International Landscape Day 20 October 2020 festivities to include a photo competition and landscape walks

Press release 2021-10-14 at 8:45

Wednesday 20 October 2021 is International Landscape Day, which is based on the Council of Europe Landscape Convention. The Convention encourages everyone to participate in observing landscapes and in the decision-making concerning them. Various campaigns, competitions and guided landscape walks are organised to celebrate Landscape Day, offering many opportunities to explore landscapes from new perspectives.

Photograph landscapes and take part in a competition

In honour of International Landscape Day, the Ministry of the Environment is organising a photo competition with the theme “Landscape Day 2021”.

“Photography is an excellent way to observe landscapes. By taking photographs, it may be easier to look at a familiar landscape from a fresh perspective with new appreciation. The judges also want to encourage people to find creative and versatile ways to approach the topic”, says Senior Environmental Advisor Tapio Heikkilä, who will chair the jury of the photo competition.

The jury will evaluate the photos, and the winner will be awarded a €500 gift card to Rajala Pro Shop. A number of other merited images will be rewarded with book awards. The photographs entered in the competition will be displayed at the Ministry of the Environment, possibly at events organised by the ministry and on the competition’s website.

River wiev
Rural landscape from eastern Finland Ylä-Valtimo. Photo Tapio Heikkilä.

Take part in a landscape walk

International Landscape Day will also be observed with landscape walks organised by the Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation. Walks will be organised throughout Finland from 16 to 20 October 2021, guided by landscape experts from the Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation. The walk in Northern Ostrobothnia will be virtual, so you can join it from anywhere in Finland as long as you register by 18 October!

Observe landscapes through versatile assignments

To bring new perspectives and depth to observing landscapes, there is now a published guide with information and different kinds of assignments. The guide is specifically intended for teachers to use with students, but there are also tips for adults to try, for example to celebrate Landscape Day. Instead of using your vision, what if you observed a landscape with your hearing, smell, touch or taste? Or what if you observed a landscape to find all the signs of human activity?

Evaluate landscapes

If observing landscapes with different senses sounded good to you, you should check out m.Envirate.net. It is a service you can use in a mobile web browser to store your sensory environmental experience, a photo of the landscape and your current location on a map. In the service, you can also view other users’ photos and evaluations of different places. A book award will be granted to the person who has made the most evaluations between 6 September and 20 October 2021 and to another submitter who will be selected randomly.

Take part in a photography campaign

Preparation for International Landscape Day has already begun with the #arkimaisema or #everydaylandskape photography campaign launched on Instagram in September, which celebrates daily landscapes. Take a look at the photos, take part yourself and inspire others to observe landscapes in their everyday life. Also follow the campaign account @arkimaisema.

Vuosaaren harbour
Human build hill near the Vuosaari harbour. Photo Tapio Heikkilä.

Council of Europe Landscape Convention

International Landscape Day is observed annually at the prompt of the Council of Europe in all the countries that have implemented the Council of Europe Landscape Convention. The aim of the Council of Europe Landscape Convention is to design, manage, and protect landscapes. The purpose of International Landscape Day is to highlight that landscapes are an essential part of everyone's cultural heritage, identity, well-being as well as the quality and diversity of our living environment.

This year, International Landscape Day will be observed for the fifth time. Landscape Day will be organised by the Ministry of the Environment and the Finnish Environment Institute. Other organisations taking part in the collaboration include the Finnish Local Heritage Federation, the Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation, the National Board of Antiquities and the Finnish Association of Landscape Industries – Viherympäristöliitto ry. International Landscape Day is part of the European Heritage Days programme.

More information

Annika Uddström, Researcher, Finnish Environment Institute, tel. +358 295 251 715, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fi

Tapio Heikkilä, Senior Environmental Advisor, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 166, firstname.lastname@ym.fi