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Baltic Landscape Forum begins


Representatives from Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Danish and other countries’ non-governmental organisations, Lithuanian public and municipal authorities, science and design institutions, state park directorates and communities will discuss ways to express civic awareness in Lithuania and Europe to protect and embellish landscapes on the 13th and 14th of December at the Faculty for Natural Sciences of Vilnius University. Participants will share experience on how to develop various landscape protection, management, planning and restoration initiatives and will look for solutions to promote and optimise public engagement in territorial planning and enhance cooperation between the different institutions domestically and across the entire Baltic Region.

The Baltic Landscape Forum is part of the cycle of landscape forums arranged by CIVILSCAPE and of the closing events of the European Year of Citizens. These discussions primarily aim to show how European legislation affects people’s daily lives and how people can and should be involved in shaping public policies that relate, among other things, to the protection and formation of landscape. Such forums have already been run with success in Sweden, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Italy and Germany.

The conference is hosted by the Lithuanian Geographic Society in cooperation with CIVILSCAPE (the international association of civil society organisations), the Ministry of Environment, Vilnius University and the Lithuanian Union of Landscape Architects, to reveal the importance of landscape and the European Landscape Convention for the public.

At the conference, vice-president of CIVILSCAPE, Dr. Gerhard Ermischer, and director Dirk Gotzmann will present conclusions from other European landscape forums. The event will include a presentation of the results from the international project LIFE scape, which implements the European Landscape Convention in the South Baltic Region (Žemaitijos National Park is one of the implementers of this project) and discussions on the progress of drafting the Lithuanian National Landscape Management Plan, initiatives of the Lithuanian Geographic Society relating to the implementation of the said convention, new virtual techniques to evaluate landscape architecture projects and successful examples of public involvement in landscape projects. On the 14th of December, relevant landscape management issues will be discussed on a guided tour to the most spectacular panorama sites in Vilnius: on Subačiaus street, on the White Bridge and near the Pučkorių exposure.

The European Landscape Convention (2000, Florence) is an international document exclusively devoted to the aspects of landscape which is aimed at appropriate and sustainable management of all territories and strengthening of the involvement of communities and the public in addressing landscape-related issues.
To draw the attention of EU politicians to the importance of developing European civic awareness, grassroots organisations and networks have initiated announcing of the European Year of Citizens. One of these is CIVILSCAPE, the international association of civil society organisations, whose members devote activities to the protection, management and planning of landscape based on the provisions of the European Landscape Convention. In June 2013, the Lithuanian Geographic Society became member of this organisation.

Public information division
12 December 2013

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas