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17th February 2017: 14th February 2017: A historic day for transboundary Prespa

22 September 2016: The Juniper Forests captured the interest of the “students” of the two summer schools, implemented this summer in Prespa

13th September 2016: 100 wetlands and 7 countries in 1 afternoon – the 1st Pelican census covering all of SE Europe and Turkey

15 February 2016: Our life in a wetland! Primary school students from across the transboundary Prespa basin show us what the wetland looks like through their eyes

8 October 2015: Walk in the forests of Prespa with your phone aw a guide!

23 July 2015: United by pelicans

9 February 2015: "Karagiozis, the protector of Prespa!"

2 February 2015, World Wetlands Day: I'ts time for ratification of the Agreement on the transboundary Prespa Park

21 January 2015: Second Dalmatian pelican falls victim to illegal hunting in the Evros Delta

15 April 2014: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is the “Best of the Best” once again!

21 March 2014: The re-introduction of animal husbandry as a conservation measure for the Grecian juniper woods of Prespa

31 January 2014: Prespa Park: at the crossroads of sustainability

3 July 2013: The very first nationwide Pelican Census in Greece!

3 April 2013: Striving to enhance the natural values of the Prespa region, for biodiversity and people, through joint actions across borders

1 February 2013: Prespa Park 2000-2013: time to take new initiatives

10 December 2012: Manual for the protection of fish and fisheries in Prespa

9 October 2012: The thrilling journey of migration!

9 August 2012: Only Greece is now delaying implementation of the International Prespa Park Agreement

The cooperation of the countries of SE Europe is imperative for the protection of the pelicans

8 May 2012: Transboundary Prespa puts fish and fisheries centre stage

3 February 2012: The Society for the Protection of Prespa is celebrating World Wetlands Day with events in Thessaloniki and across the borders in Prespa

23 January 2012: Environmental organisations denounce out-of-control illegal hunting in the Prespa National Park

6 October 2011: With a seal of approval from the European Union, the International Agreement for the Prespa Park is now in the hands of the three states that share the Prespa basin

15 April 2011: Learn all you need to know about keeping the treasures of the lakes safe from harm

2 February 2011: Ratification of International Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park still pending one year after

21 May 2010: Prespes: An ecosystem that still resists

2 February 2010: The three countries and the European Commission commit to cooperate for the protection and the sustainable development of the Prespa Basin

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Thursday 14 December 2017, 15:49

9 August 2012: Only Greece is now delaying implementation of the International Prespa Park Agreement Print E-mail

On 23rd July 2012, the Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia approved – with no negative votes- the draft law on the ratification of the International Agreement on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park, which had been signed by Greece, Albania, the FYR of Macedonia and the European Commission on 2 February 2010.

Nevertheless, today, 30 months after its signature, the Agreement remains inactive since Greece has not yet ratified it, despite the fact that the initiative for signing the Agreement was then taken by the Greek Government1. However, the draft ratification law has been the object of many months of preparation by the competent services of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Greece, but has since been sat the desk of successive Ministers awaiting their political decision to be take it forward.

In the meantime, the stakeholders of transboundary Prespa are mobilizing to prepare implementation of the Agreement. Last month (26th June) the designated members of the Prespa Park Management Committee (PPMC) gathered at an informal meeting in Bitola, FYR of Macedonia. The PPMC is the main body foreseen to be established under the Agreement. This informal meeting took place through the support of the UNDP, and was convened by the Ministry of the Environment and Physical Planning of the FYR of Macedonia with the aim of rekindling collaboration in the Prespa Park after a long period of institutional inactivity.

Most of the members of the envisaged PPMC participated in the meeting2. All the participants stressed the deep commitment of their respective organisations to transboundary collaboration in the Prespa basin and their desire for the bureaucratic processes of ratification of the Agreement to be accelerated so that the PPMC might formally begin its work. Other important steps agreed were the designation of Secretariat members (one from each country), which may then begin working on the operational rules and specific functions of the joint bodies to be established, with priority given to the working group on water management, as well as of the regular funding mechanism. It was further decided that a ‘road map’ would be elaborated for implementing the Agreement, so that everything would be in place and ready to move quickly when it becomes possible to hold the first formal meeting of the PPMC.

The Society for the Protection of Prespa expresses its satisfaction and optimism for the ratification of the Agreement by the Parliament of the FYR of Macedonia and for the activation of Prespa stakeholders. It calls upon the Greek Government to abide with the commitments it has undertaken when signing the 2010 Agreement for building a common future in the Prespa basin and proceed promptly with ratification. Implementation of the Agreement is the only way forward for the effective protection of the natural environment and economic development of the Prespa area, through transboundary cooperation and dealing with problems in a uniform approach.

The coordinator of policy actions of SPP, Vivi Roumeliotou, noted: “The expectations created two and a half years ago, when the Ministers of the three countries and the EU Commissioner came to Prespa to sign the Prespa Park Agreement, must not be thwarted. The Greek Government should push forward the draft ratification law. The local stakeholders have repeatedly stated that they are ready to work and support implementation of the agreed. Any further delay would be inexcusable.”

1 It is reminded that signature – and of course implementation – of this Agreement was the initiative and commitment of the then Greek Prime minister, George Papandreou, who met in Prespa with his counterparts of the neighbouring countries sharing the Prespa basin in November 2009 (see joint communiqué), while signature of the Agreement some months later was done at the initiative of the then Minister of Environment, Tina Birbili.

2 From Greece these included the Municipality of Prespa, the Prespa National Park Management Body (PNPMB) and the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP). The representative from the Greek Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC), who was unable to attend, sent a message with his views on the subjects on the agenda. In addition to the FYR of Macedonia Ministry of Environment, the Municipality of Resen and the Pelister National Park attended the meeting, representing protected areas from the FYR of Macedonia side of the Park. Representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, Forests and Water Management and the Commune of Liquenas participated on behalf of Albania. Also attending the meeting were representatives from Medwet and the Secretariat of the bilateral Ohrid Committee, both of whom are permanent observers on the PPMC.




 

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