Leading environmental organisations join forces to tackle major challenges


    On the evening of Monday April 16, representatives from the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB) and the Landscape Institute (LI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at Menai Bridge, Wales.

    An MOU is a statement of intent between two parties to work towards common goals.

    Like any other, the MOU between the LI and NAAONB is unique. This agreement provides for the joint development of a chartered credential for professionals who manage protected landscapes – a need identified by the NAAONB.

    ‘Skills and capability building are what will help us deliver on governments’ environment plans across all UK nations,’ said NAAONB Chief Executive Howard Davies. ‘This is not only an opportunity for us to enhance our membership offering, but also for our members to network and share crucial knowledge with one another.’

    In 2017, following discussion with its members and Board, the LI extended an offer to the NAAONB to work jointly towards this goal. This memorandum builds on the fruitful discussions of the LI’s Landscape Management Leadership Forum, in which senior NAAONB members participated.

    This memorandum suggests how the organisations could pool resources to improve training and services for members, open routes to chartered status, and lead the national debate on meeting social and environmental challenges. Last September, the LI signed a similar agreement with the Institute of Place Management.

    ‘A major goal for the LI is to become the professional home for everyone involved in transforming the landscape,’ said LI President Merrick Denton-Thompson. ‘Landscape management is a very important area to us. We will listen carefully at every stage and involve members of both the LI and the NAAONB in this process. Full consultation will ensure informed updates to our entry standards for chartered membership.

    He added: ‘We want protected landscape managers to feel at home with us.’

    The memorandum is clear that the identity and purpose of each organisation should be respected. But, as NAAONB Chairman Philip Hygate observed, ‘It is vital that in a small and fragmented sector, we collaborate, share resources and help each other.’

    ‘We have some unique responsibilities in managing Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty,’ Philip said. ‘We can contribute much to the LI in terms of policy and standards for protected landscapes, and aspects such as the value of natural beauty. There are huge environmental challenges facing the UK and the world: that should be our focus.’

    LI Chief Executive Dan Cook said:

    ‘We genuinely want to help each other’s organisation prosper. This agreement marks the beginning of a new collaborative journey for both organisations. Skills, professional credentials, training¬†provision, careers campaigns and apprenticeships are just a few areas where we believe we can work well together. Even before signing this MOU we have been sharing insight and office space, and have been working closely on a number of initiatives together.’

    For further information, please contact:

    Paul Lincoln, Landscape Institute
    020 7685 2646

    Note to editors

    1. The Landscape Institute is the chartered body for the landscape profession. Its mission is to lead and inspire the profession to deliver landscape planning, management, research and design for the benefit of people, place and nature, for today and for future generations. Its vision is to develop the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours of its members; to be agile, innovative and responsive in the face of environmental challenges and major social change; and to help its members and the communities they serve deliver more sustainable ways for living and working in the future.
    2. The NAAONB is a registered charity. Its vision is that the natural beauty of AONBs is valued and secure. Its mission is to support and develop a network of ambitious AONB partnerships with a strong collective voice. Its charitable objectives are simple and have the care of UK’s countryside at their heart. The Charity’s membership is made up of AONB Partnerships and Conservation Boards, Local Authorities, environment organisations, and enthusiastic individuals who care deeply about our outstanding countryside.¬†www.landscapesforlife.org.uk


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