The Council of Europe Landscape Convention (ETS No. 176) promotes the protection, management and planning of the landscapes and organises international co-operation on landscape issues.


Photo: Jean-François Seguin

As the first international treaty devoted exclusively to all dimensions of the landscape, the Council of Europe Landscape Convention addresses the major challenges in the field of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, with a view to sustainable development.

Its signatory States have declared themselves “concerned to achieve sustainable development based on a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activity and the environment”, considering the cultural dimension of the landscape. 

The Convention applies to the entire territory and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas. It includes land, inland water and marine areas. It concerns landscapes that may be considered outstanding as well as everyday and degraded landscapes.

The Convention is open for signature by the member States of the Council of Europe, and for accession by the European Union, European non-member States and non-European States.


Photo : Ignacio Español Echániz

The landscape ...

... has an important public interest role in the cultural, ecological, environmental and social fields, and constitutes a resource favourable to economic activity and whose protection, management and planning can contribute to job creation;

... contributes to the formation of local cultures and ... is a basic component of the … natural and cultural heritage, contributing to human well-being…;

... is an important part of the quality of life for people everywhere: in urban areas and in the countryside, in degraded areas as well as in areas of high quality, in areas recognised as being of outstanding beauty as well as everyday areas;

... is a key element of individual and social well-being and ... its protection, management and planning entail rights and responsibilities for everyone.

Preamble of the Convention