European Landscape Convention

European Landscape Convention

The purpose of the Convention is to provide an instrument devoted to the protection, management and planning of all landscapes, urban, rural and peri-urban in Europe. The Convention was opened for signature in Florence on 20 October 2000. The ratification process requires the Convention must be first signed and then ratified on behalf of the United Kingdom Government.

The Convention has four chapters. Chapter One covers the general provisions of definitions, scope and aims. The scope includes land, inland water and marine areas and the aims are to promote landscape protection, management and planning, and to organise European co-operation on landscape issues.

Chapter Two provides detail of the national measures that should be in place, according to the constitutional principles and administrative arrangements of the individual parties. Each Party should harmonise the principles of the Convention with its own policies. Article 5 of the Convention requires:

the recognition of landscapes in law;
the establishment and implementation of policies to protect, manage and plan landscape by means of the measures specified in Article 6;
the participation of the general public and local and regional authorities in those policies; and
the integration of landscape into regional and town planning policies, together with cultural, environmental, agricultural, social and economic policies.

The measures specified in Article 6 include raising awareness of landscape; providing training and Education on landscape appraisal and operations; identifying and assessing landscapes; defining landscape quality objectives after public consultation; and implementing those policies.

Chapter Three requires each party to:

co-operate in considering the landscape dimension of international policies and programmes [Article 7];
provide mutual assistance and co-operation to enhance the effectiveness of measures taken under the Convention [Article 8]; and
encourage transfrontier co-operation on the local and regional level [Article 9].

Implementation of the Convention is monitored by the existing Committees of Experts [Article 10] set up under Article 17 of the Statute of the Council of Europe. The Convention also makes provision for a landscape award of the Council of Europe. The aim of the award is to encourage relevant bodies to ensure the sustainable protection, management and/or planning of landscapes. Applications for the award, which is open to local and regional authorities and non-governmental organisations, are submitted to the Committees of Experts [Article 11].

Chapter Four covers the final clauses:

the Convention does not prejudice stricter provisions on landscape contained in future binding national or international instruments [Article 12];
signature, ratification and entry into force is covered byArticle 13. This specifies that, once in force, the Convention will enter into force for a ratifying party on the first day of the month following the expiry of a period of three months after deposit of the instrument of ratification;
Once the Convention has entered into force, Article 14 provides for the accession of the European Community or any European State that is not a member of the Council of Europe;
a ratifying party can specify the territory or territories to which the Convention shall apply and can equally extend or reduce the application at a later date [Article 15];
Article 16 makes provision with regards to withdrawal from the Convention; and
Article 17 sets out the procedure to be followed in respect of amendments to the Convention.

European Union (EU) implications

There are no specific EU implications. The Convention relates to matters that fall within the competence of the Member States of the Council of Europe.



See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

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