Prime Ministers of Macedonia and Albania Sign Agreement for Protection and Sustainable Development of Lake Ohrid Watershed
Friday, June 18, 2004
The chronology of the events regarding governance of Lake Ohrid shows several important milestones. Establishing the Hydrobiological Institute in 1935, listing as a UNESCO site in 1980, starting of the operation of the primary collector and wastewater treatment plant on the Macedonian part of Lake Ohrid in 1988, and starting the implementation of the bilateral Lake Ohrid Conservation Project with Albania in 1998 were all events which brought hope for protecting the quality of the very important cross-border natural resource.
However, according to Dejan Panovski, director of the Project Implementation Unit for the Lake Ohrid Conservation Project in Ohrid, Macedonia, "The Joint Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Delopment of Lake Ohrid Watershed, which was signed by two Prime Ministers of Macedonia and Albania on June 17th 2004, adds new hope as perhaps the most important date regarding integrated protection of Lake Ohrid and its watershed."
"This is result of five years of joint efforts within the Lake Ohrid Conservation Project, and after this date, protection of the Lake Ohrid watershed will be more than project but one integral continuing process which will ensure establishment of International Committee and its Secretariat for protection of the lake," Panovski added.
The agreement gives opportunities and responsibilities to both sides for joint management and protection which will provide a conditions for sustainable development with strong economic and social benefit for the entire region.
Lake Ohrid is a transboundary lake shared by Albania and Macedonia.