By Constanze Schaaff and Xheni Prenda
On 28 Sept 2018, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, and Minister of Tourism and Environment, Blendi Klosi, government representatives and members of parliament came together in Pustec, Prespa Region to present and discuss the potential for development in this Region. During the event at the shores of Lake Prespa, Mr. Klosi highlighted expected results and main interventions of the project “Transboundary Biosphere reserve Prespa”, emphasizing the importance of the joint initiatives of German Development Cooperation and the Albanian Government, which committed almost four million Euro over a three-year period of time to support both, biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation in the region.
The Ohrid-Prespa Ecoregion and its protected areas, the Ohrid-Prespa Biosphere Reserve and the Prespa National Park, are unique in terms of their natural and cultural heritage. The Atelier Albania Summer Academy and the 100+ Villages Academy are initiatives of the National Territorial Planning Agency that are promoted in this context. In summer 2018, two interdisciplinary groups of young graduates developed innovative ideas for valuing natural and cultural heritage in the wider Ohrid-Prespa region. A group of students from 100+ Villages Academy presented main findings identified during four weeks of work in the village of Zaroshka and the Prespa National Park stressing the importance of strengthening a touristic identity for Southeast Albania.
On his tour to the 100 villages, Prime Minister Rama stressed the high potential for tourism of the Prespa region. He sees agro-tourism as a great opportunity for rural development. He stated that sustainable rural development should be based on the involvement of local people so that the cultural and natural identity of this beautiful region can be maintained.
A video documenting the entire event can be found on Facebook.
Photo: Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama, and Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mr. Blendi Klosi