Directors Message - 01 February 2021

Claire Martin, AILA National President

The time has come for us to collectively reflect on our own versions of landscape architectural practice - how are we taking climate positive action?

Over the last few months, what we have known for many years has been further evidenced through several Australian reports: the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO’s State of the Climate , the Climate Council’s Hitting Home: The Compounding Costs of Climate Inaction, and Professor Graeme Samuel AC Final Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden has made climate change policy his priority, and at the time of writing, public hearings are being held as part of the inquiry into Zali Steggall MP’s Climate Change Bill (supported by AILA), that have seen the business and health sectors call on the Federal government to adopt a science-based, risk-management approach to addressing climate change.

Whether educating the next generation of landscape architects; contributing to or leading research; advocating for good design; or procuring, planning, designing, and managing places and ecosystems - as landscape architects we need to ask ourselves what we are doing to support climate adaption, climate resilience and protecting and enhancing biodiversity? 

Together we can and must take concerted action as a profession, to implement change - locally, nationally, and globally. We have the expertise, we know what we need to do, we are collaborators and communicators, so if not now, when?

AILA, as a full member of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) continues to contribute to and learn from our colleagues across the world. In recent climate related news:
  • Australian James Hayter, IFLA President has helped to negotiate the American Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) re-joining IFLA as a full member, encouraged by AILA re-joining,
  • a US CEO Roundtable Group who employs approximately 20% of the landscape architects in the Unites States, are also looking for opportunities to support IFLA’s work,
  • Pamela Conrad, pioneer of the Climate Positive Design Pathfinder Tool, supported by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and now in collaboration with Atelier Ten will also be invited to contribute more directly to IFLA’s Climate Change Working Group and implementation efforts,
  • AILA Nominee Kotchakorn Voraakhom has been unanimously elected as the new IFLA World Climate Change Working Group Chair,
  • and AILA’s Climate Change Working Group, led by Martin O’Dea, is now in full swing, developing strategies to support AILA, as an organisation and our membership, to take the next steps in climate positive action.

Share today with your friends, family, colleagues, and clients how you are taking climate positive action.

Claire Martin,
AILA National President