The International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe is celebrated on 20 October, the day of the opening of the European Landscape Convention for signature. 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.

The main objective of the Landscape Day is to highlight the importance of the landscapes as integral part of the cultural heritage, identity,well-being and the quality of our living environment. Each year International Landscape Day of Council of Europe is dedicated to a different theme.

First International Landscape Day was organised on 20 October 2017 with a ‘“Message from Brno”: Landscape at local level and invited local authorities 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” (Article 5, a. of the European Landscape Convention).

Second International Landscape Day - 20 October 2018 - A message, formulated on the theme of the 21st Meeting of the Council of Europe Workshops for the Implementation of the European Convention on “Landscape and Education” (Tropea, Calabria, Italy, 3-4 October 2018) invited public authorities and landscape actors 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 – Council of Europe). It is celebrated under the auspices of the Croatian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe: National Conference of Croatia: Integrated Approach to Landscape Protection, Planning and Management (Zagreb, Croatia, 20 October 2018).

Third International Landscape Day - 20 October 2019 -“Message from Seville -Landscape and water” was held on 20 October 2019, addressing “Landscape and water” and promoted the value of water in the landscape. The European Landscape Convention applies to the entire territory of the States Parties to the Convention and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas. It includes “inland water and marine areas”. It concerns landscapes that might be considered outstanding as well as everyday or degraded landscapes. The Convention states in its preamble that “the landscape is a key element of individual and social well-being and that its protection, management and planning entail rights and responsibilities for everyone”.

Photo credit: APAP, Portugal

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