The International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) has declared a climate and biodiversity emergency at the IFLA World Congress in Oslo, Norway, mapping out what the Federation will do in response to the global climate crisis

Image Credit: Geralt and PixaBay

On 16 September 2019, the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) declared a climate and biodiversity loss emergency at its World Congress in Oslo, Norway.

Following the Landscape Institute’s own climate and biodiversity emergency declaration in June, IFLA’s declaration received the unanimous support of its 77 voting nations. The declaration details what measures IFLA will take in response to the issues the world is facing.

‘The earth has continued to experience record breaking temperatures, rapid glacial and artic sea ice loss, drought and wildfires and repeated extreme weather events,’ said IFLA President James Hayter.

‘Climate change has already significantly affected the majority of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems and species.

‘By declaring an emergency we’re adding to the voice of IFLA to the growing list of organisations across the globe who are demanding more action.

‘We’re excited by the overwhelming support that our member nations have shown for the declaration. It will take a coordinated and immediate response by everyone.

‘Landscape architects must take leadership in this era of climate change. We must stand up for the values upon which our profession is founded. We have the skills and the belief. The world needs and depends on us to help with the issue.’

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Colleen Mercer-Clarke wins IFLA President’s Award

Colleen Mercer Clarke won the IFLA President’s Award for her work leading IFLA’s Working Group on Climate Change

Following the Declaration’s ratification, James Hayter announced Colleen Mercer-Clarke as the recipient of the 2019 IFLA President’s Award.

The IFLA President’s Award recognises the contribution of an individual or organisation, through their participation in IFLA, to the advancement of the landscape profession. As current chair of IFLA’s Working Group on Climate Change, Ms Mercer Clarke won the accolade for her efforts to coordinate the IFLA community’s collective response to the climate crisis.

‘Colleen’s work comes at a critical time where there is a real need for action from the landscape profession on climate and biodiversity issues,’ said James Hayter.

The LI’s response to the climate crisis

The LI was one of the first professional bodies to declare a climate emergency. We’re taking real actions that will help avert the global climate and biodiversity crisis, including supporting and contributing to the IFLA declaration and ClimateACTION! 2019-20 plan.

Read more: ‘At the forefront of climate action‘ – Why the LI Board has declared a climate and biodiversity emergency

To demonstrate to other employers how seriously we treat this issue, the LI is allowing our employees to participate in the global climate strike on Friday 20 September.

We ask every landscape sector employer and their teams to reflect on how they can best demonstrate their level of commitment. This may be through joining the strike, but in light of our profession’s key role in mitigating climate damage, there are many other ways to play your part. It is vital for our members to take positive and considered action in all they do.


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