20 October – International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe

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20 October is celebrated as International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe. The Second International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe seeks to promote “school and university courses which, in the relevant subject areas, address the values attaching to landscapes and the issues raised by their protection, management and planning” (Article 6 of the European Landscape Convention).

The First International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe was inspired by the European Landscape Convention and invited local authorities, in Europe and beyond, to celebrate the landscape 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”, and to develop policies. The Council of Europe encourages, in particular, the establishment of procedures for the participation of the general public, local and regional authorities, and other parties with an interest in the definition and implementation of landscape policies, considering that its protection, management and planning “entails rights and responsibilities for everyone.

The European Landscape Convention is the first international treaty to be exclusively concerned with all aspects of landscape: natural, rural, urban and peri-urban. It represents an important contribution to the implementation of the Council of Europe’s objectives. By taking into account the value of landscapes, with their natural and human components, the Council of Europe acknowledges that the landscape is an important part of the quality of life for people everywhere: in degraded areas as well as in areas of high quality, in areas recognised as being of outstanding beauty as well as everyday areas.

The convention was adopted on 20 October 2000 in Florence (Italy) and came into force on 1 March 2004 (Council of Europe Treaty Series no. 176). It is open for signature by member states of the Council of Europe and for accession by the European Community and European non-member states.

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List of countries which signed and ratified the European Landscape Convention: