Monday, February 29, 2016

3rd Transboundary Platform Meeting for the safeguarding of the Lake Ohrid region will take place on 7 March in Pogradec

The third Transboundary Platform Meeting of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” will take place on 7 March 2016. This third meeting on transboundary cooperation is part of a European Union and UNESCO initiative aiming to reinforce conservation and sustainable development through management effectiveness on both sides of the Lake Ohrid.

The third Transboundary Platform Meeting will take place in Pogradec, Albania. Representatives from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Environment, representatives from the National Agency of Protected Areas, representatives from the local governments around the lake, representatives from the Advisory Bodies (ICOMOS and IUCN) as well as UNESCO will get together to pursue their work in establishing a viable cooperation platform.

This Transboundary Platform Meeting aims more specifically to present and discuss opportunities in existing transboundary processes for monitoring of the environment and biodiversity which contribute to the safeguarding and the management of the Lake Ohrid region.

Home to an exceptional biodiversity reservoir of Europe, Lake Ohrid is one of the world’s oldest lakes. With remains of some of the first human settlements in Europe, the lake is also an important spiritual centre with one of the oldest Slav monasteries built in the 9th century, making it an important religious centre for the region. Natural, cultural and spiritual, the heritage of the region is truly remarkable.

The area, situated in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, is inscribed on the World Heritage List as the property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region” since 1979. Today, the addition of the remaining third of the Albanian section of the lake to the World Heritage Property would greatly enhance the integrity of this protection. Transboundary Platform Meetings have been designed to facilitate management and collaboration between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and aim among others to provide management efficiency strategies for the potential transboundary extension of this mixed World Heritage property.

The area is protected through a number of national and international measures, but unadequate water and solid waste management and illegal building activities have an impact on the integrity of the site today. More information about the Lake Ohrid region can be found at: whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/

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