Watershed Management Plan for the Prespa Region Sets Clear Objectives For Future Protection of Waters

The first ever draft watershed management plan for the Prespa region was presented by experts today to representatives from ministries, NGOs and local communities during a workshop organized by the Ministry of Environment and UNDP in Ohrid.

It is expected that once adopted by the Government, the plan should become an important  driver for achieving sustainable management of the Prespa waters for many years to come.


It offers guidance for directing future investments in the Prespa water sector and recommendations to improve water resource management issues in the basin, such as irrigation, water supply and wastewater treatment.


“This is the first watershed management plan fully in line with the EU Water Framework Directive. It has been developed by a group of experts over the past years with the support of UNDP. The plan is an excellent model that will serve as an example to all other watershed areas throughout the country”, Ministry of Environment’s State Secretary, Sonja Lepitkova, said.


Since the late 20th century the ecosystem of the Prespa lakes has been subject to the dramatic impacts of over-abundant plant growth and reduced water levels due to over-exploitation for irrigation and climate change.

Research has suggested that agriculture and solid waste are the largest water polluters and also one of the major threats to valuable species and habitats.

In the past 9 years, more than 9 million USD have been invested to help the region’s people with long term socio-economic development, to conserve the rich biodiversity and to protect the waters of Prespa. 

“Over the past years, a lot has been done to improve the Prespa Lake’s Basin thanks to the financial support from the Global Environmental Facility and the Swiss Development Cooperation and the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.”, UNDP/GEF Project Manager, Dimitrija Sekovski said. “The plan is another major step forward in that direction. It sets very clear objectives, actions and measures that need to be undertaken in order to ensure protection of waters for the future generations”, Sekovski added.

Photo by: Ljupco Ilievski