The plan was the first joint project of the three neighbouring countries and one of the first steps towards the formulation of a common vision between the three peoples. Its target was to set the basis for the discussion on the future of the area and form a product of close collaboration between the NGOs actively participating and of several independent experts. The aim of the plan was to outline the Prespa Park objectives in order to facilitate future discussions, and to describe in the clearest possible way the institutional, economic, management initiatives and procedures that should be taken in order to enable the accomplishment of these objectives.
The Transboundary Prespa Park was an initiative of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP), adopted by the Greek government at the time. It was established with the Declaration of the Prime Ministers of Greece, Albania and today’s North Macedonia on February 2, 2000, with the aim of preserving the valuable ecological and cultural values of the wider region, as well as promoting cooperation for sustainable development among the three countries.
Since the beginning of the co-operation, a lack of comprehensive understanding of the region at a transboundary level, as well as of key strategic axes for the management and sustainable development of the Prespa basin, which would constitute the agreed basis for discussion and planning of joint actions, was evident. In the period 2001-2002, the three countries prepared the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) of the Prespa Park, with co-financing from the Bilateral Development Co-operation and Assistance Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (2001) and the MAVA Foundation through WWF Greece.
The aim was to identify and analyse the ecological, economic and social situation of the Prespa basin, formulate strategic objectives and describe the measures and procedures that could lead to the sustainable development and protection of the basin, with proposals for specific projects at a transboundary level and for each of the three countries separately. Working groups were set up in all three countries for the preparation of the SAP, which consisted of experts from various specialties including geography, hydrology, fauna, flora, legislation, international relations, sociology and economics. The groups worked in parallel, with agreed standards, and the outcome was ultimately synthesised into a single study/proposal. After its completion, the SAP went through an extensive consultation process by all involved states, was later adopted by the Prespa Park Co-ordinating Committee in May 2004 and was finally published in the three national languages and in English. Ever since, the SAP has been the basis for the planning of all activities of the Prespa Park.
2001 - 2002
Assistance Programme of
the Ministry of Environment
National & international