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.

Macedonia Climate Change Policy Brief.jpg

With help from the University of Gothenburg’s School of Business, Economics and Law, the Swedish International Development Agency compiled a 2009 desk report on the impacts of climate change in the Republic of Macedonia. It concludes that ski tourism will “suffer from a decrease in the length of the ski season, and non-snow-dependent activities will need to be found to reduce dependency on good snow cover.” Strange then that a major development component for the Ohrid region is a nature-damaging ski-resort in National Park Galichica!

JICA Lake Ohrid Wastewater.jpg

In 2012, the Japan International Cooperation Agency conducted an in-depth investigation of the Ohrid region’s wastewater system, uncovering numerous weaknesses and malpractice that result in both the regular release of untreated sewage to Lake Ohrid and a massive waste of resources.

GiZ Lake Ohrid, Prespa, Skadar.jpg

A stepping stone for implementation of the EU’s Water Framework Directive is characterization of water bodies. For Lake Ohrid, this was published in 2015 by the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GiZ) and results were very mixed: Stable oligotrophic conditions in deep waters are matched by a slide towards eutrophication in the shallows. Meanwhile, although the composition of fish species still favors native kinds, the economically important Ohrid trout and belvica appear to be in deep trouble, indicating a major ecological shift. Out of four biological measures, Lake Ohrid is at risk of failing to maintain good ecological conditions according to three.

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