipality of Pustec and Devoll and the Korçë Regional Administration of Protected Areas (ADZM Korçë), which aims to promote the symbiotic relationship between human health and the environment.
The “Healthy Park, Healthy People” initiative aims to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of a healthy environment and human well-being. As part of this initiative, a series of community engagement events and activities, educational programs and outdoor activities will be organized within the stunning landscape of Prespa National Park. This effort encourages individuals, families, businesses and communities to experience the therapeutic benefits of nature while actively participating in park conservation efforts and promoting long-term tourism..
The main objectives of the initiative:
• Conservation of Biodiversity: Prespa National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems. Through local guides, discussions and educational sessions, participants will gain insight into the park’s delicate balance and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
• Community engagement: “Healthy Park, Healthy People” fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility with local communities. By involving them in park activities and conservation initiatives, the initiative aims to strengthen the connection between people and their natural environment.
• Sustainable Tourism: The initiative promotes responsible tourism practices that contribute to the local economy while minimizing negative impacts on the environment. This is in line with the long-term goals of ACEG and the Prespa National Park authorities.
• Promoting physical and mental health: The initiative recognizes the scientifically proven benefits of spending time in nature for reducing stress, improving mental clarity and improving physical fitness. Various outdoor activities, such as hiking, bird watching and yoga, will be organized to encourage people to embrace an active lifestyle.
Margarita Buxhaku, from the ACEG Center, stated, “We are excited to partner with Prespa National Park Authorities to launch the ‘Healthy Park, Healthy People’ initiative. This initiative embodies our shared commitment to create a harmonious relationship between people and nature. We believe that by
experiencing the wonders of Prespa National Park, individuals will develop a deeper appreciation for our environment and become ambassadors for its conservation.”
Pali Kolefski, Mayor Pustec as the host of this meeting stated that: “The ACEG Center has continuously supported the area with initiatives to promote sustainable tourism by working with the local administration, young people and businesses. We thank you for continuing to pilot innovative initiatives in our municipality.
“Healthy Parks Healthy People” whose strategy best shows European standards in tourism, environmental protection and public health. . In addition, this initiative is a different approach. a new approach in raising awareness among the population for embracing healthy living and maintaining public health. Wishing you and the Park administration success, we are ready to offer our cooperation to implement this program”
Vasil Male from ADZM Korçë emphasized the fact that: “The Administration of Protected Areas Korçë currently manages NP “Prespë”, a park with high values of biological and cultural biodiversity. This diversity means that in this park, initiatives such as today’s are undertaken, establishing a symbiotic relationship between man and nature. Our heritage is the parks, therefore taking care of them shows respect for our health”.
Olsi Duma emphasized the fact that: “The launch of these initiatives increases the awareness of communities, including young people, that the environment is very important and that health is the basic condition for human well-being and activity. To have good health, we must not only take care of ourselves, but a clean and healthy environment is also necessary. For this reason, the environmental education of the new generation should start by supporting these initiatives”.
Aida Marko emphasized the fact that: “Today’s meeting is very important for ADZM Korë because this initiative turns out to be a new experience, wishing it a successful one.” Hoping for your cooperation, we show our willingness to embrace this initiative. Respecting nature, we have made the community aware that such initiatives are extremely significant because they manage to promote in the best way not only the values of biodiversity, culture, etc. but we already promote one of the most important priorities in the area, tourism”
Hermalda Ago, Tourism Specialist of the Municipality of Devoll stated that: “This initiative, by promoting a healthy lifestyle, will be able to turn the attention of the citizens to the many natural and cultural attractions in the Prespa e Vogël lake area and we we support this innovative program that will be implemented by ADZM Korce in cooperation with all local actors”
Colleagues, representatives of local organizations PPNEA and Prespa Biosphere Project also think that such initiatives integrate well the work of all actors in the park in order to protect nature, biodiversity and increase the well-being of the community.
The launch of this initiative will be followed by interactive activities and guided tours showing the natural beauty of Prespa National Park. All members of the media, stakeholders and the general public will be invited to attend. For more information about the “Healthy Park, Healthy People” initiative and the launch event, please visit www.aceg.al or contact via Email: [email protected]
About the ACEG Project in Prespa National Park.
The project for the promotion of sustainable tourism through the increase of municipal and entrepreneurial capacities in the wider area of Prespa – Phase II, has started in June 2021 and will work with the local municipal authorities from Pustec and Devoll, local business enterprises, the promotion of women and youth entrepreneurs and supporting a healthy development of the Prespa National Park through nature tourism. The project is supported by PONT, NATGA and ACEG.
This activity is supported by PONT: PONT support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the vieës only of the authors, and PONT cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein