European Landscape Convention
The European Landscape Convention (ELC) of the Council of Europe promotes the protection, management and planning of the landscapes and organises international cooperation on landscape issues.
The ELC was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 19 July 2000, and in 2008 guidelines for its implementation were added. The ELC is a treaty, meaning it only covers guidance and recommendations.
“Landscape”, in the ELC, is defined as “[an] area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”.
The aim (art. 3) of the landscape sets to promote protection, management and planning of the landscape (art. 4-6) and do this in a European cooperation (art. 7-11)
To work on protection, management and planning the ELC states that it is important to recognize and integrate landscape in legislation and policies to enhance participation, to create awareness and to give training about the landscape. This happens in different phases:
Phase 1: Identify the landscape in its broad sense by using different approaches such as ecological, archaeological, historical, cultural, economic, social, etc.
Phase 2: Assess the different themes and note the changes and forces influencing the landscape. All these aspects should then come together in Landscape Quality Objectives. These objectives are integrated into the protection, management and planning of the landscape.
Phase 3: Monitor how the implementation of the ELC is shaping the landscape.
ELC implementation scheme (Porter & Brown, 2009)