A Prelude to IFLA Newsletter #103




Kia ora,

The 50th World Congress in Auckland was fantastic! We had a democratic, diligent and hopefully very fruitful World Council. The Congress served as a 50th anniversary celebration honoring April the international landscape architecture month!

It is the 50th time the World Council has met to make decisions regarding IFLA´s development and politics and the 50th time an international congress on landscape architecture was celebrated by our organization, giving landscape architects from around the world the chance to exchange experiences and share wisdom.

We had the attendance of delegates from 51 countries, which is a lot, especially when you consider that IFLA has about 70 member countries!

Our colleagues from NZILA and AILA, chaired by Renee Davies, organized the perfect congress in the perfect location!

The presence of the Maori culture was profoundly special. The opening ceremony was held in a very traditional way as a Powhin at  Tamaki Paenga Hira (Auckland War Memorial  Museum.) Regarding the meaningful link the Maoris have to our Mother Earth, I cannot imagine a better way to begin our anniversary congress!

During the World Council (WC) we worked on the strategic plan in order to bring IFLA up to date and enable us to face the current challenges of our profession. Among the important issues addressed at the WC, were the need for a clear, efficient and transparent communication system and the necessity to look for diverse financial alternatives for our organization.

A great deal of work has been done in the last months. Thanks to the support and persistence of our secretary general, Ilya Mochalov, IFLA´s historic archives have been digitalized by the René Pechère Library archivists and are now accessible online.

We have gained even more support for UNESCO´s initiative towards an International Landscape Convention, the creation of National Landscape Charters and Regional initiatives, like the LALI (Latin American Landscape Initiative).

It is the 5th time we have awarded the outstanding lifetime achievement of a Landscape Architect. This time, we had to honor to bestow the Sir Geoffrey Jellocoe Award on Prof. Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles from Portugal (APAP). For health reasons he could not attend the Award ceremony, but on his behalf APAP´s president Miguel Braula Reis received the award and presented a lecture along with a remarkable video.

The Congress presentations were excellent! We journeyed among the local, rural and urban landscape, we experienced the deep link between the indigenous people and the landscape, and we learned about resilience and proposed radical change.  The purpose and theme of the Congress “Shared Wisdom in an Age of Change” was certainly achieved!

This congress was a testament to our profession, which has been evolving through the last decades and is now proving that complex challenges can be faced in a holistic and innovative way through landscape architecture. Additionally, it acknowledged that ancient and indigenous wisdom is also a source of innovation and can provide solutions to the problems that we face today!

Thanks again to all people that participated in the organization of the congress and of course to all attendees! Congratulations to all!

With a big hug,

Desiree Martínez

Please visit us at the following link to view the video with the results of the IFLA photography contest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKR0PsLR8xk&feature=share&list=PLEoBcmwedS6C66lwzMOcAC2hCMPvvK9rU