American University of Beirut

Roles and Goals


​The EMLO is designed as a regional hub aimed at increasing the landscape sensitivity and culture, to coordinate the existing policies for the protection and enhancement of the local landscape and to suggest studies and research to formulate suitable proposals to the definition of policies for the regional landscape.

The EMLO is thought of as "the meeting point" between government, local institutional actors, universities, professional groups, and society. It is organized as a study center that operates through thematic working groups associated with the four main activities of the observatory: 

  • Landscape knowledge
  • Information, training, advocacy, documentation
  • Monitoring and periodic reports
  • Support for adapting the land government instruments


The four activities are implemented through:

  • Establishing methods of observation
  • Identifying and assessing the character of the landscape through studies and elaboration
  • Defining landscape quality objectives through norms and measures, and establishing indicators for the protection, management and landscape design, as summarized in the charters of the landscape
  • Implementing a methodology for public participation
  • Exploring and developing a methodology to include communities and participatory processes in landscape studies
  • Providing awareness campaigns
  • Stimulating cooperation


The main goal is to draft guidelines for the policies of the landscape in order to establish a common intervention culture on the Mediterranean landscapes, which enriches the approaches and practices and facilitates a better quality of interventions. Considering differences between the countries will lead to defining ways to apply the same rules differently, so as to obtain diverse but homogeneous results in shaping the Eastern Mediterranean. The achievement of this goal implies the necessity of a shared definition of landscape and a conscious acceptance or refusal of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) designation.

Others goals are:

  • The strengthening of landscape policies, in terms of knowledge and awareness of structural factors, public interests and values at stake, multi-sectorial strategies, and more efficient instruments and guidelines.
  • ​The effective participation of the stakeholders and local communities, based on their expectations and perceptions; recognition of the values and issues; design of intervention strategies, and the public regulation of landscape processes.​


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