Mr Knight said that the UK had signed the Convention, which deals with protection, development and sustainable landscape management, because of its strong commitment to Britain's natural and built environment.
'We believe we are already fulfilling the requirements of the Convention, which is the first to deal solely with landscape - and importantly, that covers the whole landscape: rural, urban, and peri-urban; both everyday and extraordinary.
'The UK is committed to conserving and enhancing our landscapes, which reflect the interaction of people and nature over many centuries.'
Mr Knight said the Convention would help guide policy development in the normal course of review within individual departments and the devolved administrations.
Since the Convention opened for signature in October 2000 the possible impact of the Convention and the benefits it might bring have been carefully considered.
Parliament will have 21 days in which to consider whether it wishes to hold a debate on the Convention. Once that process is complete and the Government is satisfied that it fulfils the requirements of the Convention, Defra will proceed with ratification.
1. The European Landscape Convention (ELC) opened for signature in Florence on 20 October 2000.
2. The Convention entered into force on 1 March 2004 following its 10th ratification by a member state. As of 19 December 2005 it had received 20 ratifications with an additional 12 signatures.
3. If the UK does ratify the Convention, it will enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiry of a period of three months after the date of the deposit of the instrument of ratification.