Category Archives: Convention

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Lobbying activity leads to landscape policy update

ELC logoThe European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe, also known as the Florence Convention, is the first international treaty to be exclusively devoted to all aspects of European landscape. It applies to the entire territory and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas.

The Convention provides an important contribution to the implementation of the Council of Europe’s objectives, namely to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law and to seek common solutions to the main problems facing European society today. By developing such a territorial culture, the Council of Europe seeks to promote quality of life and well-being.

european policy imageThe European Landscape Convention introduced a Europe-wide concept centring on the quality of landscape protection, management and planning and covering the entire territory, not just outstanding landscapes. Through its ground-breaking approach and its broader scope, it complements the Council of Europe’s and UNESCO’s heritage conventions.

The Council of Europe has been responsible for activities related to the convention. These have been highlighted in the GEOLAND European policy report. However Council of Europe activity appeared to have been suspended since 2022.

Based on interaction with officials at the Council of Europe,  project members have been informed that cooperation activities relating to the Council of Europe’s Landscape Convention are currently being relaunched.

This positive development is mainly due to the priorities defined at the 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe (Reykjavik, 16-17 May 2023).

Find out more about landscape policies in Europe

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European Policy Outreach

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GEOLAND provides materials and resources to Higher Education students to study how European Landscape Convention (ELC) is implemented and adopted in different EU countries.

The European Landscape Convention seeks to encourage citizens and public authorities to implement policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level.

The purpose is to  protect, manage and plan landscapes throughout Europe.

In the framework of the GEOLAND Project, Policy Outreach is an output that provides a European perspective of this implementation and an indication of the activities undertaken in different partner countries and at different scales . Visit Policy Outreachlandscape map

European implementation of the European Landscape Convention has been coordinated and monitored by the Council of Europe.

Find out more about how  European landscape policies have been established and are monitored.

In different countries across Europe the implementation of Landscape Convention policies has varied greatly. Find out more more about national implementation

A series of Case Studies have been created as illustrations of the impact of the European Landscape Convention. Visit the case studies

In this frame, a Policy Outreach Briefing has been developed to assist students in understanding the policy bodies and offer guidelines for interaction. Go to the Policy Outreach Briefing.

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Landscape Policies Case Study: Flanders

The European Landscape Convention seeks to encourage citizens and public authoritieslandscape convention logo to implement policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe.

GEOLAND aims to provide resources for to Higher Education students to study how European Landscape Convention (ELC) is implemented and adopted in different EU countries.

This case study examines the national, regional and local issues concerning landscape policy in the Flanders Region of Belgium.

Find out more about the Belgian Landscape Awards of the Council of Europe

A report on European Landscape policy has been produced. Find out about the European Policy Report

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Landscape Policies Case Study: Spain and Aragon

The European Landscape Convention seeks to encourage citizens and public authoritieslandscape convention logo to implement policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe.

GEOLAND aims to provide resources for to Higher Education students to study how European Landscape Convention (ELC) is implemented and adopted in different EU countries.

This case study examines the national, regional and local issues concerning landscape policy in Spain and the Aragon Region.

Find out more about the Spanish Landscape Awards of the Council of Europe

A report on European Landscape policy has been produced. Find out about the European Policy Report

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Landscape Policies : Bulgarian Case Study

The European Landscape Convention seeks to encourage citizens and public authoritieslandscape convention logo to implement policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe.

GEOLAND aims to provide resources for to Higher Education students to study how European Landscape Convention (ELC) is implemented and adopted in different EU countries.

This case study examines the national, regional and local issues concerning landscape policy in Bulgaria.

Find out more about the Bulgarian Landscape Award of the Council of Europe

A report on European policy has been produced. Find out about the European Policy Report

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Landscapes and rewilding in Europe

On 19 July 2000, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers adopted the European Landscape Convention and decided to open it for signature to the 41 Member States of the Council of Europe.

The European Landscape Convention, also known as the Florence Convention, was the first international treaty to be exclusively devoted to all aspects of European landscape. It aims to fill the legal vacuum caused by the absence, at European level, of a specific, comprehensive reference text devoted entirely to the conservation, management and improvement of European landscapes in the international legal instruments on the environment, regional planning and the cultural heritage.

It applies to the entire territory of the signatories and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas. It concerns landscapes that might be considered outstanding as well as everyday or degraded landscapes. The Convention is aimed at: the protection, management and planning of all landscapes and raising awareness of the value of a living landscape.

