Towards strengthened governance
of the shared transboundary
natural and cultural heritage
of the Lake Ohrid region
This European Union funded project aims to improve transboundary cooperation and management effectiveness for the protection of the natural and cultural heritage in the Lake Ohrid region.
The Lake Ohrid region is home to one of the world’s oldest lakes and is one of the most unique sources of biodiversity in Europe. The convergence of distinctive natural values with the quality and diversity of its cultural, material and spiritual heritage makes this region truly unique.
Two-thirds of Lake Ohrid is located in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and is inscribed on the World Heritage List as the property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region”. The integrity of this World Heritage property would be significantly reinforced by extending it to the remaining one-third of Lake Ohrid located in Albania.
In 2012 an Advisory Scoping Mission was carried out to assess the feasibility of extending the already inscribed property to Albania. This mission was carried out by two Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Committee (ICOMOS and IUCN) and was financed through International Assistance of the World Heritage Fund.
The Mission identified
the following main threats
The underlying causes of these threats
have been identified as follows
Institutional arrangements and lack of coordination and cooperation
Need for comprehensive understanding of the heritage and the regional values and their threats
Need to strengthen transboundary management structure
Need for shared common vision both within communities and across boundaries
© Christophe Graz
The implementation of the EU-funded project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” aims to strengthen transboundary cooperation and management effectiveness of the region’s natural and cultural heritage by addressing the main threats identified in the 2012 Advisory Scoping Mission.
Transboundary cooperation in the Lake Ohrid Region
Improved transboundary cooperation and management effectiveness in place for the protection and sustainable development of the natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region (expected result 1)
Reinforcement of transboundary
cooperation (activity 1)
of integrated management mechanisms (activity 2)
Capacity Building on management effectiveness and transboundary cooperation (activity 3)
The important cultural and natural assets of the Lake Ohrid region identified and safeguarded by the local and national authorities (expected result 2)
Profiling of the transboundary area and its sustainable tourism opportunities (activity 4)
Technical Assistance for the preparation of the extension file of the World Heritage property (activity 5)
Implementation of waste awareness campaign through Pilot Actions on Waste Water and Solid Waste (activity 6)
Financing of the implementation phase
The overall budget of this three-year project is approximately 2.4 million USD. The European Union contribution amounts to 1.7 million EUR and is provided in the framework of the EU assistance to pre-accession countries in the field of Environment and Climate Change. The Government of Albania co-finances 10% of the overall budget with approximately 240 000 USD.
History of the
Pilot Project in the
Lake Ohrid Region
The Lake Ohrid is first inscribed on the World Heritage List as a natural property, under criterion (iii) on superlative natural phenomena which is today criterion (vii).
The World Heritage property is extended to cultural criteria (i), (iii) and (iv) and becomes one of the first mixed World Heritage properties.
A joint UNESCO-ICOMOS-IUCN monitoring mission is carried out for the first time since inscription. The mission highlights that economic and demographic developments pose threats to the values of the site that can only be addressed through an integrated approach and protective measures that link the cultural and the natural heritage preservation.
The state of conservation of the property is discussed by the World Heritage Bureau in 1998 in Kyoto, Japan (Decision 22 COM VII.30).
At its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), the World Heritage Committee initiated the Upstream Process during a reflection on the future of the World Heritage Convention. The Upstream Process is an experimental approach aimed at reducing the number of properties that experience significant problems during the process of nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List.
The World Heritage Committee approves a minor boundary modification that slightly reduces the northern and western boundaries of the property. Within this process, the Committee encourages the creation of a buffer zone as well as undertaking efforts towards a transboundary extension of the World Heritage property to include the Albanian part of Lake Ohrid.
The World Heritage Committee, in decision 35 COM 12C, selects 10 Pilot Projects to test the effectiveness of the Upstream Process, including the Pilot Project “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region” (Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
The State Party of Albania submits “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region” on the Tentative List as a first step in the World Heritage property extension process.
Phase One of the Upstream process entails the Advisory Scoping mission to assess the feasibility of an extension for nomination to the already inscribed site. This mission identifies threats affecting natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region such as unplanned urban development, fishing and habitat alteration as well as unsustainable waste actions.
Phase Two of the Pilot Project for the Upstream process initiates the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”.
Scheduled completion of the Pilot Upstream Project.
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