Our Story

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.
Showing posts with label Lake Ohrid region. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Ohrid region. Show all posts

Monday, September 19, 2016

Innovative Tourism Product Development Competition -Korca and Lake Ohrid Region

The Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship (METTE), Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA) and the Albanian Tourism Industry, with the support of RisiAlbania Project are launching the third edition of the “Risi Turistike Award”, this time in the Korça region in order to foster the development on new touristic products. Korca is the Municipality which include the city of Pogradec, situated on the shore of Lake Ohrid, the oldest and deepest lake in Europe.
The innovative tourism products will help to create new products and itineraries and or add value to the existing ones, by providing a richer and authentic experience for the tourists in both regions.
Risi Albania is a SDC project aiming to facilitate youth employment.
“Risi Turistike” is inviting all interested companies/ organizations to submit a proposal and business plan to develop and implement a new touristic product in the region of Korça. Deadline for submission of the proposals is November 10th 2016.
The results of the competition will be announced during the public event on December 9th 2016.

The aim of the Tourism Product Development competition:
- Attract more tourists in the Korça region, through diversification of the tourism product
- Extend the time of stay in the Korça region
- Increase the income from tourism in Korça region
- Increase employment opportunities for youth in Korça region.
Find more: http://risialbania.al/index/en/innovative-tourism-product-development-competition-award/

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ohrid- the history on the lake

The history and values of Lake Ohrid are featured in Australian leading national news media "The Australian"
The article "Ohrid, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: history on the lake" is written by ANGELA SAURINE. She writes some reasons why people of Australia should visit and learn about this region:

ICONIC IMAGE: If there is one sight that symbolises Ohrid, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s southwest, it is Church of St John (or Jovan) overlooking the lake. Built on a cliff above the fishermen’s settlement of Kaneo, a short water-taxi ride from the port, the Orthodox Church is dedicated to John of Patmos, who is also believed to be John the Apostle. While the exact date it was built is unknown, archaeologists believe it was in the 13th century, before the rise of the Ottoman Empire, with a mix of Byzantine and Armenian architectural styles. While there, grab a bite at one of the restaurants built into the rocks at Kaneo, which have inviting decks over the water.

ANCIENT GLORIES: Ohrid is one of 28 UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites recognised for both their natural and cultural attributes. With its narrow cobblestone streets and traditional two-storey houses with rectangular windows and timber beams, the medieval old town is a wonderful place to wander. Built in 200BC, the city’s well-preserved ancient theatre was once used for gladiator fights. Since being revived in the 1980s, it has been used as a venue for concerts and the performance of ancient plays and comedies during the annual Ohrid Summer Festival in July and August. A Game of Thrones-esque fortress also sits at the top of the hill overlooking the city. In the early 11th century, Ohrid was the capital of a Slavic empire ruled by Car Samuil, and his fortress was one of the most impregnable strongholds in the Balkans, with 16m-high walls that stretched for 3km. Archaeological excavations indicate the fortress was constructed on the site of an earlier fortification that was likely built by Alexander the Great’s father, Phillip II of Macedon, in the 4th century BC. The city is also home to one of the first Slavic universities, the Ohrid Literary School, which dates to the 10th century.

SAIL AWAY: At 350sq km, Lake Ohrid is so big it feels more like an ocean. It is one of the oldest lakes in the world, formed by tectonic shifts in the Earth’s crust three to four million years ago and, at 300m, also one of the deepest. Hopping on a boat and exploring the lake and its many attractions is a must. Mato Co International offers tours ranging from half an hour to a full day that visit cave churches, fishing villages and monasteries. A highlight is the Museum on Water at the Bay of Bones, a recreation of a settlement that existed from 1600-800BC with houses built on a wooden platform on stilts.

