One of the main changes for what concern the Italian rural landscape is the Decree n. 17070 of 19 November 2012 by the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies for the institution of the “National Observatory of Rural Landscape, Agricultural Practices and Traditional Knowledge”. Among the tasks of the National Observatory of Rural Landscape, can be found the surveying of landscape, of agricultural practices and of traditional knowledge considered to be of particular value, the promotion of research activities for studying the values associated with the rural landscape, its preservation, its management and planning, even in order to preserve the bio-cultural diversity. It must also develop general principles and guidelines for the protection and enhancement of the rural landscape with particular reference to action taken under the Common Agricultural Policy.
In addition to the landscape, the decree is aimed at the preservation and enhancement of “agricultural practices and traditional knowledge”, defined as “complex systems based on ingenious and diversified techniques, on local knowledge expressed by rural civilization, which have made a major contribution to the construction and maintenance of traditional landscapes.”
This decree will also create a “National Register of Rural Landscape, Agricultural Practices and Traditional Knowledge.” The Ministry will then be responsible to identify and catalog in the registry “the traditional rural landscapes or landscapes of historical interest present within the national territory and connected traditional practices and knowledge, defining their significance, integrity and vulnerability, taking account both of the opinion of scholars and of the values ascribed to these landscapes, practices and knowledge by the concerned communities, subjects and populations.”
Download here the text of the Ministerial Decree n. 17070/12.