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J Environ Manage. 2001 Mar;61(3):227-41.

Local people's perceptions of planning and management issues in Prespes Lakes National Park, Greece.

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  • 1National Agricultural Research Foundation, Forest Research Institute, 570 06 Vassilika, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Local people's perceptions of planning and management issues were investigated in Prespes Lakes National Park in north-western Greece, 24 years after designation. Ensued conflicts due to lack of local community participation in the designation procedure and in the decision-making process thereafter necessitated this research. Knowledge of the park and its aims, source of information about aims, necessity for works and facilities, attitudes toward certain policies, and effectiveness of administration and management scheme, were studied by means of a questionnaire survey. Respondents were contacted by systematic sampling, which resulted in 201 cases for analysis. Poor knowledge of aims associated with education of people was revealed and the managing authority (the Forest Service) as source of information was mentioned in only one case. Forest recreation facilities and improvement of accessibility were considered of high priority, as means of possible tourism development of the area. A policy of non-intensive agriculture with compensation for loss of income, if the wetlands of the park were in danger, seems acceptable, younger ages accepting it more easily. The need for a new administration and management scheme with the participation of local communities in the decision-making process was revealed, supported mainly by the younger age groups. Finally, the results indicated that the information derived from such research could help managers of protected areas to resolve arising conflicts.

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