Climate change and biological diversity

Response and commitments to address the climate crisis

Our action plan

The Landscape Institute has published an action plan outlining how we as an organisation will respond to the biodiversity and climate change emergencies.

In it, we describe how we will:

  • Equip the profession to provide solutions
  • Regulate and monitor the sector to encourage greater sustainability
  • Advocate with governments and industry for measures to address the crisis
  • Lead through our own sustainable business operations

Read the action plan in full here.

Why have we declared an emergency?

The LI has worked to protect, conserve and enhance the natural environment for the last 90 years. But now we find ourselves in a time of international crisis. The LI Board of Trustees recognises the clear evidence that we currently face a global climate emergency, and the need for action.

In October 2018, an IPCC report claimed that humanity has just 12 years to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – a tolerable adaptation threshold beyond which the risks to resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, food security and human life become far greater.

IPBES has also reported an ‘unprecedented’ decline in natural life, with over 1 million species at risk of extinction without ‘transformative changes’.

The LI published our Climate Change Position Statement in 2008. But it is clear that we, governments and society worldwide need to do more. This declaration represents our commitment to a significant long-term shift in thinking, behaviour and policy; and outlines how we will, in the coming 6 months, engage with our members, firms, partners and experts to bring about a programme of real change.

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

The role of the LI

The LI and our members are already responding to the issue of climate change through a range of measures. Our Royal Charter obliges us to act not just in the public interest, but in the interest of place and nature too.

The landscape sector is in an ideal position to deliver effective, sustainable climate solutions. As skills stewards for the profession, the LI has long worked – and will continue to work – to build capacity in our profession across multiple fields.

This important declaration aims to galvanise and inspire our profession to take action. To continue to engage with us on what skills and competencies are most needed to respond to this global crisis. To collaborate with other professions in developing better standards, and advocate for landscape as a leader in infrastructure delivery. And to continue to inspire the next generation to #ChooseLandscape and make a real difference in the world.

Collective action needed

We are not alone in declaring this climate and biodiversity emergency. We, our members and society need to demonstrate a significant change in our thoughts and actions if we are to make a real difference to what is happening.

We have already begun to engage, and offer to collaborate further, with related built and natural environment professions and regulators to harmonise our efforts. We will work, wherever possible, in partnership with others to accelerate the changes needed, including:

  • New regulatory approaches
  • Embedding sustainability further into industry standards
  • Changing our approach to the accreditation of education
  • Sharing good practice
  • Rewarding great leadership and success, for example through the LI and other industry Awards

We will be communicating more with our members and stakeholders over the coming months. If you would like to be involved in this process, please get in touch via policy@landscapeinstitute.org.

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The Institute has launched its action plan outlining how we will 'use all means within the scope of the Landscape Institute to respond to the biodiversity and climate emergencies’