A non-governmental Greek organisation, Society for the Protection of Prespa, has qualified in the international competition The Thiess International Riverprize, organised by the International River Foundation of Australia.
After two stages of evaluation, the Society for the Protection of Prespa qualified alongside four other candidates with the winner to be announced at a ceremony held in early October in Melbourne, Australia.
The contest was organised to award bodies and organisations who have contributed to the proper management of rivers and wetlands worldwide. The prize – the world’s most prestigious environmental award – gives recognition to those who have developed and implemented outstanding and sustainable programs in river management, has been awarded since 1999.
The Society for the Protection of Prespa took part in the contest with the project “Restoration of the wet meadows and Management of Mikri Prespa”, a project which is core to protect globally endangered species such as the Dalmatian Pelicans, and integrated management of the aquatic ecosystem of Mikri Prespa Lake. The project refers to the restoration of wet meadows for the conservation of Lake Mikri Prespa, a long-term conservation effort, which is today recognized as “best practice” for an ecosystem’s recovery. The tripling of wet meadow areas, the re-nesting of the Glossy Ibis, and the enlargement by 240 per cent of the colony of the globally endangered Dalmatian pelican, now numbering over 1,200 pairs (15 per cent of global population), are among the most outstanding results.
All finalists will present during the 15th International Riversymposium in the Riverprize finalists session, on Tuesday 9 October, followed by the announcement of the winners at the 2012 Riverprize Gala Dinner. A partner of Society for the Protection of Prespa will travel to Melbourne for this to attend the ceremony, but also to highlight the region of Prespa and the work that has been done, to an international audience.
Apart from Prespa Lakes, the Thiess International Riverprize finalists are the Willamette River (USA), Okavango River (Angola, Namibia and Botswana) and the Nushagak River (USA).
More information about work of the Society for the Protection of Prespa can be seen at www.spp.gr.