GRAPE ESCAPE: On a similar latitude to California’s Napa Valley and Tuscany in Italy, this area is emerging as a wine destination. Evidence of oak wine barrels from 500BC have been found near the capital city of Skopje, 170km from Ohrid, and the country has more than 100 wineries. The most famous grape variety is vranec, which means “a strong, black and powerful horse”, and accounts for nearly half of the vineyards planted with red grapes. But cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, shiraz, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, muscat and riesling are also grown. Tikvesh Winery, Stobi Winery and Popova Kula Winery are all worth a visit on a day trip.

Original Article:


Monday, June 27, 2016

Questionnaire on Lake Ohrid

What comes to one’s mind when Lake Ohrid is mention? Koran fish, lakeside, boats, swimming, nature? Maybe all of that!

A trial questionnaire was implemented in the Albanian part of Lake Ohrid Region (LOR) in the framework of the project, in order  to gain an understanding of people’s views on the region. The questionnaire, designed by ICCROM, an advisory body to UNESCO, gathered a preliminary set of data through interviewing people living and working in, or visiting, the area. 

The journalist talking to a local in Hudenisht
It was implemented by an Albanian journalist, Mr Genci Angjellari, contracted by IUCN, for an intense five-day campaign. Some 116 people—78 locals and 38 visitors—were interviewed in various locations along the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid including the city of Pogradec and the villages of Lin, Tushemisht, Hudenisht, Verdove, Starove and Drilon.

The questionnaire began by asking questions on the values and attributes of LOR today, gaining an understanding of the public’s current relationship and connections with their heritage, and, indirectly, the level of satisfaction with the current situation. Later sections, on tourism and visitor experience, aimed to gain insight into the impact of tourism on the intangible values and traditional lifestyles in LOR.

Activities associated with LOR
Initial results revealed a local population that has travelled extensively in the lake area and enjoyed many of its heritage places and experiences. Some ten percent of local residents benefit in one way or another from business and employment opportunities connected with tourism. Visitors to LOR seem to be largely domestic and, together with local residents, they identified a range of positive experiences related to the cultural and natural landscape. Future services for visitors would need to be developed in a way that provides both traditional hospitality, both in hotels and through the promotion of more locally based initiatives, such as home stays.
Culinary and agriculture in LOR 

The data gathered were processed by the ICCROM team and preliminary findings were shared at the May Promoting Heritage workshop, which equipped participants with genuine knowledge of the communities living in or visiting the area and their views about LOR. The results of this modest campaign demonstrate the importance of more substantial public consultation in the future and for extension to the Macedonian side of the lake, to inform decision making for managing LOR’s heritage and promoting it as a tourism destination.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Activities on Lake Ohrid Day (21 June)

21st June is Lake Ohrid Day. This decision was taken 16 years ago on February 2000 by the Joint Lake Ohrid Management Board.

This is a day when all the communities living on the shores of Lake Ohrid Region should just remind the outstanding values of Lake Ohrid. They should teach to their children to love and protect this natural treasure. On this occasion, every year three municipalities around Lake Ohrid, (Ohrid, Pogradec and Struga) organize many festive activities. 
This year the day was celebrated in Ohrid City, where a number of cultural and sportive activities  were organized by the Ohrid Municipality. Part of these activities, was the  opening of an exhibition with children's paintings inspired by Lake Ohrid. At the end of this activity, in symbolic way, the Mayor of Ohrid Mr Nikola Bakracheski and the Mayor of Pogradec Mr Eduart Kapri signed a document expressing the commitment of their municipalities to save and protect the world's unique ecosystem of Lake Ohrid. They put the document in a bottle which was taken to the Lake by a canoe boat. This symbolic day engage not only local government but also the community and helps at raising awareness about protecting Lake Ohrid.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Fourth Management Planning Workshop of the Lake Ohrid region

The Fourth Management Planning Workshop, in the framework of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” will take place in Tushemisht, Albania, on 12 and 13 May 2016.

