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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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Friday 15 December 2017, 19:25

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


With satisfaction and positive view of the future, the Municipality of Prespa, the Society for the Protection of Prespa and the Prespa National Forest Management Body salute the signing of the international agreement among the Ministries of Environment of the three countries sharing the Prespa Basin and the European Commission, on February 2nd 2010.

The Transboundary Prespa Park, the first transboundary protected area in the Balkans, was established in February 2000, with the common Declaration of the Prime Ministers of the three countries, following the proposal of the Society for the Protection of Prespa and WWF Hellas. The signing of an official intergovernmental agreement, today, ten years later, entrenches the vision of the Prespa Park. The stakeholders of the Greek side, who share the same vision for the protection of Prespa’s natural and cultural heritage and the prosperity of its inhabitants, and who have also participated in the ten year course of the Transboundary Prespa Park, express their satisfaction for this positive progress.

The signing of an official international agreement has been a persistent request of the collaborating stakeholders of the three countries since 2004. This agreement initiates a new era and will give a substantial impetus in the planning and implementation of the Prespa Park activities. During the ten years of transboundary cooperation, stakeholders from all three countries are identifying problems, are discussing divergent views, and most important have already promoted the planning and implementation of common activities.

Nevertheless, and in spite of the progress mentioned above, the lack of official institutionalization of the trilateral cooperation has often encumbered the work of the Prespa Park Coordination Committee. The implementation of the international agreement between the Ministries of Environment and the European Commission is expected to confront these difficulties. In the framework of this agreement, the three states are hereafter legally bound to establish permanent structures of cooperation in order to develop a common strategy and to apply measures both for the protection of the natural environment and the human activities in the area, such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, development of infrastructure etc. This agreement sets priority issues, such as water management, which includes the elaboration of an integrated water management plan for the basin, as required by the EU Water Framework Directive, and the establishment of an ad hoc working group for the effective promotion of this crucial subject.

Moreover we cannot overlook the symbolic meaning of this agreement and the message transmitted to this politically unstable area of the Balkans. With Prespa as a starting point, the countries of the area receive the following message by the common citizens and the local authorities: the future of Southeastern Europe is the cooperation and the bridging of differences for sustainable development and peaceful coexistence. Environmental problems with a transboundary character are the most appropriate starting point to build this future.

The Greek Mayor of Prespa Mr. Lazaros Nalpantidis stated: “This is a very important agreement not only for Prespa, but also for the wider area, as it shows the national governments’ will for cooperation on the environmental protection and the development of the transboundary area. At the local level we have deepened our cooperation with the adjacent Municipalities of Resen and Liqenas regarding many issues. Today’s agreement fills us with hope and anticipation that the national governments will support our attempts and will contribute to the resolution of problems that Prespa faces”.

The President of the Prespa National Forest Management Body, Greece, Mr. Giorgos Parisopoulos stated: “Today’s agreement gives us new potential for collaboration and broadens the present one for the benefit of the inhabitants, the natural environment and the culture of the area. The implementation of the agreement will demand good will, consistency and a change of viewpoint from the part to the whole. The task of the Prespa National Forest Management Body expands and so does its potential. I believe that it will match up to the new era. The agreement is very good news for Prespa of Greece, of Albania, of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and of the European Union. Our acknowledgements go to the people who have done the groundwork and to those who have made the political decisions”.

The President of the Society for the Protection of Prespa, Mr. Thymios Papayiannis stated: “The official agreement that was signed today – World Wetlands Day- between the three countries that share the Prespa lakes and the European Commission is of particular importance. This is because it puts solid and permanent basis for closer cooperation for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area and its natural and cultural legacy.”

For more information:

Myrsini Malakou, Director of the Society for the Protection of Prespa

Marianna Vlassi, Communication Coordinator

 

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