The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has welcomed the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ (IFLA) Climate and Biodiversity Declaration, which was recently made at the IFLA World Congress in Oslo, Norway.

“This is a critical move by IFLA and we’re very supportive of the declaration,” says AILA chief executive officer, Tim Arnold.

The move comes following the unanimous support of the 77 voting nations of IFLA and it maps out an action plan of what IFLA will do in response to the issues the globe is facing.

“The earth has continued to experience record breaking temperatures, rapid glacial and artic sea ice loss, drought and wildfires and repeated extreme weather events,” says IFLA President, James Hayter.

“Climate change has already significantly affected the majority of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems and species. By declaring an emergency we’re adding to the voice of IFLA to the growing list of organisations across the globe who are demanding more action.”

At the meeting in Oslo, IFLA discussed its ClimateACTION! Plan, which outlines an engagement model with members, partners, allied professions researchers and educators, to bring about a programme of real change.

IFLA and its members have also committed to:

  1. Providing paths to improved understanding and access to training, tools and guidance on emerging science, climate positive design and environment net gain.
  2. Working with national associations to alter our ethical standards of conduct to include greater references to sustainability.
  3. Reducing their own carbon footprints through changes in materials, design practice, travel and operations.
  4. Advocating at all levels of government and decision-making for recognition of the emergency, action to implement needed changes to policy and practice, and allocation of sufficient resources to respond in a timely and productive manner.
  5. Partnering with corporate, academic, NGO and governmental colleagues in support of IFLA efforts to locally, nationally and globally advocate for immediate action.


“Landscape architects must take leadership in this era of climate change,” adds Hayter.

“We must stand up for the values upon which our profession is founded. We have the skills and the belief. The world needs and depends on us to help with the issue.”