From 1991, The Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) has been the driving force in the nature and cultural history protection of Prespa in the northwestern corner of Greece. With support from the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation, BirdLife Denmark took part in the establishment of SPP, and ever since, BirdLife Denmark has been an active member of SPP in collaboration with other NGO’s from Greece, France, and the UK.
The Greek part of Prespa, with Lake Mikri Prespa and Lake Megali Prespa, is a national park and internationally nature protected (Ramsar, EU bird protection area, NATURA 2000). The area is known for its many cultural marks and rich flora and fauna with more than 1500 plant species, 23 fish species, 11 amphibian species, 21 reptile species, 42 mammal species, and more than 260 different bird species. Among the 160 breeding bird species, the area holds two pelican species including the world’s largest Dalmatian pelican colony, six different herons, two cormorants, for instance pygmy cormorant.
Among other things, BirdLife Denmark, the Danish Bird Protection Foundation and SPP have organized nature interpretation workshops in Prespa and study visits to Denmark. Furthermore, the organisations have ensured exchange of experience about the management of wetlands through the years, and the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation has supported books about Prespa, the establishment of an information centre and the publication “Prespa Walking Guide” (2009) – both an English version and a Greek one.
From 2000, the nature protection of Prespa has been extended to comprise the two neighbour countries Albania and Macedonia in an internationally supported development and collaboration project called Transboundary Prespa Park. On November 11 2009, during a visit to Prespa, the collaboration was confirmed by the Prime Ministers of the three countries. The agreement was nailed down further on February 2 2010, when the Minsters for the Environment from the three countries and the EU’s Commissioner for the Environment signed a joint declaration (“Agreement on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Prespa Park Area”) during World Wetlands Day.
From 2001, nature interpreter Jørgen Stubgaard has represented BirdLife Denmark in SPP’s executive committee. Mr. Stubgaard is a long-standing member of BirdLife Denmark’s International Board and from 1976-2001, he was a member of the Executive Committee of the organisation.
www.spp.gr - The Society for the Protection of Prespa - homepage