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Andorra's National Landscape Strategy

Francesc Camp
Minister of Tourism and the Environment of Andorra

During the 7th Council of Europe Conference on the European Landscape Convention held in Strasbourg this past March, I had the honour of presenting Andorra's National Landscape Strategy on behalf of the Government and within the framework of Andorra's Presidency of the Council of Europe. We can no longer understand environmental policies that do not include landscape today, both in terms of its conservation and management as well as its improvement. This integration is not only important to provide value to the territory, our culture and heritage, but to also contribute to people being more aware of their natural surroundings and the way they interact with them. The Government of Andorra approved this National Landscape Strategy in 2011, clearly demonstrating its concern for the value of the landscapes around us. The aim of this Strategy is to preserve the natural mountain spaces, consolidate rural landscapes and improve urban ones. During 2012, the Government approved 21 priority actions to implement this strategy. We expect to put these actions into practice over the next few years. These actions were drafted during the National Landscape Strategy Forum the Government organised in December 2010. Participants from different areas of the country debated during 3 days to reach a consensual decision on the seven quality objectives for Andorran landscapes and the set of actions to achieve these goals. The foreseen actions include a series of transversal initiatives, such as those referring to the beautification of the countryside and the treatment of the most problematic landscapes, the so-called black spots inventoried and which will be addressed in collaboration with local administrations. These black spots were detected through fieldwork promoted by the administration and also through a "photo report" system created for the Environment Department's website: Other transversal actions include collaboration between Government ministries such as those aimed at strengthening the role of agriculture to maintain the attractiveness of rural landscapes, or those in charge of better integrating roads and large infrastructures such as ski resorts into the landscape. Lastly, the Forum also worked on actions related to raising awareness among the general public and students, in particular, about the value of landscapes and their transformation. The Strategy insists on the need to preserve and manage landscapes, both to improve the quality of life of the country's inhabitants as well as to promote it as an asset for the tourism industry. The set of actions as a whole represent one more step in the fulfilment of the obligations established within the European Landscape Convention which entered into effect in Andorra on July 1st, 2012.

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