Lake Ohrid Management - Results
GEF IDS: 113
IWC6 Results Note (2011)
Key Basin Project Results
1. Maintenance of average lake nutrient concentrations, particularly phosphorous, below critical levels at which the current oligotrophic state can be sustained
2. Reduction in nutrient and microbiological (E-coli) loads in the lake’s tributaries and other inflows.
3. Development of capacity of public officials in the Lake Ohrid Watershed to enforce each country’s environmental laws, regulations, standards and policies.
Agriculture pollution reduction practices
Year: N/A - Value: [see desc]INDICATOR#1: Maintain average lake nutrient concentrations, particularly, phosphorous, below critical levels at which its present oligotrophic state can be sustained. By project end, the monitoring program data indicated that the average lake-wide phosphorous concentration remained below levels usually used to indicate oligotrophic condition; however, some shoreline hotspots reached mesotrophic condition.
INDICATOR#2: Reduce nutrient (N & P) and microbiological (E-Coli) loads in the lake’s tributaries and other inflows. Although the amount is unquantified, nutrient loads were reduced due to project activities (through the construction of manure platforms, reforestation activities, etc.) and substantial investments of other donors in wastewater collection and treatment.
Regional legal agreements and cooperation frameworks
Year: 2004 - Value: YESInstrument: Agreement for Lake Ohrid and its Watershed
INDICATOR #1: Adoption of recommended changes in legal acts, regulations and policies and more effective enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, standards and policies. The project assisted in the development of a new “Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of Lake Ohrid and its Watershed” which significantly expanded the composition and powers of the Lake Ohrid Management Board comprising representatives from both countries. The project contributed to the process of revising environmental legislation that would regulate environmental assessment of new projects.
INDICATOR #2: Participatory Watershed Management Committees (PWMC) adopt watershed Action Programs to promote future targeted and priority activities and programs to protect the Lake and its watershed. A community awareness program was developed and implemented that helped establish effective WMCs. Comprehensive watershed Action Programs were completed by the PWMCs and joint Action Programs were endorsed by the Lake Ohrid Management Board. Priority actions were further endorsed by the government of Macedonia
The objective, to provide a transboundary, comprehensive approach to the management of the Lake Ohrid watershed, combining restoration, conservation and protection of the lake with sustainable use of its natural resources, was codified into a new transboundary treaty “Agreement for the Protection and Sustainable Development of Lake Ohrid and its Watershed.” This treaty was signed by both countries in June 2004 and fully ratified by both countries in the spring of 2005. It provides a sustainable legal framework for long-term watershed management that is proactive and fully consistent with the EU Water Framework Directive. While implementation is just beginning and much depends on how this occurs, it is rare for a project to result in a completely new and comprehensive legal structure for joint management among two countries. The negotiation, signing and ratification of this treaty are significant achievements and bode well for the future. The LOCP was the first GEF project of its kind in Southeastern Europe, and it has been recognized internationally as a successful model of bilateral management of transboundary resources. Delegates at a 2003 Athens conference hosted by Greece, during its Presidency of the EU, and the World Bank recommended that others in the region use the lessons learned in the LOCP to help guide their projects, especially noting how joint activities at the local level had significantly strengthened the collaboration between the two countries (The World Bank 2003). The long-term project goal, to conserve and protect the natural resources and biodiversity of Lake Ohrid, has been enabled and can be achieved with continued efforts under the new agreement. Three years of monitoring document water quality concerns, but also a diverse ecosystem that remains resilient. Although the amount is unquantified, nutrient loads have undoubtedly been reduced by project activities, (particularly the construction of manure platforms and the reforestation projects) and substantial investments of other donors in wastewater collection and treatment are underway and will significantly increase these reductions. The average lakewide phosphorus concentration is still below the level usually used to indicate oligotrophic condition. The Project’s “State of the Environment” analysis shows that changes in species composition are occurring, and some hot spots of concern exist, but no species have been eliminated and the overall condition of the ecosystem is still acceptable. As the transbounday treaty and joint Action Program are implemented, additional improvements in the ecosystem should occur.
Regional Management Institutions
Year: N/A - Value: YESLake Ohrid Watershed Committee