Practice of Identification, Protection and Management of Landscapes of National Importance in Europe and Latvia
Keywords:landscapes of national importance, understanding of landscape, landscape protection, landscape management
Landscape variability due to anthropogenic pressure poses a risk to the existence of valuable and unique landscapes. It once became the reason for raising the issue of landscape protection in Europe, paying special attention to landscapes of national importance by giving them a special status. In European practice, the granting of the status of a landscape of national importance to certain territories is based on a long tradition. In England and Scotland, it was started in 1949, separating nature protection and landscape protection directly into laws and regulations, and also later by identifying and mapping the country's most important landscapes, developing guidelines for landscape protection, planning and management, and setting up national landscape protection institutions. Later, in 1992, Finland also granted a special status to its particularly important landscapes. In general, this establishing method is similar to the UK experience. The experience of France, on the other hand, is based on exploiting the potential of the landscape for tourism, by branding specific landscapes and linking them in a single network. The traditions of European countries in identifying and managing landscapes of national importance are different, but they are mainly based on the desire of each country to highlight and preserve its special and important landscapes both as real territories and as symbols of national identity. This article analyses the understanding of national landscapes, comparing the examples of individual European countries, as well as the experience of Latvia, with the aim to determine the best basis and method for Latvia to identify, protect and manage national landscapes.
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