Restoration of the Prespa Lake Ecosystem

Project summary

 Prespa is one of the largest breeding colonies of Dalmatian Pelicans in the world. (Photo: Ljubomir Stefanov/UNDP)

The Prespa Lakes Basin is over 5 million years old—amongst the most ancient freshwater lakes in the world.The region is home to more than 2,000 species of fish, birds, mammals and plants. Many of these species are unique. And many are in danger of dying out if their habitat is not protected. The lake has suffered many pressures in the last forty years. These pressures have many harmful effects on the health of the water. One of these effects is a rapid growth of biomass that endangers the endemic species. This process is called eutrophication.The main causes of the lake’s degradation are harmful farming practices, erosion, untreated waste and wastewaters.

Restoring the Ecosystem of Lake Prespa is the latest project to support the sustainable development of this vulnerable region. It is expected that this project will bring many benefits for the local people and environment. And by reducing the pressures on the ecosystem, it will significantly improve the health and resilience of the Lake.


  • By reducing the pressures on the ecosystem from pollution, it will significantly improve the health and resilience of the lake.
  • Hundreds of farmers will learn more responsible ways of irrigating and fertilizing their land and disposing of agricultural waste.
  • Thousands of trees will be planted to combat the harmful effects of erosion.
  • Wastewater management will be improved through nature-based technology upgrades.
  • Wetland restoration techniques will be introduced for controlling floods and filtering the water of Lake Prespa’s largest
    tributary - the Golema Reka river.
  • Local capacity to manage and monitor the environment will be greatly increased.
  • A Lake Monitoring System and Management Service—with an up-to-date laboratory will be introduced for the first time.
  • These improvements in agriculture and watershed management will bring eutrophication under control.
  • Local people will benefit from cleaner waters.
  • Better quality water will help attract more tourists
  • Local farmers will benefit from using more sustainable methods and will save money by using organic compost.
  • And the many rare and threatened species that live in the lake will have a much better chance of survival.


Swiss Development Cooperation US$ 5,950,000


Year Value
2010 N/A
2011 N/A
2012 US$ 530,620

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