[email protected] (2020-12-01)

On the protection of cultural heritage in forest landscapes

  • Motta R,
  • Agnoletti M,
  • Marchetti M,
  • Mori P,
  • Romano R,
  • Salbitano F,
  • Sitzia T,
  • Vacchiano G

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 17, no. 1
pp. 109 – 113


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According to the European Landscape Convention (ELC), a landscape means “an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors”. Therefore, both human actions and natural processes play a role in shaping the landscape, which is, by this definition, ever changing. “Protecting” the landscape therefore means understanding, accepting and preserving such agents of change that have created it. Conversely, protective measures should not be designed to “freeze time”, nor to restore natural or human-influenced landscape features that have long ceased to exist. These basic concepts, delineated 20 years ago in Florence, are met in some parts of Italy by a dubious interpretation. Landscape protection agencies (Soprintendenze Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio) seem to be oriented towards stopping or limiting the traditional activities that have shaped the current Italian forest landscape, with the purpose of increasing the forest cover for “aesthetic” reasons. Such narrow view contradicts the aims of the ELC and of the related national rules and mechanisms of landscape conservation.