The Prespa Centre for Nature and Anthropos (PCNA) was founded in 2004 as a distinct part of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP). In essence it is a centre for all the documentation about the natural and cultural heritage of the entire Prespa basin. The PCNA’s mission is twofold: on the one hand, to bring together, archive and make available to the public the total body of knowledge regarding the heritage of Prespa and, on the other hand, to encourage and promote a unified, integrated understanding of the relationship between man and nature in the region. It is hoped that this approach will lead to a greater appreciation of the relationship between nature and culture, creating synergies between the two and contributing to the effective safeguarding of the unique natural and cultural values of the area.
The archive contains, in copies or as originals, in print or electronic form, all works which refer to the nature, history and culture of the wider area of Prespa in all three states, and has been frequently updated. Whether in the form of texts, photographs or slides and papers; works published, unpublished or in limited editions; articles, books or extracts of books, old and rare works, maps, reports of research or other projects, all the material held in the archives is organised so as to enable easy access to it and make its management simpler. The archive is hosted in the SPP’s building in Laimos, Prespa, and in 2007-2008 a database (ABEKT5.5) was created of all the material in the centre, as well as all known scientific works and publications regarding the area of Prespa.
PCNA has also been an umbrella for cultural restoration works, such as the restoration of the traditional building in Laimos which houses the SPP offices and the centre, or the restoration of the Byzantine church of Agia Anna, discovered after a fall in the water level of Lesser Prespa Lake. Furthermore, through the PCNA the SPP supported Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA) to produce their publication on “Action for Culture in Mediterranean Wetlands” in 2008, with the provision of material on Prespa, and in 2011 Prespa hosted the conference on “Culture and Wetlands in the Mediterranean: an Evolving Story”, supported by the SPP, whose conference contributions were also published in the associated publication by MedINA.
In all of the work of the PCNA the SPP would particularly like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution and inspiration of its Honorary President, Thymio Papayannis, whose dedication to the cause of culture and wetlands has been an exemplary and exceptional life’s work.