Lake Ohrid Conservation Project

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Lake Ohrid Conservation Project. Model for integrated management of transboundary waters. ASSETS Surface Area (km 2 ) 358,2 (70%MKD / 30% ALB ) Watershed Area ( km 2 ) 1129
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Lake Ohrid Conservation ProjectModel for integrated management of transboundary watersASSETS
  • Surface Area (km2) 358,2 (70%MKD / 30% ALB )
  • Watershed Area (km2) 1129
  • Volume (km3) 50,8
  • Average Depth (m) 163
  • Maximum Depth (m) 289
  • Maximum Length (km) 30,8
  • Maximum Width (km) 14,8
  • Shore Line (km) 87,5
  • Trophic status oligotrophic
  • Population in the watershed 108.000 MKD / 38.000 ALB
  • The LOCP is first GEF project of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. The primary objective of the LOCP is to promote cost-effective solutions for transboundary natural resources management and pollution problems and to provide a basis for sustainable economic development of the watershed.Lake Ohrid Management Board
  • Joint LOMB was established with Memorandum of Understanding between Governments of Macedonia and Albania
  • Joint LOMB includes highest representatives of MoE , local authorities (mayors) and representatives of NGO’s from both sides - as voting part
  • Joint LOMB held seven meetings discussing issues on waste water treatment , protection of Ohrid trout , institutional issues, coordination and following the implementation of the LOCP
  • Decision of joint LOMB is to establish the Day of Ohrid Lake (21.June)
  • Institutional Strenghtening*At the beginning of May 1999, ISTF is officially established as a focal point organization for managing the activities of IS. This body consists of representatives of local governments in the region, district offices of competent ministries, enterprises and institutions with environmental responsibilities * ISTF Macedonia /Albania establishment cooperation with different institutions, which work on the environment protection in the watershed. several joint meetings have been organized in order to exchange experience and information *Consultant firms did assessment of the existing mechanisms for cooperation between Macedonian and Albanian Governments on national and local level concerning the protection of the Lake Ohrid. Institutional Strenghtening* Round Table discussed on the necessary steps for harmonization of fishery regulation, especially those concerning the fishing tools and periods which are prohibited for fishing *Two meetings of representatives of enterprises for water and wastewater were organized.Expressed the willingness to help and transfer experience and knowledge in management of wastewater to the Albanian side *Joint meeting about legal and institutional framework for National Parks and protected areas . PIU Directors of LOCP singed joint conclusions for support and cooperation with National parks. *Round table on Forestry Management to look for possibilities for joint engagements in the bordering area of Prespa and Galicica.NEXT STEPS (IS) *World heritage status on Macedonian site of the Lake , if possible, to extend such designation to the Albanian part of the Lake; * Initiate discussions about the revisions of the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding and the establishment of consolidated watershed management authorities; *Prepare a comparative study of existing relevant international institutional arrangements that might serve as a model for improving the Lake Ohrid transboundary institutional framework;* Arrange for an inter-ministerial briefing and organize a seminar on the implementation of Aarhus Convention Monitoring program
  • Hydro biological Institute – Ohrid and Hydro meteorological Institute –Tirana are responsible to perform Monitoring on Lake Ohrid & Prespa
  • Joint Albanian and Macedonian MTF's prepared selection of analytical methods, according to the available equipment, feasible in laboratories of Albanian and Macedonian leading institutions
  • After several joint meetings at which were prepared selected methods, training of the participants in the LOMP were conducted in Hydro biological Institute in Ohrid and at Public Health Institute in Tirana
  • Monitoring program
  • Sampling sites and frequencies were performed according Joint technical protocol that was prepared and accepted by both teams.
  • Conscious for the importance of comprehensive monitoring on Lakes Ohrid and Prespa , MTFs signed a Second part of the Joint Technical Protocol in which are redefined further activities to improve the monitoring and closer collaboration
  • As result of the Second Joint Protocol, an independent advisor for LOMP was selected and a joint sampling was started in November 2001.
  • Joint public presentation of Monitoring results was held on March 21,2002 in Ohrid
  • NEXT STEPS ( MP)
  • Narrow the focus of the monitoring program and ensure that it provides the information needed for decision-making.
  • Produce the final draft of the technical/scientific portion of the State of Environment report
  • Monitoring the tributaries to lakes Ohrid and Prespa that are likely “hot spots”.
  • Initiate the preparation of Quality Assurance protocols for the participating laboratories
  • In response to the potentially alarming data about the depletion of the fish population in the lake introduce a joint fish stock assessment program, to be coordinated by the bi-national MTF
  • Watershed management approach *In supporting involvement of public organized were 6STAKEHOLDERS meetings. At the meetings the stakeholders elected their representatives to WMC. * The purpose of the WMC is to help address watershed management issues of the Lake Ohrid Watershed and provide a framework for coordination and cooperation among key interests in the development and implementation of a watershed action plan. * In October 2000 the LC of the WMC in Albania and Macedonia organized a three day study tour in Lake Ohrid Watershed for all members of the WMCs. Watershed management approach* In order to promote action and results on the ground in the watershed, the Committees adopted theGrant Program For Pilot Projects And Catalytic Measures to finance a number of carefully selected and designed pilot projects on both parts of watersheds. * Grant topics are : Phosphate free detergents;Control of agricultural pollution;Municipal solid waste and recycling, Reforestation and grassing; Land use in the littoral zone of Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa and Other priority issues for Lake Ohrid watershed* Implementation of the 17 pilot projects (10 MKD part & 7 on ALB part) will start in May 2002NEXT STEPS (WMC) *Identify Technical Assistance needs for assessing national legislation which regulates the preparation of land use plans in the respective catchment areas;
  • *Prepare detailed Terms of Reference and associated budget for the preparation of land use plans for the watershed areas in each country;
  • *Finalize implementation manuals for the CGP-PPCM and award grants and start implementation of pilot projects;
  • *Issue a second call for concept proposals under the CGP-PPCM;
  • *Assume responsibility for supporting public awareness and participation activities.Public awareness and NGO sector* Objectives: Institutional Strengthening of the regional NGO’s through a capacity building program;; Increasing the public awareness about the environmental issues and problems; Increasing the public participation in the decision making process ; Strengthening the cross-border co-operation among the NGOs in the Lake Ohrid region.
