AAfter collaborating closely with NGOs on the other sides of the basin for many years, in 2013 the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) invited two partner organisations to join in forming an environmental NGO network for Prespa – PrespaNet. Together, the SPP, the Protection and Preservation of the Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) and the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) have worked collaboratively to strengthen conservation efforts in the region through this network.
PrespaNet aims to strengthen transboundary co-operation between NGOs, as well as with protected area management authorities, acknowledging the fundamental principle that such co-operation is essential for the success of conservation efforts, reflecting the integrity of the catchment basin, its eco-hydrological functions and management needs. Consequently, PrespaNet works closely with all authorities for the protected areas in the basin, towards ever closer co-operation and co-ordination between those responsible for the remarkable nature, landscape, and culture in Prespa.
The three partners have produced the Transboundary Strategic Framework (TSF) for conservation in Prespa, in collaboration with the international NGOs the Frankfurt Zoological Society, EuroNatur, SAVE Foundation, Plantlife and KORA. The TSF sets out what work needs to be done to protect the area’s precious natural heritage and the PrespaNet partners are currently working on projects aiming to support their efforts.
The network partners recognised that in order to achieve these aims the local NGO presence should be strengthened in order to better facilitate collaboration, engagement and the active participation of stakeholders in conservation issues, as well as establishing closer contact with civil society in the other two countries of the basin, as PPNEA and MES are national organisations, though they have worked in Prespa for many years. The establishment of local offices on the other two sides of the basin was thus a milestone achievement for the network, securing closer co-operation amongst the three NGOs and creating a collaborative ground with local communities.
2013 to date