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Landscape matters!

More than 150 participants for a successful Scandinavian Landscape Forum 2014

Marstrand – 15 Oct. 2014 | Three days, more than 150 participants from all over Sweden, international guests from Scandinavian countries and from the rest of Europe. It lays in these figures the successful outcome of the Scandinavian Landscape Forum 2014.
The event was organized by our member Sverige Hembygdsförbund together with CivilScape. The Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet), the Västra Götaland Region and the North Sea Food Association were also prime partners for this initiative.

A top location was chosen for the Forum, the enchanting island of Marstrand along the Västra Götaland’s coastline in southwest Sweden. An astonishing landscape shaped in thousands of years by the rough sea, the everlasting wind and by the ups and downs of human history.

The conference was planned over three days between October the 9th and the 11th. The program’s structure included several keynotes speeches, workshops and panel discussions. On top of that an interesting evening excursion was arranged by the local section of Sverige Hembygdsförbund. Moreover, as the icing on the cake, the participants got the opportunity to listened to the contribution of Ann Rosman, an internationally known Swedish crime-novelist, who explained her unique bond to Marestrand as a place for her life and as an source for her stories.

Coastal heritage, sea cuisine, landscape and development: four pillars for a European Cultural Route

Besides the Scandinavian Landscape Forum, the first generally assembly for the North Sea Food Association were held under the same days. The North Sea Food Association has been founded in November 2013 in Leeuwarden. North Sea Commission Culture and Tourism Group gathered for a 2-day meeting in Leeuwarden on 21-22 November 2013. The regions around the North Sea that are part of the working group have started a joint initiative called North≈Sea≈Food that intends to bundle the different activities in culture and tourism. The main aim of the association is to transform the initiative North≈Sea≈Food into a European Cultural Route, a certificate provided by the Council of Europe to prominent cultural and tourist itineraries. Therefore, they decided to set up the North≈Sea≈Food Association as a legal entity in order to apply for the European Cultural Route certificate. Since than several member regions have undertaken activities to implement the initiative. CivilScape has been a founding member and is involved to the process.

The role and the potentialities of a European Cultural Route in both fostering local development and the implementation of the European Landscape Convention were discussed during the Forum thanks to the keynotes of Penelope Denu, the European Institute Cultural Routes director, and of Eleonora Berti, a researcher at the same institute.

Implementation of the European Landscape Convention in Sweden and the role of civil society

Sweden has a long tradition when it comes to landscape and nature conservation and the implementation of the European Landscape Convention may now function as a new platform to bring different actions together. Lars Amreus, Swedish National Heritage Board’s director, recalled some of the milestones in the Swedish history of nature conservation and he highlighted the new challenges that the ELC is posing for the future. The Swedish government has entrusted the implementation of the ELC to several agencies which has to find a way to increase cross-sectorial work in order to define and perform common strategies. An action is also needed, Amreus told, for introducing the concept of landscape into legislation and methods has to be finalized for recognizing what a “landscape perceived by people” means. Strategies to foster civil society participation and to include non-experts in landscape planning processes need also to be developed and standardized. According to the Swedish National Heritage Board’s director, local perspectives and engagement are key factors for meeting these challenges. Another key word in the ELC implementation process is empowerment for the local knowledge, Amreus said.

To Jan Nordwall, Sverige Hembygdsförbund’s general secretary, the holistic view introduced by the ELC can represent a starting point for improving dialog within nature and cultural heritage conservation organizations in Sweden, being the European Landscape Convention an ideal meeting platform for different actors. Nordwall did hope that Sverige Hembygsförbund could improve its way to communicate the local heritage to the public. But he stressed also the need of shifting the focus a little bit more on the activism side in order to be able to have a saying when conflicts arise because of the ceaseless transformations landscape endures in the nowadays society.

An inspiring thus challenging point of view on the implementation of the ELC came from Anders Nilsson from Västarvet who asked the audience if anyone had an clear, definite idea about the target they were all trying to meet. A smart way of strengthening how the in-between process plays actually more important roll then the final result in itself when it comes to civil participation and landscape issues. With a metaphor, should one say that the act of travelling in itself plays a more important roll than the effort to target a final destination.

From ship building craftsmanship to story telling: different perspectives for a shared vision

Landscape is a shared vision in which and to which a vast array of perspectives can converge and contribute. This lively and plentiful variety of experiences and practices was displayed during the twelve workshops that were organized within the Forum. This successful formula gave participants a great opportunity to savour or to deepen oneself in different aspects of landscape and heritage conservation. It was a tangible way of experiencing awareness rising for landscape in its complex and multidisciplinary essence. These are some of the subjects discussed in the workshops: boatbuilding traditions as a form of intangible heritage, museums as an activating factor for ELC implementation, tastes and landscape, festival and events in coastal areas, how to link cultural and biological diversity, story telling and landscape, awareness rising for landscape through guided tours and pathways, understanding landscape by local knowledge, self study circles as a new tool for working with landscape, landscape observatories, reaching a sustainable compromise between tourism and conservation, operating and managing old ships.

 

Further Information

CIVILSCAPE Office Bonn
Dirk Gotzmann
Adenauerallee 68
53113 Bonn
Germany
Tel.: +49 (228) 299711-00 or -01
Fax: +49 (228) 299711-09
E-Mail: dirk.gotzmann@civilscape.eu

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English version
The following pages are (partly) published only in English. We apologize for any inconvenience.
You are welcome to support us in our efforts to translate the CivilScape web site to different languages.