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Showing posts from February, 2017

The Snail of Ohrid

Gocea ohridana is a snail found in only one location in the world—Lake Ohrid. The whole population lives under stones in an area not bigger than 10 km2 at a depth of down to 3 m. Globally classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the main threats this snail faces include deforestation of the neighbouring areas that lead to erosion and an increased sediment load, stressing its ability to filter water. Pollution from sewage from the settlements around the lake and agriculture in the Prespa Lakes basin, which drains into Lake Ohrid through underground connections, is another major threat to this species. The good news, however, is that the Macedonian part of Lake Ohrid is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Albanian side is currently under national protection, while an international effort is under way to extend the existing World Heritage Property to cover the whole region of the lake. Story by: Altina Ismaili and IUCN  ** Gocea oh

Why you should visit Ohrid in winter

When tourists are gone and winter is in the air, Ohrid becomes again the picturesque lakeside town that has enchanted visitors since the Byzantine Empire. Actually, it is one of the 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are on both the Cultural and the Natural lists. But I can’t help thinking about the time  when I was on the other side of the lake, on the Albanian shore .  The two experiences could not be more different: the touristy, postcard-perfect Macedonian outline of the Ottoman houses and the rough, neglected jumble of concrete on the Albanian side. Anyone who has visited both sides of Ohrid Lake knows that these two landscapes are not a just lake, but a whole world apart. By  Giulia Blocal The Ottoman houses on the shore of the lake are veiled in the morning mist, as if they were white ghosts against a blanket of white. This enveloping whiteness hovers over the wooden boats scattered around the lake and swallows the crown of houses ranged around it. Nevertheless,

Lake Ohrid withdrew drastically - what happened?

The level of Lake Ohrid decreased in January under the minimum of allowing quota determined by experts in the field. Its depth decreased by 23 centimeters in Albanian side of the Lake. The consequences of this phenomenon are serious for Lake Ohrid ecosystem and repair from this damage requires time, not to mention that could be irreversible. Environment experts in Pogradec urgently raised the concern for this issue, because the decreased level in Albanian side of the Lake is more obvious than in Macedonian side. It was estimated that in Tushemisht the water receded up to 40 meters from the shores, and the depth of water decreased to 1.3 meter in this area. According to Albanian local authorities, the cause for this problem is the uncontrolled water release in the Black Drin, opening the gates in Struga by Macedonian Authorities, without respecting the technical limits of water levels for the lake.  the lake withdrew drastically, due to After raising this concern, the Authorities

Greece to ratify the protection of Prespa Park

Prespa Environment and Energy Minister Sokratis Famellos has tabled a bill in parliament that would ratify the International Agreement on the Protection and Sustainable Development of Prespa Park in northern Greece. The bill would continue to protect the park as a natural resource. Prespa Park (PP), is the first transboundary protected area in the Balkans, and was established on February 2, 2000, World Wetlands Day, with a joint declaration by the Prime Ministers of Greece, Albania and FYROM, following a proposal from the Society for the Protection of Prespa and the WWF. The news was welcomed by the municipality of Prespa and various environmental organizations and local protection groups such as the Managing Body of Prespa National Park, the Company for the Protection of Prespa, WWF Hellas, the Greek Ornithological Society, the Nature Protection Society, the Environment and Cultural Heritage Company, and the Goulandris Museum of Natural History. The organizations urged lawm

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