The ELC contains a number of important definitions:
Landscape – ‘an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors. The term “landscape” is thus defined as a zone or area as perceived by local people or visitors, whose visual features and character are the result of the action of natural and/or cultural factors. Recognition is given to the fact that landscapes evolve through time and are the result natural and human activities. Landscape should be considered as whole; natural and cultural components are taken together, not separately.’
Landscape policy – ‘general principles, strategies and guidelines that permit the taking of specific measures aimed at the protection, management and planning of landscapes.’
Landscape quality objective – ‘formulation of the aspirations of the public towards landscape features of their surroundings within a specific landscape area or across more than one area.’
Landscape protection – ‘action to conserve and maintain the significant or characteristic features of a landscape, which is greatly valued on account of its distinctive natural or cultural configuration. Such protection must be active and involve management measures for preservation of significance.’
Landscape management – ‘action, from a perspective of sustainable development, to ensure the regular upkeep of a landscape, so as to guide and harmonise changes, which are brought about by social, economic and environmental processes. Such measures may be concerned with the organisation of the landscape or its components and the management approach must be a dynamic one and seek to improve landscape quality on the basis of the population’s expectations.’
Landscape planning – ‘forward-looking action to enhance, restore or create landscapes and the formal process of study, design and construction by which new landscapes are created to meet the aspirations of the people concerned. It involves framing proper planning projects, more particularly in those most affected by change and badly damaged areas (for example suburbs, peri-urban and industrial areas, coastal areas).'