Signing marks launching of the new Prespa Park Project, 17 April, FYR of Macedonia

The signing ceremony marking the official launching of a new project aiming to protect and better manage the transboundary Prespa Park took place in Skopje, FYR of Macedonia, 17 April  2006. Supported mainly by GEF and the UNDP, the project includes steps to improve the sustainability of economic activity in the region and pilot new partnerships in the transboundary management of resources.

Located in the South East Balkans the park is shared between three countries, Albania, Greece, and the FYR of Macedonia, looking o¬nto the lakes  Prespa and Mikri Prespa . The two lakes, also listed as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention and the surrounding mountains constitute the first transboundary protected area in the Balkans. To assist  its operation the Convention and its Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative participate in the Coordination Committee set up to promote collaborative management of the park.

With a budget of 4,135,000.00 USD the project plans to achieve considerable reductions in pesticides, solid waste and nutrients affecting the quality of waters of the two Prespa lakes. It also aims to improve the sustainability of fisheries by placing a limit o­n the size of catch according to estimates of fish populations for five priority species in Albania and FYR of Macedonia.

Improving the management and conservation of habitats and priority species is another major target under the project. At least 1,000 hectars of priority habitats for birds, fish, rare plants and mammals are to come under improved conservation management. Priority bat species, endemic species of trouts and Imperial Eagles are some of the species that the project will focus o­n.

Albania, Greece and FYR of Macedonia will agree o­n common management objectives for sustainable use and conservation of native species. Among others the project will aim to establish a specific program for cooperative management of fisheries.

Three units will be set up to facilitate management of the project o­n a national and transboundary level. Based in Korca, Albania and Resen, FYR of Macedonia, the units will cooperate with the management body of the Greek part of the Prespa, working to coordinate project related activities in Greece. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of FYR of Macedonia, the Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, UNDP Resident Representative, UNDP DRR, the Mayor of Resen, and many guests from the donors present in the country, as well as from the Municipality of Resen.

You can find pictures from the event and UNDP presentation on the website of the UNDP 

Updated on 4/28/2006 12:30:00 PM.