The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning at the 25th Session of the Government of Republic of North Macedonia held on 1st December submitted an Analysis and Action Plan for Lake Prespa, which was prepared by the Expert Working Group (EWG) established by the MOEPP for the purpose,and which included current and retired professors, experts, technical experts from relevant institutions (hydrologists, biologists, geologists) who have worked and are still working on this issue, as well as representatives of the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) and other experts working on thematic projects in the Prespa Region.
While the Plan projects urgent, medium-term and long-term measures, with defined indebted institutions and entities and financial implications, the Government reviewed the Report and instructed all institutions provided in the action plan to be clarified, in order to urgently aprove the Plan and approach its implementation in the shortest possible time.
In the interest of informing the public, a cross-section of the implemented activities and progress in preparing the plan for overcoming the situation with lowering the water level of Lake Prespa within the Expert Working Group, as well as cross-border cooperation is presented.
- Informal meetings have been held at the political, administrative and expert level since February 2020, whereas the steps for addressing the issue with Lake Prespa at national and trilateral level were defined.
One of the established steps at the national level was the establishment of an Expert Working Group that will review the planning documents prepared so far and implemented measures, as well as the scientific analyzes for preparation of an Action Plan for emergency intervention measures with financial construction in the shortest possible time, in addition to the started processes with a long-term perspective;
- On October 1, 2020, the Expert Working Group was officially established (by representatives of relevant scientific institutes, universities, HMA, NGOs and institutions) and the first working meeting was held, in which two working subgroups were formed:
- A team of biologists
- The team of hydrologists.
- The ERG collected all the prepared and available documents and studies conducted so far for the entire Prespa region, and established the framework for the creation of the Action Plan based on two main documents:
- Strategic Action Plan for Drim with the recommended management activities from March 2020 (Program approved by the three countries within the Drim watershed management project) and
- Prespa LakeWatershed Management Plan.
- On November 9, 2020 the third working meeting was held and at the same time the last joint meeting of the entire ERG in full composition, during which the key tasks for both teams were set and special meetings were scheduled for their focused work.
- On November 10, 2020, the ERG Coordinator (Assistant Head of the Water Sector in the MOEPP) held a meeting at the technical level with colleagues from Albania and Greece and requested data and information from them, the exchange of which was agreed at the next meeting on December 11, 2020.
- On November 23, 2020the first conclusions and the Draft Action Plan with financial construction within the ERG and the MOEPP were presented.
- On 1 December 2020, the information with the analysis and action plan for Lake Prespa was sent to the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia for review and approval, which sets out a set of phased measures, from rapid intervention to medium- and long-term activities, accompanied by funding proposals (national budget and international funds) in order to overcome the situation with Lake Prespa for a long time.
The complete documentation for the activities related to overcoming the situation with lowering the water level on Lake Prespa is posted on the website of the MOEPP for public inspection.