Planning of human activities based on the views of local authorities in protected areas: The case of Mountain Pelion, Greece
The subject of this paper is the research into the opinions of the local authorities in the region of Pelion, which is a part of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, with regard to zoning and planning in the region. In particular, the objectives of the present research are: local authorities' views on current planning and zoning (positive and negative), and on theories for future planning and zoning and the desirability/undesirability of their outcomes; the problems (developmental, environmental and social problems concerning the implementation of Natura 2000) faced in the area; the targets local communities would like to see accomplished by Natura 2000 and their suggestions on how these targets could be achieved; and how to solve local problems. The findings and the conclusions of this research reveal a conflict between policymakers and local communities. Much closer collaboration between the two is required before any long-term policy of development can have any chance of success. From this research it was found that local authorities propose: (a) zoning with moderate levels of protection, (b) terms and conditions of protection which focus on hunting and tree-felling and (c) mixed management teams (European, state and local agents.).