The First International Landscape Day of the Council of Europe, inspired by the European Landscape Convention, invites 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.
As the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe emphasised, we should “consider the importance that quality and diversity of landscapes has for the minds and bodies of human beings, as well as for societies” (Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)7).
I wish this First International Landscape Day every success!