The workshop will be an opportunity to present the progress to date on the development of the management planning document required for the preparation of the extension file to the World Heritage property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region” (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) to the Albanian part of the Lake Ohrid. Through extensive group work, the workshop will have a thematic focus on a) the preparation of the Master Plan for the Municipality of Pogradec, b) the Lin Peninsula, c) the Drilon Springs, d) the Memelisht site and its surroundings, and e) the ecological and physical environment of Lake Ohrid region.

This management planning workshop series is part of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” funded European Union and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Albania).
More information about the Lake Ohrid region project can be found at: whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/
Lake Ohrid, Pogradec, Albania (23/03/2016) / UNESCO


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Collaborative management of Lake Ohrid is critical for Natural and Cultural Heritage

By Stephanie Gentle
Successful management of the Lake Ohrid region depends heavily on collaboration between diverse stakeholders and a harmonious balance of nature, culture, landscape and development. During the training on Collaborative Integrated Management of Protected and Heritage Landscapes held in April in Lin Peninsula, Albania, the stakeholders learned how to develop an integrated and cooperative approach to managing complex landscapes.

Group of experts in Lin Pogradec 
“The first success is that we now think of the lake as one whole, together with our Macedonian partners. We are now aware that we have to cooperate with our partners and protect the lake from damages that have been made until now”, said Mr. Mihallaq Qirjo, Director of the Regional Agency for Protected Areas (RAPA) for Korca region, speaking about the positive impacts the project has achieved thus far.

The training brought together more than 20 representatives from Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, including the respective Ministries of Environment and Culture, protected area authorities, representatives from fisheries and tourism industries, as well as experts from ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN.

“This training assists the two countries to improve and upgrade transboundary cooperation by helping to better understand Lake Ohrid’s outstanding universal values, both natural and cultural. Cooperation between diverse stakeholders is the key to expanding the mechanisms for transboundary cooperation, strengthening the involvement of various stakeholders, and also harmonizing the actions on both sides through joint management activities,” said Mr. Oliver Avramoski, Project Officer at IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The course had a strong focus on interactive learning, with an emphasis on group work, practical exercises and field work. The training’s objectives included participants achieving a sound understanding of various mandates, rights and responsibilities that can affect complex landscapes; understanding different types of governance that can be applied to protected landscapes and the importance of collaboration and partnership; gaining experience of co-management approaches that combine nature, culture, local needs and development; and gaining new skills and understandings in consensus building, negotiation and conflict resolution. This knowledge contributes to the development of a co-management system for the Pogradec Protected Landscape and the potential transboundary World Heritage property in the Lake Ohrid region.

The training was organized as part of the joint EU UNESCO project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”. The project seeks to reinforce transboundary cooperation between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, establish integrated management mechanisms, increase the effectiveness of capacity building, and profile the transboundary area and its sustainable tourism opportunities. In addition, the project aims to support the efforts of national authorities in the preparation of a nomination file to extend the World Heritage property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region” to the Albanian side.


Monday, April 11, 2016

The first Newsletter "Protecting Lake Ohrid" published

The first Newsletter "Protecting Lake Ohrid" on behalf of the Project:"Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region", was published and is available in three languages: Albanian, English and Macedonian in the following website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/
In the first edition Spring 2016 just published, everybody can be informed about activities of this 3 year project, financed by European Union and Albanian Ministry of Environment and implemented by UNESCO.
In this issue you can read an address by Mr Lefter Koka, Minister of Environment of Republic of Albania;
- interview with Mr Eduard Kapri, Mayor of Pogradec, Albania;
- information on project progress, the next steps & important upcoming dates;
- and several thematic articles, regarding tourism in Ohrid City and Pogradec

In the next edition which will be published in Summer 2016, you can read articles about tourism in Struga city and Debarca Region, more news about the project's meeting, and also the results of Photo Contest:  http://whc.unesco.org/en/ourlakeohrid-photo-contest/ which lasted from 7 March- 7 April 2016 with hashtag #OurLakeOhrid, on Facebook and Instagram.

