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Lake Ohrid is one of the oldest and deepest lake in Europe. It is shared between Albania and North Macedonia and is part of World Heritage List, protected by UNESCO. This page aims to protect this property through different projects. The first project was "Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region", co-funded by European Union and Albanian Ministry of Environment and implemented by UNESCO.
The actual project is titted: Evidence based campaign on protecting Lake Ohrid", implemented by DMO ALBANIA and supported by Co-Plan, through scheme: Financial Support to third parties in the framework of EU-Funded project: ENV.Net Factoring the environment portfolio for WB and Turkey in the EU Policy Agenda, financed by European UNION.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

How Lake Ohrid ‘was saved’ during Enver Hoxha regime

The relations between dictatorial regime of Albania and former Yugoslavia have been very weird. Initially friendly, and then enemies. During WWII, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia helped Albania to create the Communist Party and to choose as first leader Mr. Enver Hoxha (1941).

 The beginning of these relations were very strong, and Yugoslavia helped the poor economy of Albania that time. But the aim of Yugoslavia was to turn Albania into its vassal or to integrate into Yugoslavia. The relations become tense and there was a moment where Enver Hoxha decided to turn the direction for closer relations with Soviet Union, splitting definitely with Yugoslavia.
That moment the leader of Yugoslavia Josif Broz Tito threatened Enver Hoxha that he will close the gates of Ohrid lake, from which flows the waters to Drin river, the only source for supplying Albania with energy. Than Enver Hoxha replied back: If you close the gates of Ohrid, I will drill the Mountain (Mali i Thate), open a tunnel and channel all the waters of Ohrid lake into Shkumbin river. So Ohrid Lake will be dried very soon.
And he really meant it. Enver Hoxha gathered all specialists and asked them to study if this was possible. The study confirmed that it was possible to do such a thing, and Enver Hoxha repeated the threat to Tito again. From that moment the Yugoslav government decided to withdrew, and never mentioned the gates of Ohrid again. Crazy times, crazy wars, crazy relations.
The fact is that the lake is there, shared by the two countries, today with very good relations. Today both countries should protect together this unique lake, part of World Heritage list.


Shqip

Historia e shpëtimit të Liqenit të Ohrit në diktaturë

Marrëdhëniet e Enver Hoxhës me udhëheqjen jugosllave kanë qenë nga më të çuditshmet. Gjatë Luftës Nacional Çlirimtare, Partia Komuniste e Jugosllavisë dërgoi përfaqësuesit e saj në Shqipëri dhe tashmë është i njohur fakti se ata ndihmuan në krijimin e PKSH-së dhe në vendosjen në krye të saj Enver Hoxhën. Këto marrëdhënie vazhduan edhe pas luftës e madje u shtrinë edhe në sektorin e ekonomisë. Por qëllimi i PKJ ishte që ta kthente ekonominë shqiptare në varësinë e saj e përfundimisht edhe Shqipërinë në një nga republikat e federatës jugosllave.
Prishja e marrëdhënieve shqiptaro-jugosllave u shoqëruan edhe me arrestime, vrasje e pushkatime. Këto marrëdhënie nuk njohën më përmirësim pasi përfundimisht Enver Hoxha u lidhe me BRSS dhe vendosi kontakte të ngushta miqësore me Stalinin. Pas kësaj periudhe Jugosllavia u shpall armike e Shqipërisë.
Por vendet fqinjë kanë edhe lidhje territoriale mes tyre. Nëse ndarjet territoriale nuk administrohen si duhet, atëherë paraqesin probleme… Në verën e një prej viteve më të thata, Jugosllavia vendosi të mbyllë portat e liqenit të Ohrit nga i cili furnizohet lumi Drin, burimi i vetem i energjise per Shqiperine ate kohe. Por përgjigja e udhëheqjes komuniste shqiptare ishte i menjëhershëm. “Nëse Tito mbyll portat e Ohrit për Drinin atëherë unë do të shpoj një tunel në Qafëthanë dhe do ta thaj fare Ohrin”, ka kërcënuar diktatori.
Ky deklarim nuk ishte i rastësishëm. Burime nga arkivat bëjnë me dije se për këtë qëllim u thirr një grup i specialistëve më të njohur në vend të kësaj fushe të cilëve iu kërkua një studim. Ky studim u përgatit në kohë rekord dhe iu paraqit diktatorit. Sipas këtij studimi, nëse shpohej një tunel në pjesën fundore të Qafëthanës, atëherë ai mund të thante krejtësisht ujin e Ohrit. Uji do të drejtohej për në shtratin e lumit Shkumbin.
Ky kërcënim iu bë me dije qeverisë së Beogradit dhe që nga ai moment Tito as që e çoi nëpërmend që të urdhëronte mbylljen e portave të Ohrit. Kohera të frikshme, por është fakt se liqeni është aty sot e kësaj dite. Tashmë dy vendet duhet ta mbrojnë së bashku këtë pasuri të UNESCO.

original source: konica.al

Friday, July 5, 2019

Albanian side of Lake Ohrid, inscribed into UNESCO

Lake Ohrid Albanian side is inscribed into UNESCO, joining the Macedonian part of the Lake OHRID, which is part of world heritage since 1979 as a natural heritage, and in 1980 as a cultural heritage. Lake Ohrid is one of 19 mixed heritage worldwide, cultural and natural property.
Today in BAKU, Azerbajan, was voted that Albanian side of Lake Ohrid be joined to the other part of the lake, as a world protected property.

Why this moment is important? Because the integrity of this lake can not be preserved if the whole lake is treated, protected and managed as a whole.
Three years ago, designed to support both countries in their efforts to protect the Ohrid Lake area, the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” focused on the protection of culture as well as nature, recognising their multiple values, addressing the main threats and harnessing opportunities through a sustainable development approach.
It aimed to profile this transboundary area by assessing its values and opportunities for sustainable development, and to improve capacities for the effective management of natural and cultural heritage. The project served to build a participatory process for integrated management planning and the preparation of a dossier by the Albanian authorities to extend the World Heritage property to the Albanian part of the Lake Ohrid region.


The project was coordinated by UNESCO in partnership with the authorities of both countries, as well as the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention (ICOMOS International, IUCN and ICCROM), and is financed by the European Union with the co-financing by the government of Albania.

The project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” was co financed by European Union, contributing 1.7 million EUR to the project in the framework of its assistance to pre-accession countries in the field of Environment and Climate Change. Additionally, the Government of Albania financed 170,000 EUR, bringing the total budget for this three-year project to approximately 1.87 million EUR.

Here is the page of the Project