Tirana, 17th June 2013


Press release

Albanian parts of the Prespa lakes nominated as ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under the the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

(Tirana) After Butrint, the Karavaste Lagoon, the River Buna and Shkodra Lake, the Albanian Government has nominated on 13.06.2013 through decision nr 489 (CoM) the Albanian parts of both Prespa lakes as Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which Albania has signed at 29.2.1996.

The nomination of the Albanian parts of both Prespa lakes as ‘Wetland of International Importance’ follows the nomination of the Greek parts in 1974 and the Ezerani Reserve on the Macedonian side in 1996.

The nomination of the Albanian parts paves the way for a trilateral conservation regime for the valuable lakes’ ecosystem, which is the habitat of rare and endangered waterfowl such as the Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) or the White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) which is in the meantime one of the largest breeding colony in Europe. Moreover, the entire area of the lakes is an important wintering place for thousands of water-birds coming from their breeding places in the Palearctic region’, explained Fatos Bundo the Director of the Biodiversity Department at the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration of the Republic of Albania.

Various surveys revealed in the last years that the Albanian region of Prespa lakes hosts an exceptional biodiversity, with the wide region being recognized as a European and Global Biodiversity Hotspot, not only because of the sheer number of species and habitats present but also due to their quality, such as rarity and conservation significance.

The actual area nominated as protected natural zone under the Ramsar nomination has a total surface of 15,118.58 ha with following land use categories:

No Use of Territory Surface in Ha
Water surface (lakes, lagoons, rivers, streams) 5,235.45
Forest surface, bushes and land with forest plants 7,262.40
Surface with pasture grounds and meadows 320.17
Arable land (crops, fruit trees, wine gardens) 2,133.23
Non-productive (rock, gravel, sand, roads) 13.40
Urban surface 133.38
Urban surface mixed with arable land 20.55
Total Surface 15,118.58

The specifically protected natural zone is in compliance with the zoning of the National Park “Prespa”, determined in the park management plan.

The social-economic activities, which are permitted to be carried out in the specifically protected natural zone “Ramsar”, are of traditional character, such as (wise use of fish resources or sustainable agricultural practices), allowing for the preservation of the environmental values developed in compliance with the level of the protection according the objectives of the management plan of the National Park Prespa.

Moreover, the nomination document reinstates that the administration of Prespa National Park, under the authority of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration is responsible for the preservation and management of the natural zone, specifically protected as waterfowl habitats (Ramsar). This shall be achieved in the framework of the programs, action plans etc. set out in the management plan of the National Park. The main authority of the National Park Administration is the Management Committee of the National Park Prespa, which is directly responsible for the preservation and management of the natural zone specifically protected as a waterfowl habitat (Ramsar).

The nomination of the Ramsar Site was supported in the framework of the project ‘Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Prespa – Support to the National Park Prespa in Albania’ (BMZ 2001 66 785) under the bilateral Cooperation between Albania and Germany through its Bank for Reconstruction KfW.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at:

Fatos Bundo, DNCB, MoEFWA
(e: t: 00355-682042518)
Olsi Duma, Prespa National Park
(e:; t: 00355-672044123)
Thimaq Lako, D/Team leader of Prespa KfW Project
(e: ; t: 00355-682222277)

ramsar map