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Preservation of Prespa Ecosystem

Audit Id 1593505345030
Title Preservation of Prespa Ecosystem
Title in original language

Ruajtja e ekosistemit të Prespës


Year 2017

Environment and Natural Resources



Type of performance

Performed by single SAI

Comments Prespa has been declared National Park with DCM No. 80 dated 18.2.1999. According to the definition of Law no. 9868, dated 4.2.2008 “On some additions and amendments to Law No. 8906, dated 06.06.2002 “On protected areas”, Prespa National Park is classified as Protected Area, “Category II”. Prespa National Park Management Plan was approved by Order of the Minister of Environment No. 1792 dated 09.05.2014. The main objective of the Management Plan is protection of ecosystems and their functioning in order to provide their services to present and future generations. This Management Plan is based on the respective statements of vision and mission, which will serve as a guide for the National Park and its managers to ensure a better performance in the future. This management plan describes the main threats the Park faces as well as the possible solutions to these threats. The Administrations of the Protected Areas are exposed to divergent interests and strong pressures related to the ecosystems they have to take manage. Thus, they must not only learn how to preserve biodiversity values, but also how to communicate with other decision makers, the community of the area and other public sectors in order to guarantee the long-term survival of ecosystems under their responsibility. Main task of policymakers, decision makers, is to protect nature and natural resources for present and future generations. National Park biodiversity values are still threatened by severe deterioration of terrestrial ecosystems by overgrazing, deforestation and illegal hunting. This has always been accompanied by a mismanagement of water and fish resources from lake pollution, urban wastewater discharges without prior treatment, introducing foreign fish species and fishing with unsuitable and non-traditional methods. Regarding the main question of this audit, “Has the preservation of the Prespa National Park ecosystem been effective”? The following message was issued: The current situation of the Prespa National Park is a result of the constant pressure in the recent decades from residents and poor management from responsible institutions. Unscrupulous use of forests, uncontrolled cutting of firewood for heating and in some cases for illegal trade, hunting and illegal fishing, non-management of urban waste and sewage and non-cooperation among institutions whose duty is to manage and coordinate their actions to preserve the entire ecosystem in Prespa Park, were identified as the main problems in this audit. However, some of the threatening factors for the deterioration of ecosystems have already been reduced, and forests have the potential to recover if the recommendations left out of this audit are taken into account and meticulously implemented. The institutions involved in the management of Prespa National Park (PNP) have not implemented all objectives of the Management Plan, starting with the firewood management, fisheries management, illegal hunting, etc. Korça Protected Areas Administration has not fully implemented the objectives of the PNP Management Plan regarding forest management. The co-management area in Lake Prespa has not been declared, and as a result, all fishermen have been operating illegally since 2013. The performance of the Municipality of Pustec and Devoll regarding waste management has been violated in all three of its principles (economy, efficiency and effectiveness). Pustec Municipality and Devoll Municipality for several years do not perform waste management in accordance with law no. 10463 of Integrated Urban Waste Management, dumping and burning them or leaving them to burn in open spaces. The same thing happens with the discharge of sewage in the Prespa Lakes and their filtration in the groundwater which then pollutes the agricultural lands and ends up in the Prespa Lakes basin. The use of water resources through water wells is neither monitored nor controlled by the Water Resources Policy Directorate and the State Water Inspectorate. They have no data on the amount of water used by locals or local businesses, the exact number and location of these wells. The following was recommended: The audit team, trying to provide the most sustainable solution and taking into account the aggravated socio-economic situation of the Park's residents, recommends that for a pilot area: firewood exploitation/logging to be contracted by private licensed associations or companies, to serve and meet the needs/requirements of the locals. This makes it easier for the park administration to be in control of the situation. The National Agency of Protected Areas should contract the association/company and if this turns out to be successful then it should be extended in the entire Park territory. The Municipality of Pustec should approve the Local Waste Management Plan according to the National Waste Management Plan and act accordingly. The Municipality of Pustec and Devoll should organize awareness campaigns and meetings with the residents of the PNP as well as cleaning campaigns on special days of the year in order to increase civil responsibility on environmental issues. Devoll Municipality should ban the discharge of sewage from Tren village in the canal supplied by the Devoll River which flows into the Little Prespa Lake. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Administration should draft concrete plans in order to improve the water quality of Prespa Lake; The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Administration together with the Ministry of Environment and National Agency of Protected Areas should undertake studies to assess the extent of the damage caused by alluvium in Little Prespa Lake, their geographical distribution, the impact they have on the hydro system of Prespa Lake and the extent of damaging on Prespa's hydro potential. The Ministry of Environment in accordance with the National Environmental Strategy (2006, pp. 167-168) should propose to the Council of Ministers the creation of an environmental fund, where a part of, or all taxes, environmental fees and administrative penalties should go to the environmental fund, in order to only be used to improve environmental quality.





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Performance Audit Department
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