Directors Message - 17 August 2020

Claire Martin, AILA National Director

COVID-19 was first confirmed in Australia in late January 2020, since then we have seen 22,000 cases, over 360 deaths, and one million Australian’s have lost their jobs. Around 70% of infectious diseases that affect people start in animals, these ‘zoonotic’ diseases have been responsible for all recent outbreaks and pandemics that have threatened global health and new zoonotic diseases are emerging at an alarming rate. By bringing people, livestock and wildlife into increasingly close contact, we increase the risk of dangerous diseases spreading to us, this close contact becomes more likely when we destroy forests and natural habitats. Deforestation is one of the biggest threats to the climate, to wildlife and to our health. The protection of nature, working in partnership with nature, and ensuring balance in the ecosystems we are part of can reduce the risk of future pandemics. The decisions we make personally and professionally help to minimise this risk.

As each country across the Asia-Pacific region approaches a different stage of this global transition, Kotchakorn Voraakhom, Chairwoman of the International Federation of Landscape Architects Asia-Pacific Region, Landscape Architects Without Borders (LAWB) has gathered insights and visions from 14 nominees across the region to share with the landscape architecture community to stay strong together. Their interviews will be published weekly throughout the whole month. To expand this project they would like to hear your voice to create collective messaging calling for a more sustainable and equitable future.

You can watch the introductory video here: 

And participate in the ‘Post-COVID 19 World’ campaign joining with landscape architects across Asia Pacific Region by sending your name, title, and thoughts via the link: Please share across your networks because together we are stronger.

Source: WWF - Nature and Pandemics 

Kind regards,
Claire Martin, AILA Director