Association of eco-activists Front 21/42 has sent a letter to the World Heritage Committee, signed by 18 Macedonian and 15 Albanian organizations, calling on the UNESCO body to inscribe the Ohrid region on the list of world heritage sites in danger.
Voicing concern about the state of the Ohrid region, the 34 organizations say it is not due to war or natural disaster. “The most common reasons for ruining values and declaring world heritage in danger are the direct result from the management of cultural heritage by local and central authorities in the two countries,” they say.
Unfortunately, says the letter, the alarm sounded in 2019 didn’t wake up our governments and the additional time they were given by the World Heritage Committee to implement the recommendations and measures to ensure protection was used for developing new urbanization plans and benefits for illegal constructions, masked under the guise of some symbolic removal of temporary constructions.
The signatories note they are particularly concerned by the resumption of urbanization processes even after the stark warning of the mission from January 2020 that ongoing and planned modifications will push the already vulnerable state to a point of no return.
According to them, the move undoubtedly shows that our local and central authorities haven’t changed their ways despite deteriorating the state of world heritage all the while “being fully aware that it might be the way to irreversibly lose the invaluable treasure that belongs to the whole world and to all future generations.”