Hopes and high expectations on a historic day!
23rd June 2022 is a historic day for Prespa, with the long-anticipated inaugural meetings of the Prespa Park Management Committee and the Working Group on Water Management taking place in the Pyli Information Centre by the shores of Lesser Prespa Lake in Greece. Representatives from the European Commission, the three states sharing the Prespa lakes, local authorities, NGOs and management bodies for the protected areas lying within the Prespa Park, as well as international observers, will meet for the first time following the entry into force of the Agreement on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park Area, which was signed by the Ministers for the Environment of the three states and the EU on the occasion of World Wetlands Day, 2nd February 2010.
The Municipality of Prespa and the SPP have implemented transboundary co-operation on the ground in Prespa for over two decades and throughout that time they have sought and worked for formal transboundary collaboration, despite the often adverse geopolitical conditions. Twenty two years since the neighbouring prime ministers declared the Prespa Park, the Municipality of Prespa and the SPP are now delighted to see this vision for the people and nature of Prespa begin to take shape with their support and co-operation, in the form of the first quadrilateral discussions for a sustainable future for the area that will take place as the three states and the EU launch the joint institutions of the Prespa Park.
The Prespa Park Management Committee is an ongoing, permanent scheme for joint decision making and although the meetings of the committee and its working group are momentous occasions to be celebrated in their own right, they are also only the first of many steps on what will be an ongoing journey of collaboration in the region, aiming to protect the area’s rich natural resources and sustainably develop the region for the benefit of today’s and future generations on the basis of environmental values. In the face of the significant global challenges being faced by people and nature alike, such co-operation has never been more important or necessary.
The meeting has been organised under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Greece (MoEE), while the Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA), through its Management Unit of Prespes National Park and Protected Areas of Western Macedonia, Greece (MU-PNPPAWN), is offering technical assistance for its organisation, with funds provided by the Green Fund, supervised by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Greece (MoEE), within the programme “Natural environment and innovative activities 2022”. The Municipality of Prespa is a member of the Prespa Park Management Committee (PPMC) and is co-funding the organisation of the meetings, while the Society for the Protection of Prespa is also a member of the committee, and the PPMC Secretariat, with the support of the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT).
For further information:
Vivi Roumeliotou, Policy Co-ordinator
Society for the Protection of Prespa
Tel: 23850 51211, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michalis Petrakos, General Secretary
Municipality of Prespa
Tel: 23853 51319, email: email@example.com