The European Landscape Convention introduced a Europe-wide concept centring on the quality of landscape protection, management and planning and covering the entire territory, not just outstanding landscapes. Through its ground-breaking approach and its broader scope, it complements other work done by the Council of Europe and the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

Council of Europe Heritage Priorities

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World Heritage Convention timeline

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Recent research by Quintera-Uribe and others (2022) suggests that large-scale ecological restoration of the multiple dimensions of landscape is crucial for effective biodiversity conservation and combating climate change. They analyse the main characteristics of participatory scenarios in Europe and suggest going beyond existing participatory activities centred on developing exploratory or target-seeking scenarios. They consider future-seeking scenarios related to ‘Nature for Society’ and ‘Nature as Culture’ and identify gaps for further work. Rewilding landscapes was an important theme in this research.

rewilding europe imageAccording to Harris (2021), rewilding was first discussed in the 1980s as a continental-scale vision to protect large tracts of wilderness and connect these areas with migration corridors. It is now considered to be a shift from human-centred, intensively managed landscapes to humans sharing their lands with the rest of nature.  In Europe rewilding is commonly connected with returning abandoned agricultural land to nature or allowing natural processes, like the coastal erosion of cliffs to take place with protecting them from the waves. Find out more about Rewilding European Landscapes

New initiatives like the Endangered Landscapes Programme are being developed restoring landscapes across Europe. Find out more by playing the video.

 

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The Landscape Award

landscape convention logoThe Landscape Award of the Council of Europe is intended to raise civil society’s awareness of the value of landscapes, of their role and of changes to them. The Award is conferred every two years. Its objective is to acknowledge exemplary practical initiatives aimed at successful landscape quality objectives on the territories of the Parties to the Landscape Convention.

The Landscape Convention, established by the Council of Europe, is the first international treaty devoted exclusively to all dimensions of the landscape. It addresses the major challenges in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, with a view to sustainable development.

Mosel river imageSustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development is an organising principle that aims to meet human development goals while also enabling natural systems to provide necessary natural resources and ecosystem services to humans.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations, which are an urgent call for action by all countries.

The Resolution on the Rules governing the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe, adopted by the Committee of Ministers, recalls that the European Landscape Convention institutes the Landscape Award of the Council of Europe and that it is in keeping with the work carried out by the Council of Europe concerning human rights, democracy and sustainable development. It promotes effectively the territorial dimension of human rights and democracy by acknowledging the importance of measures taken to improve the landscape for people’s living conditions.

Find out more about the Landscape Convention and Landscape Award

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GEOLAND to be presented at the United Nations

UNGGIM logoMembers of the European Association of Geographers, Karl Donert, Rafael de Miguel (UNIZAR) and Luc Zwartjes (University of Ghent) will participate and share experiences and expertise about the GEOLAND Project at the United Nations during the Twelfth Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) in New York in August 2022.

meeting-imageThe Committee of Experts UN-GGIM was established as the key intergovernmental mechanism for making joint decisions and setting directions with regard to the production, availability and use of geospatial information within national, regional and global policy frameworks.

Led by United Nations Member States, UN-GGIM aims to address global challenges regarding the use of geospatial information, including in the development agendas, and to serve as a body for global policymaking in the field of geospatial information management.

UN-GGIM aims at playing a leading role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and to promote its use to address key global challenges.

It provides a forum to liaise and coordinate among Member States, and between Member States and international organisations.

Download the GEOLAND session concept note published as part of the UN-GGIM official program

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Natura 2000 network biodiversity maps for Spanish regions

The Natura 2000 protected area network is the EU’s flagship biodiversity
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Stretching over 18% of the EU’s land area and more than 8% of its marine territory, Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. It offers a haven to Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

Natura 2000 is a network of core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species, and some rare natural habitat types which are protected in their own right. It stretches across all EU countries, both on land and at sea. The aim of the network is to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats, listed under both the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive.

A Natura 2000 Viewer has been developed as an online tool that presents all Natura 2000 sites. It provides key information on designated species and habitats, data on population sizes and information on conservation status. The viewer can be used for general purposes or for more specific searches.Leon maps

A research study focused on the autonomous communities (regions) of Andalucía and Castillia y León in Spain. It was based on the Spanish National Biodiversity Inventory, which uses a grid made up of 10-kilometre squares to record species presence across the country.

Data was  also gathered from the Corine Land Cover inventory, public administrations’ cartographic information of the protected areas under the EU’s Habitats Directive, and all the protected species from the Habitats and Birds Directives and critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species from the National Catalogue of Endangered Species, to produce a value of importance for biodiversity (VIB) score for every grid square.

The maps were then used to construct four different scenarios for levels of protected-area networks.

Find out more about the study and how the VIB was calculated and the results of the research – Download the research paper

Download the network proposal research paper

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What is the Landscape Convention?

The Council of Europe Landscape Convention promotes the protection, management and planning of the landscapes. It organises international co-operation on landscape issues. It was the first international treaty devoted exclusively to all dimensions of the landscape.convention logo

The Convention is administered by the Council of Europe to address the major challenges in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, with a view to sustainable development.  It has been signed by States who have declared themselves “concerned to achieve sustainable development based on a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activity and the environment”, considering the cultural dimension of the landscape.

In October 2021 the 25th Council of Europe Meeting for the implementation of the Landscape Convention was held in Palma, Majorca, with the theme “Landscape policies! Strategies, action plans and policy documents for landscape quality” (Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 6-8 October 2021). Public authorities were invited there to adopt landscape policies, at national, regional and local level, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

Latest news on the Convention can be found at https://www.coe.int/en/web/landscape/news