24 September 2019
 
IFLA World Council Meeting and Congress
AILA’s CEO Tim Arnold attended the recent International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Council Meeting and Congress in Oslo, Norway. The following is a summary of the various events and meetings that AILA participated in.

IFLA Executive Committee Meeting - Saturday 14 and 15 September 2019

In July 2019, AILA signed a service agreement with IFLA. We are providing financial administration support and strategic advice on governance, policy and sponsorship management. I attended the Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting as an observer and to deliver on different elements of our service agreement. The IFLA ExCo consists of President, James Hayter, the Presidents of the five IFLA Regions and the Chairs of IFLA’s Committees. 

The focus of the conversation over the two days was aligning IFLA committees to the United Nations, endorsing a new sponsorship policy, discussing potential governance improvements and renewing the annual operational plan of IFLA. 

The IFLA ExCo also used the time in the meeting to finalise various papers and items which were to be presented to the World Council meeting the following two days. AILA is in a privileged position to be able to provide strategic advice and support to IFLA through the service agreement and we look forward to continuing to build on this new partnership.

World Council – Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 September 2019
A two-day World Council meeting was held at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences amongst the neoclassical parklands on campus.

The World Council meeting was an opportunity for the 77 member nations of IFLA to come together to discuss key issues impacting the profession globally. This is the first time in a number of years that AILA has been a financial member of IFLA, following a period of review of our association and assessment of benefit to AILA members.

The meeting included a series of administrative updates, committee updates and five strategic focus sessions covering:
1. Climate Change – there was unanimous support for IFLA to Declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency. This is following similar declarations made by AILA and the Landscape Institute in the UK. The IFLA declaration includes IFLA CLIMATE Action! Plan and there was a presentation from American landscape architect Pamela Conrad on a new tool that assist designers to measure and improve carbon impact:  https://climatepositivedesign.com/challenge/
2. Ethics and Code of Conduct – the Landscape Institute (UK) facilitated a session on Ethics and Code of Conduct with the objective of having a standard set of principles that could be adopted globally for the profession. AILA members will have the opportunity to comment on the draft principles in early 2020 with the goal of having them available by August 2020.
3. Education program recognition – there was discussion on the standards and process to develop a consistent recognition of university programs across the globe. This is a significant piece of work and will give us a common level of understanding on what university programs are delivering.
4. Community Involvement and Participation – this session focused on developing best practice principles on engaging with community, with a particular focus on indigenous communities. Resources will be available in early 2020.
5. Governance – I had the opportunity to facilitate this workshop on behalf of IFLA. The focus was on continuous governance improvement. The World Council workshopped best practice governance principles for IFLA and developed a list of recommended changes. A paper will be presented to the member nations later this year for further consultation.

World Congress – Wednesday 18 September to Friday 20 September 2020
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the opening day of the World Congress. This conference attracted 1400 participants with close to 40% of them coming from outside of Norway. The CEO from the Norwegian Institute of Landscape Architects was very generous with her time and we were able to share ideas on effective management and coordination of large-scale conference.

It was excellent to run into several AILA members at the Congress and they no doubt enjoyed the opportunity to learn and share ideas with colleagues from across the globe.

Summary

IFLA is playing an increasingly important role in connecting and advocating for the profession on global platforms such as the United Nations. Over the course of the next 12 months, AILA will identify opportunities for our members to actively contribute to the work IFLA is doing through working groups and committees on the global and regional scale. AILA is one of the larger and better resourced member nations so we also have an opportunity to actively contribute to the advancement of the profession.

I would like to congratulate AILA Fellow, James Hayter, for his ongoing work as IFLA President and for the leadership is providing to the landscape architecture profession globally.

Tim Arnold
Chief Executive Officer