- Human rights
This chapter examines the protection of landscape in international cultural heritage law. Since the inclusion of ‘cultural landscapes’ within the scope of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 1992, landscape has gained increasing importance at the international level. However, given the focus of the World Heritage Convention on landscapes of ‘outstanding universal value’, it was not until the adoption of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) in 2000 that landscape became democratized. The ELC conceives of landscape above all as a people’s landscape and, accordingly, provides for the active participation of the public in the formulation of plans and polices. It focuses not only on outstanding places but also on the everyday and degraded landscapes where most people live and work. This ostensibly brings ‘landscape’ back to its early etymological origins—when it corresponded to a close-up, lived-in perspective—and has a number of implications for human rights and democracy.
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