National Report of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for COP7

24/01/1999

National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6

Contracting Party Republic of Macedonia
Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority National Ramsar Committee
Full name of the institution Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia, Zool. Dpt., Biol. Institute Faculty of Sciences , Skopje Macedonia
Name and title of the head of the institution Branko Micevski , Asoc. Prof. / Dr. Sc.
Mailing address for the head of the institution Bul. ASNOM 58- 2/4, Novo Lisiche Skopje The same as abpve
Telephone ++389 91 432 071
Fax ++389 91 117 055 ext.614
E-mail brankom@iunona.pmf.ukim.edu.mk
Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters Aleksandar Nastov, senior adviser
Mailing address (if different) for the designated contact officer

Ministry of Environment, Dame Gruev 14, Skopje 91000 Macedonia

Telephone ++389 91 133 470
Fax ++389 91 110 290
E-mail Sredina@unet.com.mk

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.

Co-organiser of the Prespa Lake protection ( Symposium in Korcha -Albania 1997)

Mutual Project with Republic of Albania for Ohrid Lake Protection (Ohrid Lake is on a shadow list for Ramsar )

Several attempts of the Macedonian politicians for solving the problem with Dojran Lake (rapidly decreasing of the water level and accompanying effects).


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:

No, it is not yet developed

a. What are/will be its main features?

The main features would be:

  • preparing of the inventory
  • Integral protection of the macedonian wetlands and transboundary wetlands and their cathment areas
  • Sustainable development of the surrounding areas

b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.

It would be accepted from the government and from the parliament (of course from the ministry for environment)

c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?

Preparing of National Wetland Strategy was planned with NEAP (accepted in 1997).

2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?

2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :

a. a single Government Ministry,
b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?

Yes (as we organise this similar like for NEAP)

2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No   If yes, please give details.

No

2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.

There are changes in some laws as: Law for hunting ( 96); Law for fishery (95) ; Law for waters (97) but the changes were not in direct constellation with Ramsar although impact positive implementing the Ramsar Convention in Macedonia;

Special impact and importance has the new law for Environment (1997)

Direct impact and in connection with Ramsar Convention was proclaiming the Reserve EZERANI as a first strictly protected ornithological reserve (1996)

2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:

a. national    +
b. provincial
c. local   
+

2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No   If Yes, please provide details and copies.

Micevski, B., 1998. Avifauna of the Prespa Lake. West.Skopje.

Micevski, B., 1998. Reedbeds and fish traps. Enact. (special supplement):10-11.

Exhibition "Prespa Lake " on 10 tables (3 months in the Natural History museum ) - organised by BSPSM . The exhibition was prepared by EURONATURE (Germany)

2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).

No action was taken.

2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.

No specific steps have been taken.

2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No

From 1998 IAA is necessary for any kind of investment impacting any kind of ecosystem

2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No.  If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.

Somehow yes but mainly with international help. Example: WEB and Germany have given for the Ohrid Lake protection.

2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).

Not specific actions on the state level. BSPSM as a manager of the Reserve EZERANI in the frame of Prespa Lake RS is going to include that moment and already have published some prospects concerning this. Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia in cooperation with EURONATURE from Germany have prepared exhibition from 10 tables in the Natural History Museum concerning Prespa Lake in 1996. This exhibition was visited by thousands of pupils all over the Macedonian schools. In 1996 BSPSM organise special project in cooperation with REC local office in Macedonia for rising of public awareness concerning the Ornitilogical reserve EZEARNI protection.

2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No   If yes, please provide details.

No specific actions.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No?   If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)

No.

3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.

No.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.

NRC of Macedonia has not enough influence to the another institutions responsible for wetland use? NRC is not yet included in that system of mechanisms. The Ramsar Committee in Gland should inform the Macedonian government for that issue.

4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:

a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.

No, There is no special review for ident. training needs of inst. and ind.

b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?

NO

c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.

No, nothing!

d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.

Nowhere.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:

a. being prepared?
b. fully prepared?
c. being implemented?

Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.

We have only one RS and it has no Management plan. We apply for help to do this but without success!

5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.

5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.

Yes, very negative; Eutrofication and drying of the Prespa and Dojran Lake. Prespa is RS and Dojran is on the shadow list. Tourism is also negatively affecting the lakes. It is not in frame of some sustainable (but strictly commercial) basis

5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?

5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No.

No

If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No.

Yes

Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.

6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.

No

6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities. If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.

There are three natural lakes in Macedonia- Prespa, Ohrid and Dojran Lake.

Surface area of Prespa Lake is 197 km2, Ohrid Lake- 251 km 2 and Dojran Lake 27,3 km2. Last decade drastic declining of the water level ware noticed (Prespa Lake- 5 m decreasing and Dojran Lake - similar decerasing but as it was only 7-8 m deep the situation is very critical.

6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:

a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2),
b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),
c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),
d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)
e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)
f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)

No

6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.

6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).

Prespa is transfrontier (with Greece and Albania)

6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).

Plans for Dojran (with Greece) and for Ohrid (with Albania)


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).

Project finacied by WB and German Govermant for Ohird Lake protection

7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No

7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:

a. Convention on Biological Diversity
b. Framework Convention on Climate Change
c. Convention to Combat Desertification
d. Convention on Migratory Species
e. World Heritage Convention

Special commitee exists only for Ramsar Convention due to the interest of Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia in which frame, in fact, was formed this commitee.

For another conventions there are only a representatives from the Ministry of Environment – Sector for Nature Protection. Cooperation is not sufficient in order to undertake some serious actions for wetland protection.

7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No

7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.

7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget?

No, nobody suggest it! We could not do it as a NRC - we could try next year!

7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

NO

7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.

No


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No

8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.

Yes. There are missing appropriate links between responsible ministry for  implementing " the Convention and another for dealing with money and Ministry for FA which should initiate that process.


Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.

At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.

In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country? Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.

Several!  National Level: Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia (for all kind of wetlands and IBA in Macedonia)

Local level NGOs:

Grashnica- Ohird (for Ohrid Lake protection)

Lihnidos - Ohird (for Ohrid Lake protection)

Enhalon – Struga (for Ohrid Lake protection)

Dojan Lake Society- Star Dojan (Dojran Lake protection)

9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:

a. to each other? Yes/No      No
b. to the government? Yes/No
     No

9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No

Yes, BSPSM as in the frame of it works NRC!

9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).

Bird Study and Protection Society of Macedonia BSPSM

9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details

We do not have RS adv.comm.

9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.


Final comments:

10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:

a. The Ramsar Standing Committee
b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel
c. The Ramsar Bureau
d. The Ramsar NGO partners

Best cooperation with the Ramsar Bureau.

10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.

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