ADDRESS BY MR. BATT O'
MINISTER OF SATE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, HERITAGE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AT THE THIRD MEETING
OF THE WORKSHOPS
FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE CONVENTION
Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests,
As a proud Corkman, I would like to
welcome all our visitors to
With such a wide representation here
from all around
You are all here with common purpose, a
very important one. The protection,
management and planning of European landscapes, and to foster co-operation on
common issues. Because
Landscapes change. They donít remain the same forever. There are many factors which influence landscape change such as economic development, social development and climate. However, these are factors over which humans exert enormous influence and, for that reason, it is important that we understand these interactions with our landscapes. The Florence Convention of 2000 recognised and expertly expressed these influences and interaction for the first time.
Today, more than ever, there is great
pressure on our landscapes. Here in
The other great influence is social change. This can be due to pure demographic pressures, such as natural population increases, immigration or, increasingly, migration to urban areas. However, these donít usually happen in a vacuum. Economic prosperity is a principal cause of demographic change as more and more people move to where there are jobs.
This economic migration is natural. Itís being going on since the dawn of mankind. However, particularly in urban areas, it produces constant pressure on the landscape. This must be managed and Iím particularly glad that these workshops are particularly focused on the suburban and peri-urban landscape issues.
I believe that most people are nostalgic in some ways. Weíre all inclined to say in a fond and somewhat sad way ďI remember when I was young that all of this used to be green fieldsĒ. Or ďWe used to play here when we were children but now itís all goneĒ. Thatís human nature but our landscape does change, it always has. What we need to focus on is how best to manage, plan and protect what we have without stifling development.
We canít live in the past but we can try to ensure that the future legacy for our children and grandchildren is one that will make them proud of us.
Your work here in
But I also hope that you will leave
Now please enjoy the rest of your evening after a good dayís work and I wish you every success with the rest of the work programme.