The Society for the Protection of Prespa has funded the OCUDP Study of the Municipality of Prespa, as part of its activities to protect and promote the area of the Prespa Lakes, declared as a National Park. The competent Municipal Authority of Prespa has accepted the proposal and a multidisciplinary team has been commissioned to undertake the Study for the spatial and urban organization of the Municipality. The Study is designed to proceed for official ratification as a Decision of the Regional Authority.
The Study was prepared in accordance with the national technical specifications for Open City Urban Development Plans (OCUDPs). The objective of these Plans is to define and establish throughout the municipality’s boundaries: the areas of Special Protection, the areas for productive activities, the areas for residential development and tourism - recreation, the development of transport networks and other technical infrastructure, the town planning structure of the settlements, and to redact a programme of the required studies and projects needed for the implementation of the Plan.
The Municipality of Prespa is located at the northwestern boundary of Greece, bordering with FYROM and Albania, countries which form also part of the Prespa Lakes basin. The Lakes are one of the 11 Greek wetlands of international importance of the RAMSAR Convention and are also included in the “Natura 2000” European network of protected areas.
The main objective of the Study in the context of sustainable development is the protection and enhancement of natural and cultural values of Prespa, a unique wetland and National Park of Greece, while at the same time ensuring local development, based on the resources of the region –developing mild tourism and agriculture, livestock breeding– which will reverse the trend of abandonment of the area observed until recently.
For the achievement of this two-fold objective –protection and development– the Study adopted the following approach:
Firstly, an in-depth understanding and analysis of space, values of the region (natural and cultural) as well as the needs of its residents
Secondly, to investigate development opportunities in the context of sustainability and identify underlying degradation risks, formulating proposals geared on the promotion of the area’s comparative advantages.
The Study adopted the guidelines of the National Spatial Plan of Greece, the Regional Spatial Plan of Western Macedonia (where Prespa belongs), the Special (Sectoral) National Plans for Tourism and Renewable Energy Sources, as well as transboundary programmes with the neighbouring countries and programmes launched under the EU INTERREG II Initiative, given the area’s border character in Greek and EU level.