President's Message: March 2023
Spring has arrived, and the Asia-Pacific region, from tropical to temperate zones, is experiencing a great diversity of landscapes due to a broad latitude- from the snowy scenery of Hokkaido to the changing landscapes of Malaysia, Thailand, and New Zealand and Australia, what a splendid and diverse spectrum of landscapes.
The snowy scenery of Hokkaido and the 4,000-meter high mountains of Jade Mountain, and the spring cultivation of paddy fields in various plains of the countries have gradually changed from earthy yellow to new green. Peach, plum, apricot and cherry blossoms in Japan, Korea, China and other low and middle altitudes are also blooming, including the enchanting blue carpets in New Zealand and Australia in the southern hemisphere, and the magnificent purple dreamland is no less than the light pink cherry blossoms in the warm temperate zone. The changing seasons of the landscape and environmental color ecosystem is indeed a priceless asset contributed by the natural "landscape".
After the cherry blossoms in different latitudes, azaleas, wisteria, calla lilies, and new branches of various deciduous trees are also the signs of the infinite charm of the "landscape" and the revelation of the earth's climatic changes.
March 3 is the daughter's day in Japan, which has a special cultural tradition. In Malaysia, National Landscape Day is the only special commemorative day related to the landscape profession worldwide, and it was established in 1997 by the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir.
As a landscape professional, besides the traditional standardized practices, it seems that we also have social services, especially when the global climate is changing rapidly and there are natural disasters (such as earthquakes / floods / tsunamis / typhoons / cyclones) that are difficult to predict accurately. We are very pleased to learn that APR organizations are working on different environmental friendly, environmental restoration, and ecosystem enhancement projects in their own cultural and geographic settings, including:
- Wetland Conservation and Restoration
- Rice Paddy Conservation and Restoration
- Aboriginal Traditional Domain Preservation and Sustainable Development
- Participation in the demolition planning of old dams in rivers and streams • Restoration of streamside areas in catchment areas
- Urban Vertical Greening and Heat Island Cooling: A Multifaceted Project
- Design techniques and new regulations for housing and water coexistence in floodplain settlements
- Experimental practice and expansion of greening techniques for seed breeding and habitat restoration in desertified areas
The above are only a rough collection of projects and frameworks from the Asia-Pacific region that are related to the landscape profession and have been collaborated across borders. In particular, the sustainable campaign for remote, disadvantaged, and rural revitalization projects in rural and fishery villages, these little inputs and results are really touching and encouraging. As a Chinese proverb goes, "The year's plan lies in the spring", I look forward to the cooperation of our member organizations and committees for an innovative and fruitful 2023, and hope that these milestones will become the greeting for IFLA's 75th anniversary.