We hope you enjoy reading it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tourism/ Ohrid City, the pearl of Balkans

Located on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the city of Ohrid is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe. Ohrid, the wider lake region is a prime destination for Former Yougoslav Republic of Macedonia, with the city's old quarter containing beautiful churches along a graceful hill, topped by a medieval castle overlooking the majestic 34 km-long Lake Ohrid. This is undoubtedly the most alluring attraction of the Lake Ohrid region.

Cultural Heritage
Built mostly between the 7th and 19th centuries, Ohrid is home to one of the oldest Slav monasteries (St Pantelejmon) with more than 800 middle Byzantine icons dating from the 11th to the end of the 14th century. This icon collection is considered to be one the most important in the world. Ohrid comprises one of Europe's best preserved archaeological complexes with remains dating from the Bronze Age up to the Middle Ages, The city boasts unique religious architecture dating from the 7th to 19th centuries as well as urban structures showcasing a vernacular architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. All of these present a treasure of historic, architectural, cultural and artistic values.

What to see
Ohrid's major attractions are all located within a remarkably concentrated and easily accessible area, among and above the narrow streets of the Old Town lined with restaurants and cafes perfectly suited for relaxing against the backdrop of the lake. Top attractions in the city include : Sv. Jovan Kaneo, Sv. Naum Monastery Galicica, National Park Tsar Samuel's Fortress, Saint Sophia Church, Sv Kliment Monastery, Plaoshnik Church.

What to do
Ohrid's many cafe bars and nightclubs make for a vibrant nightlife. As for the lake itself, it is so large and so deep that one might mistake it for a sea. For water sports lovers, fishing and boating are available, and numerous churches alongside the lake shores make for fascinating side trips and walks; while nature and adventure travellers can explore the National Park of Galicicia, an unspoiled wilderness ideal for nature enthusiasts. To gain a better feeling of the city, we recommend a gentle stroll along Lake Ohrid shore having a coffee, a glass of wine or a meal overlooking the lake. Ohrid and its beaches are packed from 15 July to 15 August, during the popular summer festival when it seems half of Macedonia descends on the town. The bars and restaurants are full during the summer, while June or September are much quieter enabling one to reflect next to the lake.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Third Transboundary Platform Meeting took place in Pogradec, 7 March

Groups of experts from both sides of #LakeOhrid
The third Transboundary Platform Meeting of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” took place on 7 March 2016, Pogradec, Albania. This third meeting on transboundary cooperation is part of a European Union and UNESCO initi ative aiming to reinforce conservation and sustainable development through management effectiveness on both sides of the Lake Ohrid.

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 gathered in Pogradec to pursue their work in establishing a viable cooperation platform.

The aim of Transboundary Platform Meeting was 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/


