High Level Invitational Seminar 24-25 May 2008 Stresa (I). Reframing the Future of the European Landscape,

To start of the EUROSCAPE2020 process a high level seminar was organised by Landscape Europe for key persons from national and European policy making on the one side and research on the other. It's objective was  to put the landscape issue on the European agenda. Central aim is to initiate a debate on an effective integration of the landscape issue at all governance levels, thus designing a road to a sustainable future for European landscapes. Results of the seminar are the Blueprint for EUROSCAPE 2020 and the Proceedings of the seminar.


Seminar in Stresa (Italy) May 23rd-24th 2008

LANDSCAPE EUROPE, a network of institutions devoted to landscape research and policy development, has taken the initiative to organise a High Level Landscape Seminar in Stresa (Lago Maggiore, Italy) on 23/24 May 2008. In preparation of this event, the organisational committee consisting of Bas Pedroli and Dirk Wascher of Alterra Wageningen UR and Maria Luisa Paracchini of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre had prepared an illustrative pocket book entitled “Blueprint for EUROSCAPE 2020”. Offering objectives and visions for putting European landscapes on international and national agendas, the book had been distributed to all participants prior to the event.


The invitational seminar was opened by the Minister of territorial policies and environmental resources, Regione Piemonte, Italy, Mr Sergio Conti, followed by Giovanni Bidoglio, Head of the Rural, Water and Ecosystem Resource Unit at JRC’s Institute of Environment. The European Commission was further represented by Ms Carolina Raes (DG Agriculture and Rural Development) and Michaela Gensheimer (ESPON) who highlighted forthcoming issues in rural development and spatial assessments with regard to the role of landscape. From the national perspective, Mrs Anita Wouters of the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality demonstrated commitment and a ‘broader view’ when presenting the Dutch perspective on landscapes in an European context. Mrs Beate Jessel, president of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, called for strengthening the links between biodiversity and landscapes when reporting back from the 6th Conference of the Parties on CBD which was taking place at the same time in Bonn.


The following roundtable discussion and parallel sessions where mainly focused on the Blueprint’s three headline topics:

  1. establish a policy monitoring for rural development on the basis of landscape  criteria and functions;
  2. introduce new spatial planning instruments to support the concept of Rural Retreat, Remote Areas and Vital Bridges; and
  3. develop new forms of governance involving local and regional authorities, people and decision-makers.


The parallel sessions – facilitated by a professional team – succeeded in initiating problem-oriented discussions and generated pro-active input by many participants pointing at a number of opportunities for enhancing the cooperation between research and policy. Great attention was given to the local dimension of landscape impact and knowledge, to awareness raising and to potential input of landscape science in EU policy implementation (rural development) and knowledge transfer (reporting and monitoring).



The Blueprint can be downloaded here.

The Proceedings can be downloaded here.