We work to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of Prespa, protecting its rich biodiversity and landscape, side by side with the people who live here.

Guided by scientific knowledge and many years of experience in protecting the area, we strive to limit the effects of climate change and modern lifestyles on the natural environment of Prespa and promote sustainable ways to create a favourable future for generations to come.

We work across borders and see the region as a single place with natural and cultural wealth of unique value. Because of its global significance people from all over the world are interested in preserving the unique heritage of Prespa, we join forces with them and the local community in our efforts, as well as with many academic, institutional, scientific and NGO partners.

Sharing & Engaging

Today we develop and implement environmental education programmes for local and transboundary schoolchildren, as well as for schools from all over the country. In Greek Prespa there is a high school, as well as secondary and primary schools, with around 160 students in total and, in collaboration with the teachers, the SPP  organises environmental education activities appropriate to the various age groups. Every year a particular theme is chosen, and over the course of the year, the students come to a deeper understanding of the chosen theme through a combination of classroom and field activities that let them experience nature first-hand.

Similarly, specific environmental educational activities are organised in response to special circumstances and world days such as World Wetlands Day, World Migratory Birds Day or World Environment Day, with the themes differing according to the season and occasion. The overall aim of the activities is not only for the children to understand the natural and cultural values of Prespa but also to gain a wider environmental consciousness.

Recognising that the protection and viable development of the area requires the co-operation and participation of the three states that share the lakes (Albania, Greece, North Macedonia), the SPP focuses on designing activities aimed at children across the transboundary basin understanding the things they have in common with their neighbouring countries and which strengthen the cross-border dimension of this relationship.

We promote the idea that people and nature can and do live side by side, and both can thrive when we get the balance right.

We aim to make the scientific work we do accessible to all and ensure that everyone gets to be part of the discussion. Likewise, we work hard to bring nature and the environment into the public debate and to influence policy-makers and governments for better protection of our shared natural heritage, because our and nature’s well-being are at stake and it’s impossible to divide the two.

We share our work and news about Prespa and its wildlife in many different ways, both online and offline, whether it’s through our website, social media channels and other internet news outlets, or through local public meetings and print publications, or even face-to-face over a friendly coffee in our offices in Prespa. Wherever you may be and whatever your level of interest, click to follow us, or sign-up for our mailing list, and we’ll do our best to keep you right up to date and in touch with Prespa!

Our conservation research team regularly works with students, graduates and post-graduates from universities all over Europe and beyond, in order to for them to carry out Prespa-based research or analyse the data the SPP’s work has generated, and has also supervised successful internships. And for budding citizen-scientists, we’ve developed an app to facilitate uploading data they’ve gathered on Prespa’s plant species, adding to a database on Prespa’s flora and aiming to support the effective protection, restoration and management of the plants and ecosystems of the area.

The SPP has hosted volunteers in many of its activities, from placements from the European Voluntary Service to volunteer camera-trapping surveys of large mammals, as well as an exciting new pilot programme for volunteers to work with all three PrespaNet partners in each of the countries sharing the Prespa lakes, as well as regular clean-up days along the lakeshore or streams and river. Our various volunteer activities aim to harness the enthusiasm and energy of those wanting to support Prespa’s biodiversity and landscapes, as well as to give opportunities for difficult-to-access practical experience to those considering conservation careers.

Lastly, the SPP’s groundbreaking PoliPrespa project, which saw a wealth of participatory activities carried out across the full spectrum of social, economic and environmental domains in Prespa, not only set up a Local Action Group as part of the project, in order to bring the whole community together to steer future initiatives, but has also established an innovative new digital platform for the area that will seek direct input from residents and visitors alike on key Prespa issues, aiming to act as a tool for facilitating and strengthening local co-governance, as well as an information portal for the region.

There are plenty of ways to get involved with the SPP’s work, learn more about Prespa or contribute to the effort to conserve the wonderful nature, biodiversity and landscapes of Prespa. Whatever your level of interest or ability you can find out more from our social media channels, where we regularly post updates and calls for participation, or sign up below to receive our newsletter every 4 months and occasional mailouts with news or points of interest.

The SPP has initiated and participates in networks that particularly focus on wetlands, protected areas and biodiversity.

Pelicans are the iconic symbol of Prespa and their conservation lies at the heart of what we do, and the Pelican Network we established over a decade ago now links us with other scientists, conservationists and protected area managers working for these magnificent birds all over SE Europe and beyond. The network is an excellent way to share information about these long-distance migrants, but it really stood us in good stead during Prespa’s catastrophic avian flu outbreak in 2022 in particular, when we were able to quickly share what was happening and find out the picture in other wetlands used by Dalmatian pelicans in almost real time. In a fast-moving crisis this kind of resource and support can be critical.

We are also members of the Mediterranean Alliance for Wetlands, which brings together people working on behalf of wetlands all around the Mediterranean in shared advocacy for the benefits they bring and against the threats they are under. Joining our voice with others and promoting Prespa are also some of the reasons why we are members of the European Green Belt, an amazing network of protected areas along the length of the former iron curtain, from Finland, through the heart of Europe and down to the Balkans, that helps us to put Prespa firmly on the map for audiences all over the continent. Lastly, we also participate in the MEDFORVAL initiative for the conservation of Mediterranean forests of high ecological value, particularly focussing on Prespa’s rare and iconic juniper woodlands and lakeside silver birch forests.