The 2020 IFLA APR council meeting was held on 21 August, not in Penang where we were all meant to be, but as a virtual meeting instead due to the covid19 pandemic. In spite of my misgivings about running a meeting across six time zones with nearly 60 attendees, it went extremely well and I want to record my thanks to our secretariat team for enabling such a smooth and professional event on a digital platform. The pandemic also meant that a review of the dates and meeting hosts planned for both world and regional council meetings and congresses in the future was required, reported on separately below.
IFLA APR President Takano-san opened the meeting with a warm welcome to all delegates and observers, noting that this was probably the first time where we had representatives from every one of the 14 member associations in attendance at the council meeting. It was also another first for the regional meeting, with observers in attendance from four nations in our region not currently represented on the council by an official delegate from a national organisation. One of Takano-san’s initiatives on taking on the president’s role last year was to try to make contact with representatives of the 20+ nations within the Asia-Pacific area which are not currently members of IFLA, to outline the role of landscape architecture in helping to meet their environmental planning and design goals. This initiative is now starting to bear fruit, with representatives from Cambodia, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Palau, and Vietnam all attending the regional meeting as observers. We hope to bring further news in due course about other nations similarly expressing interest in joining IFLA.
After a round of brief introductions, an independent scrutineer (Ron Tan, SILA president) confirmed the results of our recent elections. There were four positions up for election this time, one Exco member (the treasurer), two standing committee chairs (Education and Academic Affairs, and Professional Practice and Policy), and one working group chair (Climate Change). We are pleased to confirm that the following people will be taking on these roles for the next two years:
Treasurer: Dr Kuang-Yu Wang - CTLAS (elected unopposed)
Chair EAA: Prof Zheng Xi - CHSLA
Chair PPP: Prof Fukuoka Takanori - JLAU
Chair CC: Ms Claire Martin - AILA
Each person will hold their position until the 2022 regional meeting in South Korea.
Our election round next year 2021 will be for the IFLA APR President, the Chairs of our other two standing committees (Communications and External Relations, and Finance and Business Planning), the Chair of our other working group (Landscape Architects Without Borders), and the Honorary Secretary’s role. (I'll have completed my maximum two terms by then so there will be a new Hon. Sec. after the Penang meeting in 2021...)
Reports on the revised timing, location and host organisation of the next world and regional congresses to be held in the APR were provided by the respective delegates:
2021 World event: Penang, Malaysia. ILAM, 19-21 August.
2022 World event: Kyung-Ju, South Korea. KILA, October.
2023 Regional event: Tokyo, Japan. JLAU. (world event jointly hosted by Kenya & Sweden)
2024 Regional event: Taipei, Taiwan. CTLAS. (world event hosted by Turkey)
It is possible that India might host the 2025 regional event, but no commitment has been given by ISOLA...
IFLA APR Standing Committees
Reports were received from the four IFLA APR standing committees: Communications and External Relations (CER), Education and Academic Affairs (EAA), Finance and Business Planning (FBP), and Professional Practice and Policy (PPP). A summary of those reports follows, with the full reports available on the APR webpage.
The last 12 months has seen strong growth in the quality and size of the readership of the monthly newsletters, with the committee working closely with our secretariat team on sourcing relevant content. An internship programme has also been launched, putting in place the first part of President Takano-san’s vision to provide international learning opportunities for young landscape architects. Clearly this cannot work at the moment, but we need to continue to look positively towards opportunities in a post-covid future. Virtual meetings are now becoming the norm for the work of the committee, leading up to this recent meeting, a first for a regional IFLA AGM. Planning is underway for a series of webinars where attendees may be eligible for CPD points from their national associations.
The outgoing chair noted that the annual accreditation report from IPB had been received, encouraging other regional associations wishing to have any of their programmes reviewed at a global benchmark standard to contact the chair. The Taiwan association (CTLAS) has expressed interest in coordinating a regional system to record project exemplars for access by students of landscape architecture. This would be a great resource for practitioners as well as students, so more information about this initiative will be provided as it develops. If any NZ practitioners are keen to have their projects recorded on the database, please contact Prof. Chun-Yen Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org
The FBP committee continues to build financial and business resilience through its mainstream awards programme to promote the excellent work of members on an international platform. The IFLA AAPME 2020 awards - A Global Call for Resilience - had 280 entries with awards made to 143 projects. The Young Landscape Architects Alliance (YLAA) was initiated in Cebu in 2019, and aims to be a global network with free membership for students, graduates and young professionals. FBP continues to focus its efforts on establishing the IFLA APR as a legal entity and plans for relevant business strategies amidst the pandemic and resulting economic crisis. This is to ensure that the region continues to grow sustainably and brings benefits to members and the profession.
The committee’s focus over the last year was on sharing Landscape Architecture related information through coordinating a range of symposia and lectures. One highlight was the field trip and research meeting about the role of the profession in Japan and their response to the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster in Fukushima. It was pleasing to see the number of young landscape architects taking part in these on-line lectures and fora.
IFLA APR working groups
Reports were received from both active working groups, Climate Change (CC) and Landscape Architects Without Borders (LAWB).
The retiring chair noted that further educational material is in preparation for practitioners, on the topic of disaster resilience. This will build upon material from the Fukushima workshop, which can serve as global practical training modules for climate change and disaster resilience in Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The incoming chair heralded a future focus for the committee on climate positive design initiatives, to collectively raise the profile and urgency around climate change.
The Landscape Architects Without Borders committee has called for unity and collaboration in working towards ideas and solutions for a post-covid world. The chair has recently undertaken a video conversation with landscape architects from around our region on this topic, with Henry Crothers representing the NZILA. The video segments are being progressively circulated through the IFLA APR monthly newsletter, so keep an eye out for each edition.
IFLA APR Constitution
As noted in the FBP report above, the region is continuing to work on getting a formal presence registered to enable a level of autonomy while still strongly supporting IFLA, much as IFLA Europe has done. Several options for the management structure of the regional council have been discussed, with a possible move towards a board of directors rather than an executive committee the most likely outcome. Changes to the IFLA APR constitution have been considered to enable this change, but the proposal has been put on hold awaiting the outcome of a governance review for IFLA currently underway. It makes sense for any changes to the regional constitution to wait for the IFLA outcomes, to keep both documents as similar as possible. More information about prospective changes should be available after the world council meeting next month (see below).
World meeting 2020
The IFLA 2020 virtual congress and council meeting will take place online over two days: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th September 2020. The theme of the World Council is Healthy and Inclusive Landscapes, and sessions will be recorded for later viewing at a more reasonable time, unless you are a night owl... All information will be available on the event page, click here
NZILA IFLA Delegate
31 August 2020