Saturday, February 13, 2016

Protecting Lake Ohrid, oldest lake in South-Eastern Europe

Lake Ohrid, one of the world’s oldest lakes situated in south-eastern Europe, stands out as one of the largest reserves of biodiversity and some of the oldest human settlements in the continent. The convergence of distinctive natural values with the quality and diversity of its cultural, material and spiritual heritage makes this region truly unique.

Two-thirds of Lake Ohrid is inscribed on the World Heritage List on the Macedonian side of the lake as the mixed World Heritage property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region”. Now time has come to join our efforts and take over our responsibilities to extend World Heritage status to the remaining third of the lake located in Albania.
The project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” has been designed to address the main factors affecting the Lake Ohrid region through identifying and safeguarding the main natural and cultural assets of the Lake and improving transboundary cooperation and management. For more see: 
Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region

The region’s efforts to balance conservation with sustainable development are laid out in the 2005 bilateral Agreement between the two countries for the Protection and Sustainable Development of Lake Ohrid and its Watershed. The project is coordinated by UNESCO in partnership with the authorities of both countries, as well as the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICOMOS International, IUCN and ICCROM), and is financed by the European Union (EUR 1,700,000) with the co-financing by the government of Albania (EUR 170,000).

  • Overall project activities include:
  • the reinforcement of transboundary cooperation between Albania and Macedonia
  • the establishment of integrated management mechanisms;
  • and capacity building on management effectiveness.

Activities also aim to identify and safeguard cultural and natural assets, to provide technical assistance to national authorities for the preparation of a transboundary World Heritage property extension file, as well as to implement a waste awareness campaign.


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