Designed to support Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in their efforts to protect the Lake Ohrid area, the second Management Planning Workshop on 3-4 June in Tirana, Albania, will bring together stakeholders from both sides of the Lake to discuss the long-term vision and management objectives for a potential transboundary protection zone for Lake Ohrid. The workshop is part of a five-session series to improve transboundary cooperation for effective heritage management.
With a geological and biological history of over one million years, Lake Ohrid stands out as one of the oldest lakes in Europe and a remarkable biodiversity hotspot of global importance. The region is one of the oldest human settlements in Europe and an important spiritual centre with a number of monasteries located on its lake shores. Dating back to prehistoric times, Antiquity and Late Antiquity, Early Christianity, Early and High Middle Ages and the Ottoman period and up to present day, the region has a unique historical and religious diversity.
Although international and national protection measures have contributed to its conservation, unplanned urban development, inadequate waste water and solid waste management, habitat alteration, destruction and depletion of natural resources, mining activities, infrastructure development and intensive tourism activities continue to threaten the region’s heritage. The UNESCO project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region” is aimed to safeguard culture as well as nature, addressing the main threats they face while creating opportunities for sustainable development. The project is financed by the European Union and co-financed by the Ministry of Environment of Albania.
More information about this Pilot Project for the Lake Ohrid region can be found at: whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/