Transboundary: Prespa Basin National Park

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The Prespa basin, covering a total area of 2,519 km2, contains the lakes Mikri (small) Prespa and Megali (large) Prespa and is situated in the Balkans, straddling the borders of Albania, Greece, and FYR of Macedonia. Significant parts of the lakes and adjoining wetlands in the territories of Greece and FYR of Macedonia are designated as Ramsar Sites. More than 20,000 people in rely heavily on agriculture for their livelihoods in this region of high biodiversity value. There are more than 1,500 plant species, and endangered mammals including brown bears, wolves, chamois and otters. The area is especially important for water birds, notably the largest breeding colony of Dalmatian pelicans in the world. Since the 1960s human interventions such as over-abstraction and diversion of water, wetland drainage, deforestation and overgrazing have adversely affected the hydrological regime of the area and consequently its ecological functions. However, the people are under strong pressure to further overexploit the area for their economic survival.

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