14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 135 4 3 3 Assertion of power or cooperation Political decision making is becoming increasingly more complex and increasingly less transparent and more dif cult for citizens to understand At the same time our society is becoming more and more diverse and is splitting into different lifestyle groups hobby anglers share hardly any common ground with farm ers ornithologists have different interests to moun tain bikers As a result competition between various individual interests and lobby groups is increasing Economic powers used to and still do tend to prevail contrary to better ecological knowledge Sustainable development the balance between eco nomic social and ecological goals therefore requires a new political culture All affected societal groups must be involved in decisions in order to achieve a balance between interests on a local and regional level as well For personal reasons alone the local elite should listen to other peoples opinions decisions that go against the grain for large sectors of the population or ecology are not viable in the long term However politicians and authorities often consider involvement of citizens demands in decisions to be undue interference in their affairs But anyone who presents their nalised plans and projects from on high will be left with unhappy citizens with no other recourse than opposition and resistance These politi cians create enemies for themselves whilst through sharing the participatory processes the other parties are viewed as partners to help improve the content of plans and often also accelerate them objections legal action and court proceedings are kept to a minimum This also results in savings for public authorities and the economy In the last 10 to 15 years aspects of good governance cooperative approaches and participation have consid erably gained in importance in ecological planning too This is due on the one hand to political instruments from above on the other hand to the increasing pro fessionalism of citizens movements and civil society organisations from below More and more districts and regions as well as project applicants and conservation Public discussion with the local population about the impor tance of ecological connectivity in Chambéry

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