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UNDP Clark: Prespa - Perfect Example of Clear Win for Nature

Environment | March 25, 2017, Saturday @ 18:58| 121 views

Helen Clark Photo: MIA/Printscreen

UNDP documentary 'Lake of Apples', directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska, had its world premiere late Friday at Cinematheque of Macedonia in Skopje.

The film is dedicated to the efforts of UNDP and the municipality of Resen to stop the pollution of the Prespa Lake under the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

"After fifteen years of work and fifteen million dollars of investment, we are delighted that Prespa Lake has been restored to health, thanks to a veritable revolution in the way the farmers grow their crops. Over eighty per cent of Prespa farmers have adopted environmentally friendly methods and technologies, such as “fertigation,” which combines efficient drip irrigation with careful doses of liquid fertilizer," UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said at the documentary premiere.

The results are clear, she said, pesticide use is down by thirty per cent; the use of water for irrigation has dropped by sixty per cent; a million trees have been planted to reverse erosion; wastewater treatment plants protect the lake from raw sewage; and the tens of thousands of tons of rotten apples which used to be dumped into tributaries of the lake are now being transformed into rich organic compost.

"This is a clear win for nature. Indigenous fish species have recovered as the water quality has improved. But it is also a win for the local economy, since farmers are seeing higher yields and better­quality crops at a lower cost. Finally, it is also a win for municipal governance, since the project has helped the local administration to create an environment department which will sustain the momentum for sustainable development after UNDP wraps up its work. Our experience at Lake Prespa is rich in lessons learned, which we draw on as we tackle similar challenges in other countries and regions as they strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals," Clark said.

She also extended gratitude to the film­makers ­ Stefanov and Kotevska ­ for finding a means of communication which 'is adequate to the breathtaking natural beauty of the Prespa ecosystem'.

"At UNDP, we see 'Lake of Apples' as a true breakthrough in the way we can convey the meaning of 'sustainable development', without any jargon or 'talking heads', and instead with the magical simplicity of a fable," Clark said.

Tags: pollution, pesticide, fertilizer, UNDP, Helen Clark, investment


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