As one of the most important wetlands in the Balkans, the Prespa Lakes sit on the intersection point between Greece, Albania and North Macedonia.
Made up of two lakes and separated by an isthmus, the Prespa Lakes ecosystem is an area of spectacular beauty with unique biodiversity and geomorphology. Protecting this ecosystem and ensuring that its flora and fauna continue flourishing is why the lakes were turned into a Transnational Park in 2000 – and why we’re shining a spotlight on the importance of their preservation.
Within this large wetland expanse lies the Greek section of the Prespa Transnational Park, located in the Little Prespa Lake. With approximately 1,800 types of plants, amounting to one-third of Greece’s total plant species, the Greek Prespa National Park also hosts over half of the bird, mammal, and amphibian species found in Greece. To top that off, it boasts the largest colony of Dalmation pelicans in the world. The lake’s marshes also cater to migratory birds and provide ideal breeding and feeding spots. For these reasons, the Greek Prespa National Park is a national site of ecological preservation.
On a broader note, wetlands are important because they:
- Combat climate change by acting as carbon sinks through the storage of large carbon quantities in plant communities and soil.
- Contain high levels of nutrients and therefore play a crucial role in feeding the species that live there for part, or all, of their life cycle.
- Help control flooding and shoreline erosion by trapping, absorbing, and releasing surface water, rain, groundwater, flood water, and snowmelt, slowly over floodplains.
- Provide rich and diverse habitats for threatened and endangered species.
- Produce ecological products that can be used for personal or commercial purposes, such as fish, shellfish, or blueberries.
Wetlands can also bring people and organisations together around a common cause, as demonstrated by the transformation of Prespa Lakes into a protected area of conservation. In this case, three countries, Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, came together to address environmental, social, and developmental issues that formed the basis of this transboundary project. This fostered a spirit of mutual collaboration and understanding around the need to preserve this biodiverse area.
Contact us to find out how we develop our projects while respecting the environment.