Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region

Lake Ohrid Photo: IUCN/B.Erg
The Lake Ohrid region is home to one of the world’s oldest lakes and is one of the most unique sources of biodiversity in Europe. The convergence of distinctive natural values with the quality and diversity of its cultural, material and spiritual heritage makes this region truly unique.

Two-thirds of Lake Ohrid is located in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and is inscribed on the World Heritage List as the property “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region”. The integrity of this World Heritage property would be significantly reinforced by extending it to the remaining one-third of Lake Ohrid located in Albania.

Designed to support both countries in their efforts to protect the Ohrid Lake area, the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region” focuses on the protection of culture as well as nature, recognising their multiple values, addressing the main threats and harnessing opportunities through a sustainable development approach. It 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 project is building a participatory process for integrated management planning and the preparation of a dossier by the Albanian authorities to extend the World Heritage property to the Albanian part of the Lake Ohrid region.

In this project IUCN give technical assistance to the states parties concerning the identification, conservation and management of the natural components of the Lake Ohrid region; works on improving the capacities in relation to the protection and management of the natural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region and gives expert advice on protected area designation and management.

The project is coordinated by UNESCO in partnership with the authorities of both countries, as well as the three Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention (ICOMOS International, IUCN and ICCROM), and is financed by the European Union with the co-financing by the government of Albania.

 

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