The Fifth Transboundary Platform Meeting on the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” will take place on the 9th and 10th of February 2017.
This fifth meeting is part of a joint European Union and UNESCO initiative in close cooperation with the Albanian and Macedonian authorities to strengthen transboundary cooperation in the management of the Lake Ohrid region’s natural and cultural heritage.
The "Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region,” was first inscribed onto the World Heritage List in 1979. Initially recognized for its outstanding natural value, the site’s inscription was later extended to reflect the region’s extensive cultural attributes. Lake Ohrid boasts an impressive geological and biological history of two to three million years. This history has allowed the lake, and surrounding region, to become a unique refuge for numerous relict species of flora and fauna. The region’s exceptional biodiversity is further complemented by its equally rich cultural heritage, which features the archaeological remains of some of Europe’s earliest human settlements.
While the “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region” is a World Heritage site, the inscription only applies to two-thirds of Lake Ohrid, and its surrounding watershed, located within the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Thus, the ultimate objective of this upstream project is to extend World Heritage designation in the Ohrid region to include the Albanian part. The project aims to achieve this objective by strengthening transboundary cooperation, improving capacities for the effective management of natural and cultural heritage, and supporting integrated management planning.
The fifth Transboundary Platform Meeting will take place in Pogradec, Albania.
Representatives of the Albanian and Macedonian National Commissions to UNESCO, the Albanian and Macedonian Ministries of Culture, as well as representatives of the Macedonian Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, and Albanian National Agency on Protected Areas will be in attendance. These representatives will be joined by members of the Lake Ohrid Watershed Committee and local officials
The specific objectives of this fifth meeting include strengthening integrated approaches to natural and cultural heritage management, advancing improved information sharing, and facilitating the coordination of activities for the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) consultation process occurring in both countries.
More information about the Lake Ohrid region project can be found at: whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/