Monday, October 24, 2016

"My City" photo competition in Pogradec, Lake Ohrid region

"My City" is the tittle of the Latest Photo Competition organized in Pogradec, Lake Ohrid Region.
The activity was an initiative of "Dare to Act"and RIAS local organization, which was financed by the OlofPalme Center and Swedish funds.

This project aimed to promote the youth's talent in photography. It was also an activity to raise awareness of citizens, especially among young people for protecting the environment, as well as developing ideas about tourism perspective of the city.
This competition was focused not only in beautiful photos of the city and panorama, but also photos from daily life, where people live, the real face of urban and rural life of Pogradec area.Nevertheless, the Lake and the life around it dominated the competition. Young people believe that the lake is the spirit of this city, but also the most important source of living.

This competition has three winners:

The first place: Klaudio Spirollari
The second Place: redon Hamolli
Third Place: Ildi Balliu
The members of Jury's competitions were well known photographers and painters. Representatives from Municipality as well as from other organizations working in Pogradec participated in this ceremony. 

Enjoy some of the photos of this competition:

Monday, October 17, 2016

Discover the beauty and heritage of Lin peninsula, Lake Ohrid

The beautiful peninsula of Lin, on the shores of Lake Ohrid, is becoming so attractive lately, not only for its amazing natural panorama, but also for its cultural and heritage values. This drone view of the massive rock of Lin Peninsula is filmed by Michael Hussey, who has been several times in Lin, but this summer 2016, he brought a drone to film this area, and to have the view of this amazing place always with him.

Here how he describes his experience:
"I first visited Lin exactly ten years previously to the day I returned (August 18, 2006). My wife (and girlfriend at the time) were driving to the south of Albania when we were struck by the massive rock jutting out into Lake Ohrid. We had to stop. We met two young boys, cousins Amit and Kiton, who agreed to show us to the top of the rock. On our way, they showed us an ancient basilica, that was just recently under excavation. They swept away dirt in various spots uncovering 1500 year old mosaics. We then trekked out to the very end of the rock where they showed us a communist era bunker that had been converted to a shrine.

We returned in 2009 and met Amit and Kiton (and some other boys from the village). This time, I brought a Gigapan robot that takes incredible high resolution panorama photos. The panoramas I made on Lin's rock remain my favorite of all time.

We returned to Albania in 2012 and 2014, but were not able to make it back to Lin until this 2016 trip. I bought the drone earlier this summer as a birthday present and if there was one place I looked forward to shooting most, it was Lin. Here are the results.

As for Amit and Kiton, we asked of their whereabouts in the village and were told they had both moved to Austria. My guess is that Amit would be about 18 years old and Kiton about 22-23. Hopefully they'll find this video."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Engaging communities in conservation and heritage management

Galicica park
A Regional Course is taking place in the Lake Ohrid region between 4 and 13 October 2016. This Course on Promoting People-Centred Approaches aims at providing heritage practitioners with the necessary tools to engaging communities in the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.

The course is organized in the framework of the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”.

At Ministry of Culture
The two first days it was the Albania’s Ministry of Culture who welcomed 20 participants from seven southeast Europe countries who are meeting for the first time to discuss how communities are contributing to heritage – and how they can benefit from it. This marked the opening session of the second People-Centred Approaches course organized by ICCROM. This short course is primarily aimed at heritage practitioners, providing them with the necessary knowledge and tools to work more effectively with stakeholder communities.
Engaging communities in conservation and management processes is intended to strengthen their ability to participate meaningfully in the process of making decisions for themselves and their heritage.
Museum of Struga
The third day participants of this course moved to the Museum of Struga, where they explored the community engagement and the links of nature and culture. The museum offers a snapshot in time of the unique flora and fauna in and around the Lake Ohrid in an authentic setting from 1928.

The fourth day the participants continues their course in Ohrid City, which was the location to discover and discuss the benefits and limits of traditional knowledge systems for heritage management. Young masters of century-old crafts such as filigree and pearl making showed their passion in guarding – and sharing – their heritage.

The mixed natural and cultural heritage of the Ohrid Region is particularly appropriate for advancing people-centred approaches. Issues regarding the conservation and management of both the cultural and natural aspects of the area demonstrate a paradigm shift towards a more holistic approach which emphasizes the wellbeing of a place and its people. For this reason, PCA participants have been selected from both the natural and cultural heritage sectors.

They will be working together for ten days, delivering results of their work in a public presentation on 12 October 1016.
Partners in the implementation of this course are: ICCROM, IUCN, ICOMOS, UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Monday, October 3, 2016

Scuba divers are attracted to Lake Ohrid

Scuba divers are attracted to Lake Ohrid, one of the deepest and most ancient lakes in Europe, where adventurers can find true archeological treasures on its floor.

