International Landscape Convention (ILC)
Each week, across the world, communities are experiencing benefits, but also feeling the impacts of industrialisation, urbanisation, and the search for energy. Lives are endangered or affected by poor or badly planned development. Problems are caused by demographic shifts and changing patterns of work and habitation, as well as climate change, the depletion of natural resources, de/reforestation, difficulties relating to food production, biodiversity, heritage, and a host of other issues relating to aspects of land use change and development.
The quality of the landscapes of daily life is constantly being eroded. A more strategic and holistic approach is desperately needed to provide support to communities in dealing with these global threats and challenges.
The aim is for the International Landscape Convention to stimulate a more integrated, democratic approach that establishes the landscape as a holistic tool for planning, managing and creating sustainable development. Dealing with the protection of the past as well as the shaping of the future, it would recognise the vital connections between governance, culture, health and economics.
A new international convention would encourage a different way of thinking about the landscape by:
- considering the landscape as a cultural and natural concept, a physical and abstract entity, having economic and social value.
- focusing on the experience people have of their physical environment, dealing with the protection of the past as well as the shaping of the future.
- recognising the vital connections between governance, culture, health and economics.
- offering inspiration through principles and guidelines, encouraging work across established institutional, geographical and disciplinary boundaries.
- providing leadership, sharing and rewarding good practice.
- dealing with the whole space, the rural and the urban, wilderness and man-made, the most treasured and memorable and as well as the unloved and degraded, will help establish the landscape as a holistic tool for planning, managing and creating sustainable development.
Rather than being an enforceable tool, it was agreed that the convention should:
- offer inspiration through principles and guidelines;
- encourage work across established institutional, geographical and disciplinaryboundaries;
- provide leadership;
- share and rewarding good practice; and
- deal with the whole space, the rural and the urban, wilderness and man-made, the most treasured and memorable and as well as the unloved and degraded.
Recognising that different cultures have different ideas about the landscape, a convention will be comprehensive and overarching yet flexible, encouraging national, regional and local interpretation and application. The idea will empower communities and people who are concerned with economy, health, and sustainability of their culture and environment.