The LI, in consultation with IFLA, is developing new global ethical principles for the landscape profession. Have your say on these seven crucial principles as part of our new consultation, closing on 14 August.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Image: Grant Associates

In 2018, at the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Council, the Landscape Institute (LI) called for a new set of global ethical principles for the landscape profession to promote ethical practice worldwide.

Landscape architects, along with related landscape, parks and place professionals, design and manage places in the built and natural environment. Our profession also uniquely spans both the arts and sciences, with a strong appreciation of people and their culture.

‘The aim of these principles is to ensure and promote global ethical practice, both in order to ensure public confidence in the landscape profession, and to promote environmental protection.’

James Hayter, IFLA President

‘Adherence to ethical principles is key prerequisite for building trust between clients, the public and landscape professionals, and in transnational landscape professional relationships. We are proud to be leading this collaborative project with IFLA.’

Jane Findlay, LI President

‘These standards include important reference to our organisations’ shared commitment to addressing the climate and biodiversity emergency. Once adopted, they will ensure that sustainability remains a vital ethical consideration for all our professional members.’

Dan Cook, LI Chief Executive

The new principles

Read the Global Ethical Principals for the Landscape Profession (Draft for consultation, July 2020)

There are seven principles proposed to apply to landscape practice:


1. Landscape professionals promote conservation and enhancement of the environment and quality of life for now and future generations.

2. Landscape professionals recognise the issue of climate and biodiversity emergency and practice in a manner consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

3. Landscape professionals work collaboratively with and are respectful of others and do not in their provision of landscape services unlawfully discriminate.

4. Landscape professionals comply with national and international law.

5. Landscape professionals are committed to continuing professional development and ensure they only provide services they are competent to deliver.

6. Landscape professionals deliver quality landscape services and clients and/or the public are able to provide feedback or raise issues about service.

7. Landscape professionals uphold the integrity of the landscape profession and are honest and transparent in their relationship with their national body/regulator.


Drafted by the LI, with input from IFLA, these principles combine the intentions and spirit of many current landscape associations’ codes of practice. They draw from statements of principle, good practice from other professions, and the work of the International Ethical Standards Coalition (IESC), which both IFLA and the LI support.

They will give context to, and provide the framework for, association-specific codes of practice that will align with the principles in the future. National associations and/or relevant regulators will monitor codes of practice for individual compliance. Monitoring the specific codes of practice will allow individual associations to understand the level of compliance with the principles required for their members in their own regulatory context.

Next steps: development and maintenance

At 2019 IFLA World Council in Oslo, delegates from the 77 IFLA member associations supported the further development of the principles, with the intention to adopt them globally – following consultation – at the end of 2020. Both the IFLA Executive Council and the LI Board of Trustees have approved these draft principles for consultation with members.

The LI, in collaboration and consultation with IFLA, are to maintain and review the principles on an ongoing basis, as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding between our two organisations. A full review of the principles occur every five years.

Share your views

We are seeking landscape architects, related landscape, parks and place professionals and their professional associations to review the latest version of these ethical principles. A consultation is now open, and running until 14 August 2020.

Complete the survey here.

The LI and IFLA will review all feedback, with a view to bringing any suggested changes to the IFLA World Council meeting in September. Both organisations intend to adopt the principles before the end of 2020.

For more information, contact Christina Hirst or Ruth Lake at regulations@landscapeinstitute.org.

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