Thursday, 22 Feb 2018


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




Last Update

Friday 16 February 2018, 17:18

Society for the Protection of Prespa Print E-mail

The Society for the Protection of Prespa

From as early as the 1960s, Prespa had already attracted the interest of ecologists, nature-lovers and environmental scientists because of its exceptional natural beauty and rare biodiversity.

The first coordinated effort to protect the area took place in 1990 with the foundation of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP). Some of the people who played a decisive role in its formation were the environmentalist and architect-planner, Thymios Papayannis, the internationally renowned zoologist, Dr. Luc Hoffmann, and the biologist, Dr. Giorgos Catsadorakis. Together they laid the foundation for the establishment of the SPP, with the help and support of a series of environmental non-profit organisations. The formal initiative was undertaken by the ‘Friends of Prespa’ and WWF International and so, in 1991, the Society SPP was created with the participation of ten environmental organisations.



Since 1991 the SPP has systematically and effectively contributed to the protection of natural and cultural heritage throughout the entire Prespa basin, by means of a wide range of projects jointly promoting viable development and the harmonious co-existence of man and nature. Its activities aim to secure the appropriate management of natural resources, sustainable forms of development, the protection of threatened species and the informing and awareness-raising of the public. From the beginning the SPP has understood quite clearly that to safeguard Prespa’s exceptional heritage and promote viable development in the area requires the harmonious cooperation and involvement of the three states that share the lakes - FYROM, Albania and Greece. Accordingly its efforts have been guided by this principle, aiming wherever possible to emphasise their transboundary nature.  

Download here the statute of the Society for the Protection of Prespa.

Since December 2013, the SPP has been a member of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), a union with over 1,200 Members in all, spread across some 160 countries.


SPP's premises in Agios Germanos and Laimos, built according to the local architectural types.

Today the SPP is an environmental organisation whose work is internationally recognised. The organisation is based in the villages of Agios Germanos and Laimos in Prespa, and its accomplishments are based on the dynamic work of its resident staff, many of whom are native to the region.

The Mission of the SPP

The SPP’s mission is to safeguard the natural and cultural heritage of the Prespa basin as a whole, for the benefit of all its inhabitants both today and in the future.

Basic principles which govern the work of the SPP:

  • Transboundary activity: The protection and viable development of Prespa requires the participation and harmonious cooperation of the three states that share the area - Greece, FYROM and Albania. Consequently, issues need to be addressed from their transboundary, environmental, social and developmental aspects, and projects require development at a transboundary level.
  • Cooperation between individuals and organisations: Close collaboration between the residents of Prespa and organisations at local, national and transboundary levels, fosters a mutual understanding of the issues and a common approach to viable solutions.

Areas of Activity

  • Protection of biodiversity and wildlife habitats (research and monitoring, management and conservation of wetlands, protection of threatened species and habitats).
  • Promotion of sustainable forms of development (promotion of sustainable rural development and environmentally friendly methods of cultivation).
  • Transboundary Prespa Park (participation in the Prespa Park Co-ordination Committee and Secretariat of the Prespa Park, support for the operation of the park).
  • Support for public and private organisations throughout the Prespa basin, on issues concerning the protection of natural and cultural heritage.
  • Awareness-raising and informing (environmental education, establishment and operation of transboundary information centres, projects to inform and mobilise the local community).

Selected Projects

Research and conservation measures for the protection of the Dalmatian pelican and the white pelican: Research and the implementation of management measures have led to a steady increase in the pelican populations. Today Prespa is home to the largest colony of Dalmatian pelicans in the world, with more than 1,000 pairs.

Informing/awareness-raising/publicising: Environmental education is a vital area of activity for the SPP. It implements educational programmes for schools and guided tours for the public, while also maintaining two transboundary information centres for visitors to Agios Germanos in Greece and Zagradec in Albania.

Restoration of wet meadows:
The restoration of wet meadows around Lake Mikri Prespa began with an experimental three-year programme from1997 to 2000. As part of a wider Life-Nature project (2000-2006) a larger scale restoration plan was put into operation. Today wet meadow habitat covers more than 100ha, the greater part of which is managed by the SPP in collaboration with the Prespa National Park Management Body.

Protection and management of Mikri Prespa:
The SPP actively participates in the safeguarding and management of the Mikri Prespa wetlands through projects for their protection and the monitoring and management of the water, lakeside vegetation and aquatic bird species in collaboration with the Prespa National Park Management Body. The majority of the projects are carried out on the basis of guidelines which were put together as part of the Life-Nature project (2000-2006).

Research, monitoring and management measures for fish populations in the lakes and rivers:
The SPP systematically monitors the development of fish populations in the lakes by means of sampling research methods. In addition it has established an action plan in order to protect the endemic Prespa barbel and trout species.

Rebuilding of the sluice gate: The Koula sluice gate, which controls the flow of water from Lake Mikri Prespa to Lake Megali Prespa, was completely rebuilt as part of the Life-Nature project (2000-2006). Through the appropriate operation of the modernised sluice gate it is possible to ensure that both the ecological and human needs of the area are adequately satisfied.

Promotion of organic and environmentally friendly agriculture:
In 1992 the SPP began promoting organic bean cultivation in Prespa, advising producers on issues of cultivation and certification. In 2009 a project to create a ‘Product of the Prespa Park Protected Area’ label was completed.

