Lesser Prespa Lake, Great Prespa Lake and the slopes of the surrounding mountains make up a single natural basin, whose waters can only be protected and preserved as a whole. Thus, cultivating a shared transboundary vision for water resource management has always been a long-term goal of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP). The principle of integrated river basin management is at the core of our work in this area and co-operation between the three states that share Prespa is essential to achieving this.
Thus, in recent years, the SPP has facilitated information exchange, the strengthening of cross-border dialogue and the undertaking of joint initiatives and actions. Since the early 2000s, the SPP has substantially contributed to the consolidation of common values and goals between the three sides, with important results such as the commitment of the Prespa Park management bodies to co-operate based on integrated water management principles and tripartite meetings of the water management authorities, as well as the provision for a Working Group on Water Management under the International Agreement on the Prespa Park, which became a reality when it began to operate in 2022.
In recent years the SPP has organised and supported a network of scientists involved in the systematic monitoring of Prespa waters under the three countries’ national water monitoring systems. These water scientists meet regularly, discuss their methodologies and results, and plan joint actions to harmonise water monitoring at the transboundary basin level. Furthermore, a joint position on water governance in the Prespa basin, which the SPP published together with its PrespaNet environmental NGO partners in the two neighbouring states, calls on the states to fulfil the obligations of the International Agreement and undertake specific actions to improve the status of water resources.
Mantziou, D. and Gletsos, M. (2011). The Development of Transboundary Cooperation in the Prespa Lakes Basin. In: Transboundary Water Resources Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Eds Ganoulis, J., Aureli, A. and Fried, J.), John Wiley and Sons Ltd, Weinheim.
Mantziou, D. (2014, May). Case Study: The Prespa Park Basin. Paper presented at the Counting our gains: Sharing experiences on identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation Workshop, Geneva, Switzerland