The contents of the initiative are embodied in three main outcomes:
  • A General Document that structures the Initiative;
  • A series of Appendices to the General Document;
  • A Web platform for collaboration and dissemination.

General Document


The Document is meant to be a reference framework that can engender more detailed documents, either while it is in progress or even after it is approved. This document will include:


The concept of rural landscape


The initiative’s principles:

  • Rural landscape as tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
  • concepts such as integrity, authenticity, and tradition in rural landscapes;
  • field of application;
  • rural landscapes as resources;
  • knowledge;
  • continuity of historic and cultural character;
  • endurance and changes (criteria);
  • principles for a policy on rural landscapes;
  • and key points to define a policy on rural landscapes.


Methodological and operational guidelines regarding:

  • issues for the comprehension and study of rural landscapes;
  • cataloging criteria and methods;
  • conservation, management, and evolution of rural landscapes;
  • rural landscapes and land planning;
  • rural landscapes and agriculture policies;
  • rural landscapes and conservation of nature;
  • rural landscapes and food;
  • awareness-raising, training, and updating;
  • rural landscapes as heritage resources to showcase and demonstrate historical management techniques.


The Document shall abide by ICOMOS cultural protocols, such as the Venice Charter (for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites), the Florence Charter (of Historic Gardens), the Washington Charter (for the Conservation of Historic Towns), and the Nara Document (on Authenticity). The Document will complement those, which already exist, that solely or partly deal with issues related to cultural heritage at both international (UNESCO 1972 World Heritage Convention, 2003 Convention on Intangible Heritage and 2012 Florence Declaration on Landscape), and regional levels (2000 European Landscape Convention, 2009 Faro Convention, 1985 Amsterdam Charter and IFLA 2012 Latin American Landscape Charter).

In no way, will the Document either conflict or compete with any of the existing international guidelines and principles. As usual, the Document will take the name of the city in which the final Convention that approves it was held.



The General Document's Appendices will be developed as the initiative progresses, even if the General Document has not yet been approved. In accord with the evolving character of the Document, neither the number of Appendices nor the themes to be developed will be defined or limited. The issues to be addressed in the Appendices will be organized as follows.


A summary report

A report that describes the common features, differences, and problems linked to the management of rural landscapes at an international level. 

It will contain:

  • a report / white paper on Rural Landscapes: information and comparison of rural landscapes in the various regions of the world, such as general information on characteristics, vulnerabilities, threats, strengths, policies, economic and social problems, and methods of management.
  • an Atlas of Rural Landscapes, including descriptions, primary classification, general mapping, etc. 


Documents on specific regions or themes

Documentation and reports on specific areas, conforming with the principles and guidelines defined in the General Document.


A glossary

Definition of common terminology for researchers and institutional users. Might be created on the basis of international documents and existing glossaries.



The Website is the main vehicle for the promotion and dissemination of the Initiative and brings together, for example: a place for collaboration of the ICOMOS/IFLA Rural Landscape Working Group, the online library, and the Collaborative Network. People, stakeholders, associations, and others interested in the Initiative can follow its progress and get involved through the Website.