Promotion of sustainable rural development and protection of architectural heritage:
In 2005 the SPP carried out a ‘Plan for Open City Land Use and Town Planning’ study, which was presented as a donation to the Municipality of Prespa. The SPP has also published two guidebooks concerning the correct restoration of Prespa’s traditional buildings (1993-1994).

Establishment and operation of the Transboundary Prespa Park: Since the foundation of the Transboundary Prespa Park the SPP has contributed to its activities as a member of the Coordination Committee and has participated in the work of the Park Secretariat. The SPP has implemented a variety of projects in collaboration with the relevant bodies from the three countries as part of efforts to improve cooperation between the states which share the Prespa basin. In 2005 a Strategic Action Plan was completed, the first trilateral study in Prespa, which specified the measures and processes that were necessary for the integrated management of the area. In 2006 the SPP completed a project entitled ‘Study of the interactions between Lake Mikri Prespa and the Devolli River (Greece-Albania),’ while since 2007 it has undertaken a study for the development of a transboundary system for monitoring ecological parameters in the Prespa basin. Environmental monitoring, at a transboundary level, is a necessary prerequisite for the protection of the natural environment and the sound management of natural resources, particularly water.

Support for the Prespa National Park Management Body:
The Management Body was founded in 2003 and its main objective is the protection of the natural and cultural heritage of Prespa. In this context the PNPMB is the authority responsible for wetland management, the protection and safeguarding of the area from illegal activities which burden the natural environment such as sand extraction or hunting, and the informing and awareness-raising of Prespa’s citizens. Since the establishment of the PNPMB, the SPP has not only participated as a member of its board of directors but has also actively contributed to its work through the sharing of its many years of experience in the area of wetland management and by means of the education of its staff.  

International honorary distinctions won by the SPP

ramsar logoThe Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award (1999): “The activities of the SPP provide an outstanding example of a pioneer approach to wetland management and cooperation at local, national and international levels for the sustainable management of a Ramsar site”.

goldman logoThe Goldman Prize (2001, awarded to two leading conservationists of the SPP): This was international recognition for their excellent contribution to the conservation of the Prespa wetlands and eventually helped lead to the establishment of the Transboundary Prespa Park.

best life logoLIFE - Nature “Best of the Best” award (2009): The LIFE-Nature project “Conservation of Priority Bird Species in Lake Mikri Prespa, Greece”, implemented by the SPP in 2002-2007, has been evaluated by the E.U. Member States as one of the five “Best of the best” of such projects completed in Europe in 2007-8.

International Riverprize finalist (2012): SPP was among the 4 finalists of the Thiess International Riverprize, awarded by the International River Foundation in Australia. SPP entered the prize with the project “Restoration of wet meadows for the conservation of Lake Mikri Prespa”.

"Viron Antipas" award (2013): The Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN) honoured Myrsini Malakou, director of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, with the 2013 "Viron Antipas” Award, for her long and vital contribution to nature protection and support for the local community in Prespa.

Resources and Administration


During the 2017 financial year, SPP's income totaled 999.446€. As shown in the diagram below, income from foundations amounted to 73%, income from the European Union 25% and from other sources 2.5%

Financial year 01/07/2016 - 30/06/2017

Total Income 999.446 €      

Foundations 725.914

European Union 248.190
Other sources 25.342
Total 999.446 €
1.029.486 €


Expenses 2017          

Total expenses for the 2017 financial year amounted to the sum of € 1.000.016. Αs is shown in the diagram below, research and conservation management expenses constituted 49%, conservation policy expenses 18%, information and awareness-raising 19% , finance and administration 12% and fundraising 5%.

Financial year 01/07/2016 - 30/06/2017

Total Expenses € 1.000.016

Expenses 2017

Finance and Administration 116.249
Fundraising 54.361
Conservation research and management 460.558
Conservation policy 176.537
Information and awareness raising 192.311
Total 1.000.016 €
982.957 €

Please read the financial statements for the years:


Job Opportunities  

Communications and Awareness-raising Officer - The Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP)

Summary description

The environmental NGO ‘The Society for the Protection of Prespa’ seeks a full-time Communications and Awareness-raising Officer for the co-ordination of a wide range of communication activities targeting multiple target audiences at local, transboundary and international level (i.e. local communities in transboundary Prespa, visitors, partners). The position is part of the Communications Department of the SPP, based in Laimos, Prespa.

Deadline for applications: 05/09/14

Key Responsibilities

  • Development of communication material in co-operation with the relevant staff members (i.e. brochures, leaflets, newsletters, media articles)
  • Planning and co-ordination of public meetings and events in Greek and transboundary Prespa (Albania, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
  • Co-ordination of the environmental education programme of the SPP in co-operation with the relevant staff
  • Co-ordination of the environmental interpretation activities for visitors of the area in co-operation with the relevant staff
  • Participation in the content development and maintenance of SPP web and social media

Required Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • At least two years of practical professional work experience in the field of communications and marketing, preferably in the not-for-profit sector
  • Relevant degree, such as in communications, marketing or media studies
  • Demonstrated experience of writing and editing copy for communication material
  • Knowledge of mobile and web space content management
  • Excellent oral and written Greek and English
  • Ability to organise events addressing multiple national and international target groups

Desired Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Qualifications in environmental communication or other environmental qualifications
  • Experience of environmental education programmes and interpretive activities
  • Knowledge of local Balkan languages, additional world languages are an asset

How to apply

Send your CV and a letter of application to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by the deadline noted above.


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