Implementing European Landscape Convention in the .. (LIFEscape)
Implementing European Landscape Convention in the South Baltic Region
Start date: May 11, 2011,
End date: Apr 10, 2014
Project name LIFEscape summarises the idea behind the project: landscape as essential for life, and well being of humans. South Baltic landscapes are a legacy of the Regions rich natural and cultural history. They undergo changes together with the economic and demographic development of the region. While some these changes can be regarded as positive, others have a clearly negative impact on human well-being and the biodiversity (landscape fragmentation through linear structures, uncontrolled construction, not maintained vegetation, visual pollution through advertisement etc. etc.). This year was the 10th anniversary of adopting the European Landscape Convention (ELC). 27 countries, among them Poland, Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark, obliged themselves to acknowledge the importance of landscape in the legislation, raise public awareness of landscape problems and promote international cooperation in this field. Unfortunately, very little has happened ever since. Still, some countries have developed more effective methods for landscape planning and management than others, usually via a spatial planning system and/or voluntary measures.LIFEscape project joins forces of landscape planners - authorities and practitioners from the South Baltic region, who want to identify the successful methods and share this experience to protect and develop landscapes in their areas. Goal of LIFEscape project is the implementation of ELC postulates, i.e. intensive cross-border professional exchange and capacity building, awareness-raising and stakeholder participation. Several EU directives recommend stakeholder participation as the most effective means of landscape planning, however, most countries do not take full advantages of this approach. International group of LIFEscape experts will propose tools and methods on how to not only inform (the statutory procedure), but effectively involve stakeholders: inhabitants, authorities, entrepreneurs, developers, politicians, NGOs and young people in the ongoing spatial planning processes of their community. Proposed methods will be tested during actualisation of local spatial development /management plans in four pilot areas in PL, LT, SE and DK. Stakeholder involvement and raised awareness of landscape problems will enrich the plans and improve effectiveness of planning measures.The stakeholder involvement will be accompanied by an intensive awareness-raising campaign, containing questionnaires, social events, media coverage, educational measures and small investments in the landscape infrastructure.Durable outputs of the project will be a South Baltic Handbook on Participative Landscape Planning and a cross-border Forum of SB Outstanding Landscapes, being a permanent body lobbing and recommending concrete solutions for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention in the SB countries and beyond. Achievements: LIFEscape project started officially on 12.05.2011. Partnership Agreements (separate with each PP) including all annexes were signed afterwards; the last one on 08.11.2011. The content work however, did not start directly. After the clarification process and a bit longer preparing period on the side of LB the Subsidy Contract was signed on 18.10.2011. Technical kick-off meeting was held in 16.06.2011 in Elblag, with representatives of all PPs. Detailed work plan as well as individual spending plans and cash-flow forecasts were prepared for each partner.The official project opening conference was organized in Elblag on 15 - 17.11.2011 having both internal partners meeting and an external conference for over 80 invited guests from Poland and other partner countries. Graphic company has been selected, and produced first elements of the project identity: logo, PP presentation and leaflets. In the meantime, individual partners have been active in elaborating methods for participative landscape planning (C3), organising first stakeholder meetings (C4) and study trips (C5). External Project Management Office (EPCO) was chosen in December 2011 by the LB as a result of a public tender.Winter and Spring 2012 was spent on organizing and carrying out a series of meetings with local stakeholders (focus groups) in each of the pilot areas. Meetings were structured according to the joint methodology prepared by PP7 and served introduction of the project as well as the preparation for the questionnaire of the stakeholder perception of landscape. Meanwhile, tenders were running for the preparation of spatial plans, and tools were collected for the Toolbox of Participative Landscape Planning. Project website was created under www.lifescape.euThe second project meeting was held in Korsør, Denmark on 30.05-01.06.2012 hosted by PP8. It covered a large scale open event and internal sessions which divided tasks and responsibilities for the next period.Work on the pilot projects is progressing. Further stakeholder meetings were held in Sweden and Denmark to discuss the spatial plans. Third project meeting was held in Klaipeda and in Plunge (pilot project area Żemaitija National Park). Practical workshop on participative moderation tools was held by PP5. Methods working group has prepared a model questionnaire, which was distributed by project partners in Winter 2012/13 and collected sucess.Handbook on Participative Landscape Planning was written by Per Blomberg of PP5 and commented by partners during the 4th meeting in Tolkmicko. Further on this meeting, preliminary results of the questionnaires were presented, as well as the spatial plan for parts of Tolkmicko municipality. In the national pilot project many individual stakeholder iteraction activities connected to the spatial planning process are going on such as fairs, discussions, contests and activities for children.In 2013 Polish partners were cooperating closely with the now selected authors of the spatial plan for 2 parts of the Tolkmicko Municipality. Some more stakeholder meetings were held around this topic. Also in Sweden and Denmark the work and activities with the stakeholders focused around the major outputs: for Vombsankan the Landscape Analysis strategy, and for Tude A the plan of landscape measures. The LIFEscape exhibition in Lund and Sjobo has been a large success. Numerous meetings and popular events for the local people were also organized in Lithuania around the topic of landscape. Lithuanian delegation went on study trip to Tolkmicko, Poland. 4th project meeting has been held in the beautiful Kadyny and also featured a one-day study trip for all participants. Importantly, the draft handbook of participative landscape planning has been presented and discussed there. All partners collected best practice examples and provided input. In Semptember 2013 LIFEscape Handbook on Participative Landscape Planning was printed and distributed to partners just before the final conference in held on Lund 24-26.09.13. The conference summarized the results of the project very well and presented them to a wider audience. PP7 finalised the popular-scientific report on landscape values and stakeholder perception, based on LIFEscape partners work in C3. The 4th and last short movie put LIFEscape work in the context of the European Landscape Convention. USB sticks with these and other project results were produced and distributed to the important project target persons and institutions (Landscape Awareness Raising Kit). Project website has been transformed into SB Landscape Forum website. Partners PP1, PP2, PP3, PP7 and PP8 met on 12-13th.12.13 in Vilnius for the Baltic Landscape Forum event.
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