Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Collaborative management of Lake Ohrid is critical for Natural and Cultural Heritage

By Stephanie Gentle
Successful management of the Lake Ohrid region depends heavily on collaboration between diverse stakeholders and a harmonious balance of nature, culture, landscape and development. During the training on Collaborative Integrated Management of Protected and Heritage Landscapes held in April in Lin Peninsula, Albania, the stakeholders learned how to develop an integrated and cooperative approach to managing complex landscapes.

Group of experts in Lin Pogradec 
“The first success is that we now think of the lake as one whole, together with our Macedonian partners. We are now aware that we have to cooperate with our partners and protect the lake from damages that have been made until now”, said Mr. Mihallaq Qirjo, Director of the Regional Agency for Protected Areas (RAPA) for Korca region, speaking about the positive impacts the project has achieved thus far.

The training brought together more than 20 representatives from Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, including the respective Ministries of Environment and Culture, protected area authorities, representatives from fisheries and tourism industries, as well as experts from ICCROM, ICOMOS and IUCN.

“This training assists the two countries to improve and upgrade transboundary cooperation by helping to better understand Lake Ohrid’s outstanding universal values, both natural and cultural. Cooperation between diverse stakeholders is the key to expanding the mechanisms for transboundary cooperation, strengthening the involvement of various stakeholders, and also harmonizing the actions on both sides through joint management activities,” said Mr. Oliver Avramoski, Project Officer at IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The course had a strong focus on interactive learning, with an emphasis on group work, practical exercises and field work. The training’s objectives included participants achieving a sound understanding of various mandates, rights and responsibilities that can affect complex landscapes; understanding different types of governance that can be applied to protected landscapes and the importance of collaboration and partnership; gaining experience of co-management approaches that combine nature, culture, local needs and development; and gaining new skills and understandings in consensus building, negotiation and conflict resolution. This knowledge contributes to the development of a co-management system for the Pogradec Protected Landscape and the potential transboundary World Heritage property in the Lake Ohrid region.

The training was organized as part of the joint EU UNESCO project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region”. The project seeks to reinforce transboundary cooperation between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, establish integrated management mechanisms, increase the effectiveness of capacity building, and profile the transboundary area and its sustainable tourism opportunities. In addition, the project aims to support the efforts of national authorities in the preparation of a nomination file to extend the World Heritage property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region” to the Albanian side.

Source: 

Monday, April 18, 2016

World heritage Day- Raising awareness on Lake Ohrid

18 April is World Heritage Day. This is a special day to raise public's awareness about the importance and values of Cultural and Natural Heritages and the efforts required to protect and conserve it. Lake Ohrid region is one of the few mixed Cultural and natural properties included in World Heritage List, protected by UNESCO since 1978. Now Albania is preparing the file to inscribe the 1/3 of the Lake Ohrid into this World Heritage property.

A lot of work need to be done by local government and community itself to protect this area.

The project Towards Strengthened Governance of the Shared Transboundary Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Lake Ohrid region, is contributing in this direction, to raise awareness of Albanian Government and community to protect Lake Ohrid Region.

In the framework of this project a photo competition on Lake Ohrid run by UNESCO and its local partners during April aiming to promote the values of this region. More than 450 photos were submitted in Facebook and Instagram through dedicated social media channels managed by an Albanian PR company contracted by UNESCO, which showed a good enthusiasm of people to share their interest, concerns, or good memories from this beautiful area. This social media competition showed that many people are willing to conserve and protect this amazing natural and cultural heritage.
This is just one of many activities foreseen in the project to raise public awareness about Universal Outstanding Values of Our lake Ohrid.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The first Newsletter "Protecting Lake Ohrid" published

The first Newsletter "Protecting Lake Ohrid" on behalf of the Project:"Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region", was published and is available in three languages: Albanian, English and Macedonian in the following website: http://whc.unesco.org/en/lake-ohrid-region/
In the first edition Spring 2016 just published, everybody can be informed about activities of this 3 year project, financed by European Union and Albanian Ministry of Environment and implemented by UNESCO.
In this issue you can read an address by Mr Lefter Koka, Minister of Environment of Republic of Albania;
- interview with Mr Eduard Kapri, Mayor of Pogradec, Albania;
- information on project progress, the next steps & important upcoming dates;
- and several thematic articles, regarding tourism in Ohrid City and Pogradec

In the next edition which will be published in Summer 2016, you can read articles about tourism in Struga city and Debarca Region, more news about the project's meeting, and also the results of Photo Contest:  http://whc.unesco.org/en/ourlakeohrid-photo-contest/ which lasted from 7 March- 7 April 2016 with hashtag #OurLakeOhrid, on Facebook and Instagram.

We hope you enjoy reading it!