The two-year process for developing the new Management Plan for Galicica National Park for the 2021-2030 period culminated with a formal and mandatory public consultation in February 2021.
Supported by a grant from PONT, the Public Institution Galicica National Park (PIGNP) initiated the process in 2019 by assessing the implementation of the first Management Plan (2011-2020) and reviewing the “lessons learned” in the process. This was followed by the revisiting of the long-term Joint Vision for the Park and the setting out of the strategic directions for the next 10 years. These were in turn translated into a detailed plan of actions and budget. The main stakeholders were involved in all the steps of the process through the two statutory bodies of PIGNP, the Scientific Council and the Stakeholder Council.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was also conducted in compliance with national laws and regulations. The formal procedure for adopting the MP commenced in February 2021 with the publishing of the draft Management Plan and draft SEA report on the official websites of PIGNP and the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP). The MoEPP was responsible for conducting a transboundary consultation concerning the draft SEA report, involving the stakeholders in Albania and Greece.
Two back-to-back online public hearings were held on the 17th of February concerning these documents. The participants in the hearings commended the past achievements of the PIGNP and strongly supported the new Management Plan that integrates the strategic decision, made in 2020, to decouple conservation financing from the direct use of natural resources in the park.
Suggestions and comments were also given concerning the rules applying to the different management zones of the Park, the integration of the recommendations from the Reactive Monitoring Mission carried out by the World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS / IUCN concerning the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region, the protection of the geological heritage in the park, as well as the next steps in the development of the biodiversity monitoring and research programme of PIGNP.
Stakeholders and the general public may send additional comments and suggestions in writing by Monday, 1 March 2021. All comments and suggestions submitted during the consultation process will be addressed in the final draft of the Management Plan, as appropriate.