The LI presented a collaborative report to delegates in Oslo, Norway on possible future ethics principles and our plans for an updated Code of Practice for the landscape profession

Oslo Congress Centre, the venue for the IFLA 2019 World Congress

The Landscape Institute (LI) has joined with other bodies at the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Congress in Oslo in calling for the first ever set of shared principles for IFLA member organisations worldwide.

LI CEO Dan Cook and Director of Professional Standards Sarah Loutfi joined IFLA’s Cervera Alonso de Medina and Karin Barthelmes-Wehr from the International Ethics Standards (IES) coalition at the IFLA World Council on Tuesday 17 September, prior to the commencement of the 2019 IFLA World Congress.

They presented and workshopped a collaborative report on possible future ethics principles for the landscape profession – including, for the first time, reference to sustainability.

IES: the beginning

In 2017, the LI became the first national landscape association to join the IES Coalition. The IES aims to create a universal set of ethics principles for the built environment sector.

Since then the LI has become IES compliant, revised our own Code of Conduct for members, and is now helping to shape the shared standards for IFLA organisations around the world.

‘With members in over 40 countries, the LI is a truly international organisation. We’re delighted to be harmonising ethics across the globe to tackle the challenges we face.’

‘With members in over 40 countries, the LI is a truly international organisation’, Dan Cook said.

‘We’re delighted to be involved in harmonising standards and ethics across the globe to tackle the challenges we face – particularly at such a pivotal time.

‘With the climate and biodiversity crisis at the forefront of our considerations, that these proposed global standards include the first reference to sustainability outcomes is especially important.’

In June, the LI became one of the first professional organisations in the UK to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. IFLA followed suit with an announcement at this week’s Congress, mapping out what the Federation will do in response to the global crisis.

‘Because so many landscape professionals work in multidisciplinary teams, it’s vital our industry collaborates alongside other professions to ensure consistent global principles.’

Dan continued:

’We had great input from IFLA delegates on Monday to help ensure we cater for needs of many different regions of the world.

‘Following the workshop, IFLA also agreed to apply to join the IES. Because so many landscape professionals work in multidisciplinary teams, it’s vital that our industry collaborates alongside other real estate and construction professions to ensure consistent global principles.’

Next steps

The draft global ethics principles are designed to work for all IFLA organisations. The aim is that individual member associations and national bodies will align with and expand upon the principles with their individual codes of conduct.

The workshop at the World Council was the first step. The next step (in the first half of 2020) will be to release the draft ethics principles for consultation to IFLA organisations and their members worldwide – coinciding with the LI’s own entry standards consultation. The LI and IFLA intend to bring back revised principles for the IFLA 2020 World Council in Penang, Malaysia in August 2020.

(For more information on the LI’s development of a competency-based framework for landscape professionals, and how this affects you, see our FAQ page.)

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