Development Documents

Alongside the mountain of journal papers and articles that attest to the global significance of the Ohrid region’s nature, there is a small number of planning documents containing the blueprints to destroy it all. Here’s those that are publicly available.

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The Swedish International Development Agency predicts snow levels will fall in Macedonia. The European Environment Agency predicts snow levels will fall in Macedonia. The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning predicts snow levels will fall in Macedonia. Everybody predicts snow levels will fall in Macedonia, yet still plans exist to risk UNESCO World Heritage status for an ecologically reckless, new-build ski-resort at relatively low elevation in National Park Galichica.

Here is the Horwath HTL Business Masterplan for the project. It only mentions climate change once in its detailed “planning”. Moreover,  despite provisions for the government to give away the Republic of Macedonia’s UNESCO lakeshore land to investors for just 1 Euro per square meter and that of the biosphere national park for free, pay for infrastructure and offer no tax for five years, the project’s own business plan still believes it has limited potential to attract overseas investors, especially at the beginning. It also concludes that the ski-resort “can hardly offer sufficient market attraction, in order to be considered as the only tourist product/attraction”. In other words, it won’t solve regional poverty and employment problems. It will, however, destroy one of the most valuable national parks in Europe…


Ecosign Mountain Recreation Planners, part of the greenwashed company which once won a Rusty Nail anti-award for unsustainability at a major tourism event in Berlin, prepared the Ski Area Feasibility Study and Ski Area Master Plan for National Park Galichica. The study reveals that even though proper assessment of weather patterns is an “indispensable precondition” to judge whether a site is suitable for ski-resort construction, “no weather or snow measurements of the Galičica massive have been provided to Ecosign” and therefore the “overall data basis is not very reliable” (pg 114). It goes on to describe how the whole Prespa component of the resort has been designed despite “the economic inefficiency of such an investment”. If you were ever wondering how to become a global champion of unsustainability, that’s how…

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Citrus Partners LLP of London contributed the Strategic Environmental Assessment for Changes and Amendments to the Management Plan for National Park Galichica 2011-2020. These “changes and amendments” included illegally rezoning the national park to allow the A3 express road, ski-resort and lakeshore developments mentioned elsewhere in this website. Even with multiple oversights such as its total failure to analyze the cumulative impact of these projects with others outside the national park like drainage of Studenchishte Marsh or to incorporate the Republic of Macedonia’s lack of willingness/capacity to enforce environmental regulations, Citrus Partners’ assessment is still damning in its finding that severe environmental degradation would directly result from full project implementation. The ski-resort is described as a “permanent scar”, for example.

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