The sustainable development of Protected Areas (PAs) depends on several conditions; a tight legal framework that respects the EU and international legislation on one hand and the participation of the local community on the other hand are of utmost importance. This paper presents the legal framework for PAs in Greece with regard to the PA of Lake Kerkini and explores the role of the local community in promoting the sustainable development of the area. It points out that although the study area is a declared National Park, it faces severe environmental problems due to particular reasons. It also identifies the regulatory and governance gaps at national and local level, and finally, it proposes the necessary steps for promoting sustainable development and protecting the natural resources of the study area.
Keywords: protected areas, sustainable development, national park, local community