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Management and protection of the landscape: a European convention

Recommendation 1393 (1998)

Parliamentary Assembly
See Doc. 8221, report of the Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Local Authorities, rapporteur: Mr Ruffy. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 4 November 1998.
1 On the threshold of the third millennium, in a constantly evolving society in which continual challenges and some very serious adjustment problems are emerging, Europe’s citizens are showing, by their behaviour, that they attach increasing importance to their living environment.
2 But the fact is that the quality of this environment also depends on visual perception, and particularly perception of the landscape, which is often exposed to a wide range of attacks that are liable to jeopardise its diversity and quality.
3 Consequently, it is vital that we adopt a comprehensive approach to meeting this need, with sustainable development as the priority aim, and introduce the tools capable of guaranteeing the management and protection of our landscapes.
4 Being deeply convinced of this need, the Assembly has always been particularly attentive to such matters and has invariably welcomed any efforts expended to this end.
5 In this spirit, therefore, the Assembly was pleased to learn of the initiative taken by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe to prepare a draft European landscape convention, and it has assisted in the preparatory work.
6 Being aware of the complexity of such an undertaking, the Assembly welcomes the fact that the Congress’ efforts have resulted in a draft convention designed as a flexible legal instrument proposing common international rules and highly appropriate solutions.
7 The Assembly particularly appreciates the fact that the draft European landscape convention targets both exceptional and ordinary landscapes and therefore meets the needs of as many people as possible without concentrating exclusively on special sites.
8 For these reasons such a convention could constitute one of the practical achievements of the Campaign on the European Cultural and Natural Heritage as advocated by the heads of state and government at their Second Summit in Strasbourg in October 1997.
9 Furthermore, the success of the International Consultation Conference held in Florence in April 1998 proves that the Congress’ initiative fulfils the expectations of several governments and that the draft convention, as concived, was particularly warmly welcomed.
10 In the light of the debate on the implementation of the convention and the various arguments put forward, the Assembly agrees with the decision to entrust the monitoring process to the competent bodies of the Council of Europe.
11 The Assembly nevertheless feels that it is important to provide for the eventuality of setting up the appropriate type of monitoring unit.
12 In view of the foregoing comments, the Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers :
12.1 consider the draft European landscape convention with a view to its adoption in the near future, if possible at the end of the European Campaign on the Cultural and Natural Heritage;
12.2 associate the Parliamentary Assembly with the work of finalising this instrument;
12.3 invite member states to sign and ratify the convention once it has been adopted by the Committee of Ministers;
12.4 invite the European Union to become a Party to the European landscape convention.