19th Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention

“The implementation of the European Landscape Convention at local level: local democracy”

Brno, Czech Republic, 5-6 September 2017

Study visit, 7 September 2017

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Organised under the auspices of the Czech Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

Organisers

The 19th Council of Europe Meeting of the Workshops for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention on “The implementation of the European Landscape Convention at local level: local democracy” is being organised in Brno, Czech Republic on 5-6 September 2017, under the auspices of the Czech Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, by the Council of Europe – Secretariat of the European Landscape Convention, Directorate of Democratic Governance –, in co-operation with the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of School, Youth and Sport, of the Czech Republic, in partnership with Mendel University in Brno and South Moravian Region, within the context of the Work Programme of the European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe.

Objectives

For the purposes of the European Landscape Convention, ‘Landscape policy’ means “an expression by the competent public authorities of general principles, strategies and guidelines that permit the taking of specific measures aimed at the protection, management and planning of landscapes”.

‘Landscape’ means “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”; ‘Landscape protection’ means “actions to conserve and maintain the significant or characteristic features of a landscape, justified by its heritage value derived from its natural configuration and/or from human activity”; ‘Landscape management’ means “action, from a perspective of sustainable development, to ensure the regular upkeep of a landscape, in order to guide and harmonise changes which are brought about by social, economic and environmental processes”; and ‘Landscape planning’ means “strong forward-looking action to enhance, restore or create landscapes”.

The Meeting aims to present experiences of national policies adopted or being developed at local level, considering notably the provisions of its Article 5, which states that their Parties undertake:

  • to recognise landscapes in law as an essential component of people’s surroundings, an expression of the diversity of their shared cultural and natural heritage, and a foundation of their identity;
  • to establish and implement landscape policies aimed at landscape protection, management and planning, through the adoption of the specific measures set out in Article 6 of the Convention ;
  • to establish procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of the landscape policies;
  • to integrate landscape into their regional and town planning policies and in their cultural, environmental, agricultural, social and economic policies, as well as in any other policies with possible direct or indirect impact on landscape.

The Convention provides for the “Division of responsibilities”, that “Each Party shall implement this Convention, in particular Articles 5 and 6, according to its own division of powers, in conformity with its constitutional principles and administrative arrangements, and respecting the principle of subsidiarity, taking into account the European Charter of Local Self-government. Without derogating from the provisions of this Convention, each Party shall harmonise the implementation of this Convention with its own policies”.

The conclusions of the Meeting will be presented at the 10th Council of Europe Conference on the European Landscape Convention (March 2019, Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg).

Participants

The Meeting is aimed at government officials – Members of the Council of Europe Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) and the Council of Europe Conference on the European Landscape Convention, representatives of other ministries, representatives of local and regional authorities, universities, professionals, public and private governmental and non-governmental organisations working in the fields of landscape and sustainable management, with its environmental, cultural, social and economic dimensions. The number of participants is limited to 130.