'Shared Horizons' is the Department's Statement of Policy on Protected Landscapes.
The statement sets out the issues associated with the protection and sustainable use of Northern Ireland's finest landscapes and indicates the way in which the Department plans to address them. These areas fall within the internationally recognised description of 'Protected Landscapes'. Such areas are usually recognised by some form of designation, which sets them apart from the wider countryside. The only designation currently in use in Northern Ireland to identify areas of high landscape quality is that of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) although there is provision for the designation of National Parks as well.
We have given the statement the title of "Shared Horizons", because it symbolises the need to develop a common agenda between the various stakeholders in those areas of countryside that are the focus of the document. We hope that it will generate an enhanced interest in protected landscapes amongst all the parties involved in the management of such areas.