From as early as the 1960s, Prespa had already attracted the interest of ecologists, nature-lovers and environmental scientists because of its exceptional natural beauty and rare biodiversity. The first coordinated effort to protect the area took place in 1990 with the foundation of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP).
Some of the people who played a decisive role in its formation were the environmentalist and architect-planner, Thymios Papayannis, the internationally renowned zoologist, Dr. Luc Hoffmann, and the biologist, Dr. Giorgos Catsadorakis. Together they laid the foundation for the establishment of the SPP, with the help and support of a series of environmental non-profit organisations. The formal initiative was undertaken by the ‘Friends of Prespa’ and WWF International and so, in 1991, the Society SPP was created with the participation of ten environmental organisations.