THE NATIONAL PARK OF NORTH PINDOS
THE VIEWS OF THE CULTURAL UNION OF ZAGORI
We estimate that the creation of the national park of north pindos is a unique opportunity for our area, since it marks out the kind of development we need to follow: a mild, complete and viable development. It is this the kind of development which will preserve and protect not only our natural and the human kind environment of the Zagori area , but also our civilization and our rich culture. The creation of this national park will mark out a form of balanced development which will offer work opportunities and attract new manpower in all sectors of economy. It will also allow our rich culture to be shared with everybody. The above-mentioned is not considered as obvious but can be materialized under certain conditions.
These conditions are:
· Social participation and acquiescence
The local people’s participation in the developing investment programme is considered efficient and essential for the viability of the park.
We believe that the most necessary measures to be taken are:
1) Economic support to the Local Authority in order to meet the high requirements needed for the creation of a national park as well as for the expected loss of the income due to abolion or restriction of certain activities (timber-felling, pasturing) etc. It’s inconceivable to appropriate the economic support of the park from the regular budget of the local authority when the park is defined “National” park.
2) To put into effect the criterion of completing all provided positions by natives.
3) Compensatory benefits for the productive ranks hit by the creation of the park .
4) Priority to the natives for assistance with investment plans.
5) Interest-free or low-interest loans for the conservation of the traditional houses.
6) Active participation of the local people in the drafting of the rules and regulations of the park.
7) Foundation of an administrative authority based on meritocracy which will be a guarantee for a balanced development respecting the local particularity, obtaining the park viability by watching and keeping under control several indicators such as the intensity of the usage, the critical ecosystems, the strain of space, the potential capability of the area etc.
· Existance of an overall developing plan, concerning the whole area.
The creation of the park would remain secureless if a developing plan for the area will not be elaborated the soonest possible. According to the plan the involved people are obliged not only to follow it but also to strive for its realization. The suggested plan needs to be characterized by the following specifications:
1) The development should be mild. Violent inteferences relevant to the basic and side substructural work should be avoided. Generally the development has to follow the authentic philosophical approach for the park, to have the faintest possible effect on the environment and moreover exclude or obstruct the massive access to critical ecosystems and areas.
2) It should be complete. Activities should be included not only in the field of services but also in the primary and secondary sector.
3) The development should be balanced. It ought to refer to the whole area and support it.
4) It has to depend on the local people and the profits must remain in the area.
We believe that without the above conditions the realization of the park will prove to be the safest way for its devastation. The Cultural Union of Zagori will endeavor to keep these conditions so as to preserve this fine point of balance between the benefits and the economical, social and environmental consequences.
All the above are the major considerations of the board of Directors and not necessarily of the Union members .The board of Directors commits itself to put the present to the vote in the first general meeting.