The member States of the Council of Europe signatory hereto,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage, and that this aim is pursued in particular through agreements in the economic and social fields;
Concerned to achieve sustainable development based on a balanced and harmonious relationship between social needs, economic activity and the environment;
Noting that 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;
Aware that the landscape contributes to the formation of local cultures and that it is a basic component of the European natural and cultural heritage, contributing to human well-being and consolidation of the European identity;
Acknowledging that the landscape 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;
Noting that developments in agriculture, forestry, industrial and mineral production techniques and in regional planning, town planning, transport, infrastructure, tourism and recreation and, at a more general level, changes in the world economy are in many cases accelerating the transformation of landscapes;
Wishing to respond to the publics wish to enjoy high quality landscapes and to play an active part in the development of landscapes;
Believing that the landscape is a key element of individual and social well-being and that its protection, management and planning entail rights and responsibilities for everyone;
Having regard to the legal texts existing at international level in the field of protection and management of the natural and cultural heritage, regional and spatial planning, local self-government and transfrontier co-operation, in particular the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern, 19 September 1979), the Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (Granada, 3 October 1985), the European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (revised) (Valletta, 16 January 1992), the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities (Madrid, 21 May 1980) and its additional protocols, the European Charter of Local Self-government (Strasbourg, 15 October 1985), the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio, 5 June 1992), the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Paris, 16 November 1972), and the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice on Environmental Matters (Aarhus, 25 June 1998);
Acknowledging that the quality and diversity of European landscapes constitute a common resource, and that it is important to co-operate towards its protection, management and planning;
Wishing to provide a new instrument devoted exclusively to the protection, management and planning of all landscapes in Europe,
Have agreed as follows:
You find the text of the European Landscape Convention in the two official linguistic versions here
The Convention is written in English and French, both texts being equally authentic. Other linguistic versions have not the same legal status. Some parties have prepared a certified translation for their official use.
The different linguistic versions of the ELC published on our website are identically to the following documents.
The explanatory report is published on the website of the Council of Europe.
This document contains a series of theoretical, methodological and practical guidelines for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention. It is intended for parties to the convention who wish to draw up and implement a national landscape policy based on the convention. It puts forward proposals taking account of advances and developments in the concept of landscape in Europe and of the diverse existing and practical experience in applying the convention.