CIVILSCAPE is a European non-governmental organization involved in the landscape issues. CIVILSCAPE is organized as a network of 132 civil society organizations, professional organisations, landscape observatories etc. dedicated to landscape issues and touching directly about four million people all over the European continent.
Ten years ago, the civil society organisations involved in the landscape issues joined forces and mobilized themselves after the first international treaty entirely dedicated to the management, protection and planning of the landscape was born. Their answer to the European Landscape Convention of the Council of Europe was the establishment of CIVILSCAPE, the common European platform representing the voice of the citizens deeply connected with their landscapes.
With an observatory status to the Council of Europe and, as such, member of the Committee of Culture, Heritage and Landscape and of the Conference of the European Landscape Convention, CIVILSCAPE is present to bring the civil society voice to the implementation of the Landscape Convention which is under the responsibility of each signatory state. We recognise the strong impact of this international treaty which is helping to take into account landscape issues in different territorial policies and plans at all scales.
During the days of 23 – 26 February 2018, in Aschaffenburg, Germany, the CIVILSCAPE AG 2018 was held. During this meeting I was elected President and the 10 years anniversary of CIVILSCAPE were celebrated. I had indeed agreed to be a member of the new CIVILSCAPE board of directors but when the presidency was insistently proposed to me, I finally accepted thanks to the quality of the members of the board and the collegial vision of decision making.
During the same days, we also launched the European Decade of the Cultural Landscapes. This event was organised as our early activity within the European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 and beyond. The DALE declaration is proposed as a road map to strengthen the landscape community across Europe by providing an appropriate network, knowledge and exchange platform promoting cooperative activities and good practices to manage Europe’s landscapes in a sustainable and durable way.
The DALE declaration proposes to implement, in the specific context of the landscape dimension, the most relevant initiatives proposed by the European Commission as the long–term imprint of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 efforts and actions.
The DALE declaration points out the role of the Landscape Community across Europe by providing an appropriate network and knowledge transfer infrastructure, and by training and capacity building activities. It promotes cooperative activities aimed at promoting good practices to manage Europe’s landscapes in a sustainable way, encourages approaches to landscape that are people-centered, inclusive and integrated, encourages joint actions and exchange of good practices and approaches to landscape which contribute to social innovation. It encourages innovative models of participatory governance and management of our landscape that involve all the stakeholders and individual citizens.
As new President of CIVILSCAPE, my primary goal will be to strengthen the landscape network in order for all of us to be proud and say “ we are the landscape people”.