Improvement of protected area status in the Prespa and Ohrid Lakes region

Last month the Ohrid Lake, the oldest and amongst the most biodiversity rich lakes in Europe, has been recognised as World Heritage site in its entirety.  On 5 July 2019, the World Heritage Committee approved the extension of the transboundary natural and cultural heritage site of the Ohrid region (Albania/North Macedonia). The part of Lake Ohrid located in Northern Macedonia and its hinterland, including the town of Ohrid, has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1979. With this extension, the site now encompasses the north-western, Albanian, part of Lake Ohrid, the small Lin Peninsula and the strip of land along the shoreline that connects the peninsula to the Macedonian border. A superlative natural phenomenon, the lake provides a refuge for numerous endemic species of freshwater fauna and flora dating from the Tertiary period.

This great news comes in addition to the recent entry into force of the International Agreement on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park Area (Prespa Park Agreement), thereby paving the way for a new era for the Transboundary Prespa Park. Under this agreement the three states (Albania, Greece and Northern Macedonia) are legally bound to establish permanent structures for collaboration in order to develop a joint strategy and implement measures both for the protection of the natural environment and the human activities in the region such as farming, fishing, tourism and infrastructure development. Likewise, this agreement places priority on issues of paramount importance such as water management.

More about the Prespa lakes in the video below:

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