IFLA 2019 World Congress - Closing remarks from President James Hayter

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Congress concluding remarks to this years delegates from IFLA President, James Hayter 

At this crucial IFLA World Council meeting and congress we have declared a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency on behalf of the profession of landscape architecture worldwide. Most importantly, we have re-asserted the values on which our profession was founded. 

As we have seen through the presentations at this congress, landscape architects have all the skills, beliefs and passion to not only make a difference but to be the leaders in land management and city making. 

This is the decade of landscape architecture. It is up to all you here to take up this call to arms – please return to your practices, universities and associations and become activists. The world depends on you. 

How can IFLA support you in these intentions? 

This congress has shown us how. Use the networks you have established to think globally – you are not acting alone. Then act locally 

IFLA can do nothing more important than to connect people and ideas. We will liaise on your behalf with the UN, UNESCO, ICOMOS UN Habitat, WFO, WHO and the many other representative and professional bodies having an influence at the global level. We will be advocates on your behalf. 

We will also outline policies that effect our environment globally. We will advocate for climate action 

, food security and agriculture, health and well-being, community participation in design, the involvement of indigenous cultures and heritage. Our IFLA working group on climate change – led by our 2019 IFLA Presidential Medalist Dr Colleen Mercer-Clarke – has prepared a detailed action plan on climate mitigation and adaptation. 

The profession of landscape architecture is changing very rapidly. New priorities and opportunities are emerging. We do not want to restrict or channel practice to only what we currently know and do. 

Landscape architecture is recognized by the International Labour Organization as a profession. This is very important – we do not need to argue our existence. 

Over the next 12 months IFLA is rewriting the definition of landscape architecture for the ILO. This is a seminal opportunity to embed the contemporary values of landscape architecture into an expanded definition of our profession. 

Finally, thank you to the NLA president for his leadership and energy in realizing this congress. To his team – Anita, Marit, Yngvar, Karsten and many others, to the Landscape Institute for partnering in the congress session, thank you for making this an important milestone for our profession. 

And, most importantly, thanks to you all for attending. Take your new knowledge, networks and passion to make our globe a better place. You as landscape architects can, and must, make a difference. 

NewsSally RobertshawIFLA 2019