Between January and August 2016, Pedaling Pictures produced three videos in the framework of an EU-funded project coordinated by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to raise awareness of the natural and cultural values of the Lake Ohrid region shared by Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. You can read more about the specifics of the project in our previous post or visit the project website here.
We became involved with the the Lake Ohrid project though Stephanie’s work with the IUCN Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where she provided project support to the Protected Areas Programme while earning credit towards completing her master’s degree in international environmental policy (she graduated in August 2016).
We were based in Belgrade for six months, and we traveled to the Lake Ohrid region roughly every three weeks to assist with workshops, training sessions and events in support of the project. In July 2016, we relocated from Belgrade to Pogradec—the main city on the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid—for five weeks to concentrate on filming.
Below is a summary of each of the three videos we produced about the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Lake Ohrid Region project.
Video One: Protecting Heritage in the Lake Ohrid Region
“Protecting Heritage in the Lake Ohrid Region” offers an outline of the EU-funded Lake Ohrid project. This video presents the main threats and opportunities affecting the natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region, the importance of sustainable development for effective heritage conservation, the main project partners as well as the overall expected results.
Video Two: Transboundary Cooperation in the Lake Ohrid Region
Lake Ohrid is a transboundary lake shared by two countries. Two-thirds of the lake is on the Macedonian side and one-third is on the Albanian side. As its title implies, “Transboundary Cooperation in the Lake Ohrid Region” demonstrates the main challenges and opportunities of the transboundary process for the Lake Ohrid region. It focuses on how opportunities can help contribute to the safeguarding and management of the potential mixed (natural and cultural) World Heritage property, and it presents existing initiatives and processes promoting sustainable development on the Albanian and the Macedonian sides of the lake.
Video Three: Sustainable Tourism in the Lake Ohrid Region
The third and final video focuses on the challenges and opportunities of sustainable tourism on both the Albanian and Macedonian sides of the Lake Ohrid region. It presents the cultural and natural heritage of the area and its significance for sustainable tourism for the benefit of the local communities. One of aims of the EU-UNESCO project is to bring UNESCO World Heritage protection to the Albanian side of the Lake Ohrid region (the FYROM side has been protected since the 1970s). UNESCO status is expected to further increase the influx of tourism to the region—especially to the the Albanian side—so it’s fitting that there’s a lot of work going on regarding how tourism will play a role in the sustainable development of the region.
When we weren’t behind a camera, our Pogradec days were spent hiking, biking, swimming, eating, tortoise spotting, and learning the Albanian language. We also made plenty of trips to the Macedonian side, both for project-related work as well as just for fun. While the more famous city of Ohrid is certainly charming, we were very happy call Pogradec our base and we can’t wait to go back!
Click on our flickr album (below) for lots of pictures of Pogradec and the Albanian side of Lake Ohrid.