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You are here: Home / News & Announcements / Mayors of Pogradec and Ohrid agree on missing link for Lake Ohrid future

Mayors of Pogradec and Ohrid agree on missing link for Lake Ohrid future

Mayor of Pogradec and Mayor of Ohrid agree to support the re-establishment of the Lake Ohrid Bilateral Committee.

Mayor of Ohrid

Image 1: From left to right: Zoran Spirkoski (Hydrobiological Institute); Jovan Stojanoski, Mayor of Ohrid; Dejan Panovski, National coordinator GEF Drin Project (GWP-Med); Danco Uzunov (RINA/PointPro Consulting).

The Mayor of Pogradec and Mayor of Ohrid, agreed earlier this month, to support the re-establishment of the Lake Ohrid Bilateral Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two littoral[i] countries, to ensure the protection and sustainable development of the Lake Ohrid watershed[ii].

Established through an international agreement (signed 17 June 2004) and ratified by Albania and the FYR of Macedonia in 2005, the Lake Ohrid Committee has been inactive for a long time. The two Mayors’ agreement to support this, builds on an earlier meeting among representatives of the two countries under the Drin CORDA process (May 2018), who agreed to re-initiate the operation of the Committee.

The meeting was facilitated by Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med) representatives, who are supporting the development of a Lake Ohrid Watershed Management Plan (LOWMP) - a demonstration activity funded by the GEF/ UNDP ‘Drin Project’[iii].

The LOWMP will support coordination between the two countries and identify management measures required to meet EU Water Framework Directive standards. It will also address regional environmental and development related needs.

The LOWMP, expected to be ready by mid-2019, will be developed in a highly participatory way, based initially on an Inception Report, which was validated by the Deputy Minister of Environment of the FYR of Macedonia in May 2018 at an Inception report meeting and presentation in Ohrid.

The Report identifies a way forward for the LOWMP, highlighting the needs of stakeholders in the region, and data gaps such as the waters’ environmental status.  

 Image 2: Participants discuss the next steps for establishing a Lake Ohrid Watershed Management Plan (LOWMP) and Lake Ohrid Bilateral Committee in presence of Mayor of Pogradec, Mr.Eduard Kapri and his Team.

Image 2: Participants discuss the next steps for establishing a Lake Ohrid Watershed Management Plan (LOWMP) and Lake Ohrid Bilateral Committee in presence of Mayor of Pogradec, Mr.Eduard Kapri and his Team.

Both Mayor’s welcomed the meeting and agreed that the LOWMP is an essential document for the future management of the region and both expressed willingness to support its preparation.

On the topic of re-establishing the Lake Ohrid Bilateral Committee (according to the 2004 Agreement), the Mayors were strongly supportive, acknowledging it as a forum to give their input and contribute to the sustainable development of the region, by protecting and managing the Lake Ohrid watershed.

The meeting ended with joint agreement on the need to exchange existing and prepared documents and support data collection by the two Municipalities or public enterprises under municipal jurisdiction.

Next steps for the re-establishment of the Lake Ohrid Bilateral Committee depend on the decision of both Governments to appoint its members and schedule a joint meeting.

 


 

[i] Situated on the shore of the lake.

[ii] The area drained by the lake.

[iii] Component 4 of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) / United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Full Size Project ‘Enabling Transboundary Cooperation and Integrated Water Resources Management in the extended Drin River Basin’ (i.e. the ‘Drin Project’).

 

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