Besides the journal papers, organizations such as UNESCO frequently make reports about the condition of the Ohrid region. Here’s a selection:

UNESCO Lake Ohrid Reactive Monitoring.jpg

In April 2017, UNESCO conducted a Reactive Monitoring Mission to assess the state of conservation of the Ohrid region. This is part of the procedure by which a property is placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and therefore an indication of just how bad the threats to Macedonia’s natural and cultural heritage have become. In total, the Reactive Monitoring Mission has made 19 recommendations to the Republic of Macedonia, including a moratorium on all lakeshore and urban construction, cancellation of the Galichica ski-resort, abandonment of sections a and e of the express road, and removal of all harmful illegal buildings. Here is the full WHC/ICOMOS/IUCN joint report.

World Heritage On The Edge

To inform the above-mentioned UNESCO Reactive Monitoring Mission of the situation on the ground, Ohrid SOS prepared World Heritage on the Edge, a wide-ranging document that compiles excerpts from numerous sources to reveal the full context of environmental deterioration in the Ohrid-Prespa region. Drawing on project evaluations, wiretapped conversations, Ministry of Environment reports, Strategic Environmental Assessments and expert comments, it also describes the institutional failure from which environmental degradation emerges in Macedonia and the various tactics employed to obstruct Ohrid SOS from informing the public of the dangers to World Heritage flora and fauna.

World Heritage Outlook_ Ohrid Region

The IUCN’s 2017 World Heritage Outlook for the Ohrid region concludes that its natural and cultural heritage is of significant concern and deteriorating. To arrest the decline, the organization advises a) restoration of wetlands; b) conversion of agricultural practices; c) renewal of the wastewater system; and d) improved collection, disposal and awareness of solid waste.

World Heritage Outlook_ Ohrid Region

Following the 2017 Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring Mission’s report (see above), the World Heritage Commission reached Decision 41 COM 7B.34, which requested full compliance with the mission’s recommendations. A Progress Report Feb 2018 from the Republic of Macedonia to UNESCO on implementation of these measures was therefore submitted in February 2018. It confirmed cancellation of the ski-resort and A3 road planned for National Park Galichica but omitted any mention of a moratorium on construction and did little to demonstrate that effective juridical and control mechanisms had been established to prevent further damage to the property from urbanization (Recommendation 6).

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