Known for its unique biodiversity, Lake Ohrid revealed its hidden history when a local diver, Milutin Sekuloski, discovered remnants of a Bronze Age settlement.
*Milutin Sekuloski, diving instructor trainer, Amfora diving center:*“Why do many tourists want to dive here? To see the authentic artefacts of the prehistoric settlement from 3200 years ago. Many want to take photos and videos underwater.”
Tourists can visit the reconstructed lake village and take an hour-long dive to find pieces of ancient ceramics, bones, tools and even jewelry on the lake floor.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Green Belt Day at Prespa and Ohrid Lake Region

Representatives of the Association for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) together with local stakeholders and the three Prespa mayors celebrated the Green Belt Day at the shore of Great Prespa Lake, Oteshevo, Macedonia, on 24 September 2016.

A lot of activities were held this day. This event is organized every year in one of 3 countries: Greece, Macedonia and Albania.

In the triangle between Albania, Greece and Macedonia in the far South of the Balkan Green Belt there is one of the most intriguing and varied landscapes of Europe. Lake Ohrid and Great and Little Prespa Lake are framed in impressive mountain ranges and are among the most ancient lakes in the world. Near and in the lakes there are a notable number of endemic species – that is to say species found nowhere else.

In the two Prespa lakes alone there are seven endemic fish species. And Dalmatian Pelicans - threatened worldwide with extinction - are here in great numbers benefiting from the extraordinary wealth of fish in the lakes. More than 1000 pairs of these majestic birds breed on the Little Prespa Lake - this is the largest colony world-wide. Lake Prespa and Lake Ohrid are among the longest-standing EuroNatur project areas.
Thanks to the persistent efforts of EuroNatur and its Albanian partner organisation PPNEA the Prespa Lakes in Albania are now secured with their entire catchment area as a National Park and as an important element in the mosaic of the Balkan Green Belt.
The Prespa National Park itself additionally forms part of the trans-boundary Prespa Park which links Albanian, Macedonian and Greek nature reserves along the one-time Iron Curtain.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Innovative Tourism Product Development Competition -Korca and Lake Ohrid Region

The Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship (METTE), Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA) and the Albanian Tourism Industry, with the support of RisiAlbania Project are launching the third edition of the “Risi Turistike Award”, this time in the Korça region in order to foster the development on new touristic products. Korca is the Municipality which include the city of Pogradec, situated on the shore of Lake Ohrid, the oldest and deepest lake in Europe.
The innovative tourism products will help to create new products and itineraries and or add value to the existing ones, by providing a richer and authentic experience for the tourists in both regions.
Risi Albania is a SDC project aiming to facilitate youth employment.
“Risi Turistike” is inviting all interested companies/ organizations to submit a proposal and business plan to develop and implement a new touristic product in the region of Korça. Deadline for submission of the proposals is November 10th 2016.
The results of the competition will be announced during the public event on December 9th 2016.

The aim of the Tourism Product Development competition:
- Attract more tourists in the Korça region, through diversification of the tourism product
- Extend the time of stay in the Korça region
- Increase the income from tourism in Korça region
- Increase employment opportunities for youth in Korça region.
Find more:

Monday, September 12, 2016

EU Climate Diplomacy Week, 12-18 September

This week is declared as EU Climate Diplomacy Week. It takes place on 12-18 September, as a campaign to remind each country who signed this agreement to turn promises into action.

Paris climate conference was held in December 2015, where 195 countries agreed to the world's first universal action plan to tackle climate change by limiting global warming to ‘well below 2°C’. This historic achievement was just the beginning – now every country must implement their action plan on climate.

The Paris agreement will come into effect in 2020, empowering all countries to act to prevent average global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius and to reap the many opportunities that arise from a necessary global transformation to clean and sustainable development. Countries have agreed that there will be no back-tracking in these national climate plans, meaning that the level of ambition to reduce emissions will increase over time.

The Republic of Albania and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia submitted their new climate action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ahead of 2015 Paris Agreement. Implementing climate action plan, imply to both governments and stakeholders concrete measures to protect environment. This is crucial also for Lake Ohrid region, reach of flora and fauna. It has been estimated that it is the lake with the highest biodiversity in the world, taking into account the number of endemic species per surface area. The catchment area also supports equally rich and important biodiversity with exceptionally high number of endemic species.

The project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”, (co financed by EU and Albanian Ministry of Environment and implemented by UNESCO), aims to profile this transboundary area by assessing its values and opportunities for sustainable development, and to improve capacities for the effective management of natural and cultural heritage. The European Union is contributing 1.7 million EUR to the project in the framework of its assistance to pre-accession countries in the field of Environment and Climate Change.