Takimi i trete nderkufitar per mbrojtjen e Liqenit te Ohrit

Në datën 7 mars në qytetin e Pogradecit, u zhvillua takimi i tretë ndërkufitar për mbrojtjen e rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit. Takimi që zhvillohet në kuadër të projektit:“Drejt një qeverisjeje të përbashkët të trashëgimisë natyrore dhe kulturore ndërkufitare të rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit”, mblodhi së bashku përfaqësues të Ministrive të Mjedisit dhe Kulturës së Shqipërisë dhe Maqedonisë, përfaqësues të pushtetit vendor Oher, Pogradec e Struga;, ekspertë të çështjeve mjedisore, arkeologjike, instituteve te monumenteve te dy vendeve, ekpertë të organizmave ndërkombëtare si UNESCO, BE, IUCN, ICOMOS që po asistojnë me eksperiencën e tyre në ruajtjen e trashëgimisë natyrore dhe kulturore të Liqenit të përbashkët të Ohrit.
Synimi i këtyre takimeve është të koordinohen masat, veprimet dhe të krijohen hapësirat për një menaxhim të përbashkët të Liqenit të Ohrit. Është një Liqen (nder me te vjetrit dhe me te thelle ne Europe) që bashkon dy vendet, ndaj duhet të punohet në një drejtim. Pëfaqesuesit e qeverive të dy vendeve shprehën gatishmërië e tyre për të punuar me përkushtim dhe në mënyrë të ndërsjelltë, për të adresuar së bashku gjithë problemet që lidhen me këtë pasuri të përbashkët kultuore dhe natyrore.
Pjesa maqedonase e liqenit të Ohrit, (2/3) është futur si pjesë e trashëgimisë kulturore dhe natyrore botërore në listën e UNESCO-s që në vitin 1979. Tashmë po punohet përmes një projekti të financuar nga BE dhe zbatuar nga UNESCO që të përfsihet dhe pjesa shqiptare (1/3) në këtë trashëgimi të mbrojtur nga UNESCO.
Por që të arrihet ky objektiv Shqipëria duhet të plotësojë disa kritere që kanë të bëjnë me cilësinë e ujit të liqenit të Ohrit, me ndalimin e ndërtimeve të paligjshme rreth zonës së mbrojtur, ndalimin e prerjes së pyjeve në zonat që rrethojnë liqenin, me zhvillimin e nje turizmi te kontrolluar etj. Pikërisht për të adresuar këto probleme po punojnë grupet e punës së dy vendeve të asistuar dhe nga ekspertë ndërkombëtarë. Bashkia e Pogradecit mori angazhim maksimal për të adresuar gjithë problemet që u adresuan dhe që hyjnë në kompetencat e saj. Një nga momentet më kyce të gjithë disktuimeve ishte paraqitja e nje studimi të ri dhe te thelluar nga profesoret e Institutit Shqiptar të Arkeologjise për vlerat e jashtëzakonshme arkeologjike që mbart Liqeni i Ohrit, kryesisht në zonën e fshatit Lin, që tregojnë për vendbanimet shumë të hershme shqiptare në këtë zonë, me vlerë historike.
Seria e takimeve të grupeve të punës do të vazhdojë ne menyre intensive. Në fund të këtij muaji është planifikuar një tjetër takim për menaxhimin e përbashkët në fshatin Lin. Ndërsa takimi i radhës ndërkufitar, ku do të paraqiten rezultatet e punës së grupeve të punës, u programua për në vjeshtë të këtij viti.
Projekti: Drejt një qeverisjeje të përbashkët të trashëgimisë natyrore dhe kulturore ndërkufitare të rajonit të Liqenit të Ohrit, është projekt 3-vjeçar me buxhet 1.87 milion EUR, nga te cilat 1.7 mln euro Kontribut i Bashkimit Evropian, ndërsa Qeveria e Shqipërisë ka dhënë kontributin e saj në vlerën prej 170,000 EUR.

Monday, March 7, 2016

#OurLakeOhrid Photo & Story Contest

We are pleased to announce the launch of an Instagram and Facebook competition around the Lake Ohrid region and its heritage.

How to participate:

Share a special moment/person/quote/story/photograph from the Lake Ohrid region (Albanian and Macedonian sides) on Instagram on or on the Lake Ohrid Heritage Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LakeOhridHeritage using the tag #OurLakeOhrid, along with a brief description. It could be a person, place, scenery, object or a cultural practice or tradition – it's up to you!

The top 5 entries will receive a free Lake Ohrid region (LOR) gift bag (content of the bag: a LOR coat, a LOR thermos cup, a LOR 8GB USB key, a LOR notebook and a pen), and the top 10 will be showcased on the project’s webpage on the World Heritage Centre website as well as associated blogs and social media pages.

What we are looking for:

What will be taken into consideration by the jury is:

- Creativity: we are looking forward to reading imaginative and passionate stories!

- Content: we wish to know why you care about the Lake Ohrid region.

- Composition: the aesthetics and composition of the photograph.

Click here for more informatio:  http://whc.unesco.org/en/ourlakeohrid-photo-contest/

Entries close 7 April 2016.
Best of luck to all participants!