The final socio-economic impact assessment report (action D3) of the LIFE Prespa Waterbirds program (LIFE 15 NAT / GR / 00936) focuses on the evaluation of the three-year period actions (May 2018 and May 2021) to the local community. The analysis is initially based on the final revised system of indicators of the program, which integrates all possible categories of socio-economic benefits, according to the latest (July 2019) Technical Report of Action D3 (2nd revision of the system of socio-economic indicators). In this context, all the necessary data are recorded/collected (see Section 2 of this report) in order to estimate the selected indicators for the completion/final period of this project (i.e. for the period when the socio-economic benefits of the LIFE Prespa Waterbirds program have been realized/identified by the local community). These results are then compared with those of the previous evaluation period (baseline period) in order (a) to compare and interpret the different indicator values during the project and thus (b) to draw conclusions about the contribution of the current project to the creation of benefits for the local community. The technical data sheets of all indicators (quantitative and qualitative) are presented in the Annex A of this report.
Next, the Section 3 of this final report, presents and discusses the implementation/results of the focus groups’ method for the selected professional/stakeholder groups (stockbreeders, fishermen, farmers). It should be noted that the group of hotel-owners was not included in this analysis as due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the general travel restrictions imposed for a very long time (from March 2020 to May 2021) it was impossible to evaluate the project’s results in relation to the local tourism and the number of visitors to the Prespa area (during this project).
The answers of stakeholders are presented in detail and are used to reveal interesting points about the final (completion) period of the project, as well as to evaluate the corresponding "qualitative" indicators. By comparing the results of this process at the beginning and the end of this project, several conclusions are drawn concerning: (a) the contribution/benefits of the project to the different professional groups, but also regarding (b) how the different stakeholder groups perceive the benefits of this project in terms of social welfare and local economic development.
The interview guides of the focus groups for Phase B (baseline period) and Phase C (completion period) of the project are presented in detail in Annex B and Annex C respectively, while Annex D contains the results of the previous focus groups (2018, 2019) in order to enable a direct comparison between the different periods. The final conclusions regarding the socio-economic benefits of the LIFE Prespa Waterbirds project are summarized in Section 4, which highlights the very significant contribution of the project to the local community despite the impact of several negative externalities over the last three years (Covid-19 pandemic, reduced rainfall and lower lake level). In fact, this (socio-economic) contribution (i.e. these benefits) not only apply during the project’s implementation period but also to the following years.
Bithas, K. & D. Latinopoulos. 2021. Final assessment study of the socio-economic impact of the project LIFE Prespa Waterbirds – LIFE15 NAT/GR/000936. Institute of Urban Environment and Human Resources, Panteion University. Society for the Protection of Prespa
Action D3: Assessment of the socio-economic impact of the project – Final study (2021) - in Greek with English summary