Building a methodology and tools to make the European Landscape Convention popular through challenge, learning, innovation and cooperation
Scientific evidence states that the European public is insufficiently informed about the policies for sustainable development in Europe (Jordan & Adelle, 2012), and therefore it might not be possible to estimate the effect of such policies on the lives of citizens. This is the case with the European Landscape Convention (ELC) (CE, 2000). Here, neither the scientific (Conrad, Christie & Fazey, 2011), political (Dower, 2008) or governance (Scott, 2011) actors have managed to translate the principles that underpin this instrument into operational actions and strategic pathways for effective understanding and implementation by the general public. Consequently, further knowledge is needed to help link scientific theory on landscape planning, management and conservation to the planning, political and governance regimes that are ultimately responsible for implementation of such theory in the “real world”. This paper explores the design and building of methodologies and tools aimed at making the ELC popular through challenge, learning, innovation and cooperation. A project recently commissioned by the European Commission (“Making European Policy Popular through Challenge, Learning, Innovation, Cooperation: An experiment on the Landscape Convention”/E-CLIC) aims to achieve these goals. The project is currently being implemented over ten selected case-study areas across Europe. The proposed methodology is aimed at achieving two main objectives. The first is to review and identify policy issues that pertain to landscapes, taking guidance from the ELC to identify best practice across Europe. The second objective is the translation of the outcomes from the previous objective in a number of “learning objectives” that will ultimately be developed into a “Learning Methodology and Package”. It will also provide examples of online resources that can be used as learning tools by those stakeholders potentially involved in the implementation of the ELC principles. Tasks related to the implementation of the first objective include the analysis of the ELC to define a number of “landscape challenges” for diverse stakeholders, as well as the creation of a database of best practice for implementation of the ELC. The second objective will result in a “Learning Objectives” Outline Report, which will outline the competences needed to share responsibility through public participation. Additionally, it will develop a library of open source IT-based resources, including tools that can be used to deal with the landscape challenges identified. Whilst this project is still at a very early stage, it is expected to contribute to the debate on the implementation of the ELC by providing challenges, tools and solutions that are developed with landscape end-users, thus strongly embedding the definition of landscapes as socially-constructed complex entities (Pedroli et al, 2006) within landscape-related political, planning and governance frameworks and regimes.
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Dower, M, 2008. Seventh meeting of the Council of Europe Workshops for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention, Piestany, Slovakia, 24th-25th April 2008 (Opening keynote address).
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