  • The initial number of NGO when LOCP started was 31 with 700 members. So far, the number of NGOs is increased to 67 NGOs with 2200 members
  • Green Centers were established in Ohrid and Struga and in Pogradec
  • Public awareness and NGO sector
  • To increase Cross-border cooperation about 12 NGO projects were implemented with activities that include NGOs from Macedonia and Albania, or that include activities implemented on the both sides.
  • Five NGO activities were supported by a special budget for cross border cooperation
  • Two cross border Summer Camps were organized. The NGOs from Macedonia and Albania organized joint bike trip around the lake. The Land registry for illegal landfills was prepared. Three issues of the three-lingual bulletin were printed
  • More than 16 000 people were directly included in the NGO project activities
  • THE PROCESS FOR PREPARATION OF THE LAKE OHRID BASIN MANAGEMENT PLANThe Lake Ohrid Conservation Project has established the institutional arrangements and mobilized the human resources that meet the preconditions for effective integrated transboundary management of the lake.
  • The current institutional arrangements for management of the watershed provide adequate cross-border cooperation and public participation both at the local level (the watershed itself) and between the two national governments.
  • The involvement of NGOs in the decision-making process and in management of the Lake Ohrid watershed is provided by NGO representatives on the LOMB and on the Watershed Management Committees.
  • LESSONS LEARNED
  • The capacity of the LOMB and its subsidiary bodies is currently insufficient to create and appreciation at the state and local level public officials and institutions and agencies.
  • The frequent changes of senior officials at the national and local levels diminish the decision-making capacity of the LOMB.
  • The LOMB lacks appropriate strategies and mechanisms regarding access to information, development and monitoring.
  • LESSONS LEARNED
  • Broad public participation is critically important to spreading awareness, altering priorities, and sustaining political and financial support. But public participation is both time-consuming and expensive to initiate, and the threeyear planned project duration will need to be extended by at least a year and possibly two years.
  • Mobilizing science and technology has proven to be a much bigger challenge than we anticipated. Water quality and biological monitoring programs are only just getting underway, and we have not yet been able to bring up-to-date scientific monitoring information into public discussions and policy decisions. This remains an area for continued effort.
  • LESSONS LEARNED
  • We have begun to recognize the value of a clearly articulated “lake vision” to guide our action planning process. It will contribute to making conservation of the ancient oligotrophic character of Lake Ohrid an engine of sustainable economic growth based on domestic and international tourism.
  • The capacity of all institutions needs to be strengthened and maintained by means of short-term and long-term programmes (including postgraduate education and curricula development, and establishing co-operation with river basin organisations in other lake regions).
  • Development of public communication strategies and mechanisms to support the public participation in transboundary context.
  • Revision of Memorandum of Understanding in order to give more power in decision making process to the joint LOMB
  • Producing of visible results will increase public awareness about threats to the lake and will mobilize public participation in pilot projects
  • Creation of institutional arrangements that will be sustained after the end of the Lake Ohrid Conservation Project
  • Identification of priority investments that will attract both bilateral aid and private investments
  • Provision of financial support for the future operation, maintenance and development of the work of the Lake Ohrid joint body, and its subsidiary organs.
  • Finally, we must learn how to extend the lessons learned from Lake Ohrid to integrated management of the entire Drim River basin and of the other river basins which Albania and Macedonia share between themselves or with other countries, balancing water for nature conservation and human needs.Integration with multilateral environmental agreementsMultilateral Environmental Agreements to which Macedonia, Albania and Greece are PartiesNew themes have emerged from the new and diverse voices. We have heard a new emphasis on the conservation of lakes based on ecosystem management, and the close connection between lakes, culture, and spirituality. Understanding the limitations and reflecting our deep concern, we call for action.*Water is life. Lakes are vital for life on earth. Lakes support diverse ecosystems, river systems and cultures. But , lake environments are in crisis.Build partnerships through information sharing and cooperative alliances among the individuals and organizations within the lake community.
  • Promote environmental education and build a capacity to take effective action on all levels towards sustainable development of lake environments for future generations.
  • Apply the principles of integrated water resource management in lake and river basin systems.
  • Create action plans based on the sound application of science and other forms of knowledge, the results of continuous, effective monitoring and ongoing dialogue, recognizing that each lake is unique.
  • Promote international cooperation and establish a global lake alliance.
  • Support increased funding and explore new and innovative financial arrangements.
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