BMZ visits Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa Project

Posted on 22 May, 2019 by Constanze Schaaff, Chief Technical Advisor/Team Leader

On May 7, 2019 Mr. Achim Mortier of the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) in charge of German cooperation projects in Albania, paid a visit to Prespa National Park. The site visit was an opportunity to get tangible impressions on the significant support of Albanian-German development cooperation to conservation efforts in the Prespa Region.

The National and Regional Agency for Protected Areas used the event to highlight Prespa National Park features on site and discuss support needs and plans with the delegation of the BMZ German Embassy, KfW Development Bank and GIZ. The GFA’s project team leader presented ongoing activities of Phase II of the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa Project. Representatives of GIZ Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity at Lakes Prespa, Ohrid and Shkodra/Skadar (CSBL) project and the Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT) explained the well-coordinated assistance to the Prespa Area with regard to transboundary conservation and support to implementation of the EU Water Framework Directives’ requirements.

The Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa Project aims at reducing the pressure on natural resources as well as the contribution to poverty alleviation in the Albanian part of the Ohrid-Prespa Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. The project will help to conserve biodiversity and improve living conditions of the population in Prespa National Park and in the Albanian part of the biosphere reserve. The project started in May 2018 and will be completed in April 2021. It is co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank, and is implemented by GFA Consulting Group GmbH and the Institute for Nature Conservation of Albania.

The Ohrid-Prespa Ecoregion is unique in terms of its natural and cultural heritage. On the Albanian side, its conservation relevance is acknowledged through the Protected Areas Ohrid- Prespa Transboundary Biosphere Reserve founded in 2014 and the Prespa National Park created in 1999. Their ecosystems and habitats form part of the wider Mediterranean global hotspot of biodiversity, and the Ohrid lake systems and the Great and Small Prespa Lakes are considered among the most important sites of freshwater biodiversity in Europe. They are of extraordinary importance for sedentary and migratory birds.
Photos no 1: de Koning (PONT), Schaaff ( GFA), Cassens (GIZ), Meilicke (KfW) Thies (KfW), no 2: Thies (KfW), Kneller (German Embassy), Buli (KfW), Dedej (NAPA), Mortier (BMZ), no 3: Dollaku (KfW), de Koning (PONT), Schaaff ( GFA), Cassens (GIZ), Meilicke (KfW)
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