The first in a series of three videos focusing on sustainability and heritage in the Lake Ohrid region, a unique cultural and natural ecosystem shared by Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

In case you didn’t know already, Lake Ohrid is a very special place. It’s the oldest, deepest lake on the European continent, and is home to hundreds of endemic species as well as uniquely preserved cultural artifacts. The region is home to over 150,000 people, and visited by 300,000 every year.

Over a period of six months, we worked side-by-side with international organizations and local stakeholders to produce three videos in conjunction with the project “Towards strengthened governance of the shared transboundary natural and cultural heritage of the Lake Ohrid region.” Active over three years, the project aims to bring UNESCO World Heritage protection to the Albanian side of the Lake Ohrid region (the FYROM side has been protected since the 1970s). Along the way, project partners on both sides of the border are taking this opportunity to tackle a slew of issues in the region—from sustainable tourism development to waste management—in hopes that the region can become, as one project consultant puts it, “a real success story in the Balkans.”

This video offers an outline of the Lake Ohrid region project and an introduction to the key players.

This is the first of three videos about Lake Ohrid; check out the second and third videos in the series.