Possibilities and challenges for landscape observatories

Ternell, Anna and Lagerquist, Bosse and Nilsson, Anders M. and Klie, Mauricio Sagastuy and Berg, Martin and Pedersen, Martin Andre Bae and Némethy, Sándor and Horváth, Ágnes and Bene, Zsuzsanna and Oláh, Csaba and Bánné Gál, Boglárka and Molnár, Gábor and Remenyik, Bulcsú (2023) Possibilities and challenges for landscape observatories. ECOCYCLES, 9 (1). pp. 61-82. ISSN 2416-2140


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The twentieth century saw rapid environmental degradation due to changes that contributed to increased net GHG emissions, loss of natural ecosystems, and declining biodiversity. Deterioration of unprotected landscapes during swift industrialization, urbanization, increasing monocultures in agriculture, expansion of commercial production significantly contributed to these negative consequences. However, a cultural shift occurred during the last two decades in favour of landscape conservation. In response to widespread landscape degradation and loss of ecosystem services, the Council of Europe saw the need to protect, manage, and develop the landscapes, and thus signed the European Landscape Convention (ELC) in 2000. This was the world's first international agreement that described all aspects of landscape management in detail. The European Landscape Convention fully meets the challenges through its goal of correcting a lack of understanding of landscapes as a unique system embracing natural, economic, and social features throughout Europe. It goes beyond simply protecting landscapes and addresses landscape management and development, as well as raising public and government awareness of the importance of paying attention to all types of landscapes, whether exceptional or spoiled. Landscape observatories, multifunctional platforms and knowledge centres for researchers, technicians, administrators, and citizens, are one of the Council of Europe's instruments for implementing the European Landscape Convention (ELC). They can be established on a variety of scales and can serve as a vital link between administrations, civil society, researchers, and the economic sector. This article discusses the emergence of landscape observatories and the role they can play as decision support instruments in promoting sustainable landscape development through a regenerative approach. Additionally, the paper discusses the implementation of ELC in Västra Götaland in Sweden through the establishment of Landscape Observatory Västra Götaland, and its impacts and challenges associated with landscape development. Furthermore, we propose a comprehensive and holistic, to any landscape type adaptable landscape observatory concept, based on multifunctionality of these institutions, emphasizing their decision support roles, social and economic importance.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz
Depositing User: Dr. Tamas Komives
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2023 12:38
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2023 12:38

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