2020 IFLA APR Regional Council Meeting


Mike Barthelmeh

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. 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 Cambodia, the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Palau, and Vietnam.


An independent scrutineer (Ron Tan, SILA president) confirmed the results of our recent elections. 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


Reports on the revised timing, location, and host organisation of the next world and regional congresses to be held in our region were provided:

  • 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: (world event hosted by Turkey)


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). The full reports are 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. 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. If any practitioners are keen to have their projects recorded on the database, please contact Prof. Chun-Yen Chang at cycmail@ntu.edu.tw


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.


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.


Reports were also 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, 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. The video segments are being progressively circulated through the IFLA APR monthly newsletter, so keep an eye out for each edition.

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.


World meeting 2020

The IFLA 2020 virtual congress and council meeting will take place on-line 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 here: https://www.iflaworld.com/ifla-events/ifla-2020-world-council-and-congress

Mike Barthelmeh
IFLA APR Hon. Sec.
31 August 2020