Global Ethical Principles For The Landscape Profession

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Landscape Institute consultation I DRAFT I JULY 2020GlobalEthicalPrinciplesfor theLandscapeProfessionGlobal Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 20201

In 2018 the Landscape Institute(LI) proposedto the International Federation of LandscapeArchitects (IFLA) World Council, that a new setof global ethical principles for the profession bedeveloped to promote ethical practice acrossthe global landscape professional community.Landscape architects along with relatedlandscape, parks and place professionals work inthe design and management of places spanningthe natural and built environment. It is also aprofession that uniquely spans both the arts andsciences, with a strong appreciation of peopleand their culture.These new global principles combine theintentions and spirit of many current landscapeassociations’ codes of practice. The globalprinciples draw from statements of principle,good practice from other professions andinternational ethics (International EthicalStandards Coalition(IESC)) standards1. BothIFLA and LI are supporters of the IESC andtheir standards.The aim of these principles is to ensure andpromote global ethical practice, both in orderto ensure public confidence in the landscapeprofession and promote environmentalprotection. Adherence to them is keyprerequisite for building trust between clients,the public and landscape professionals, andin trans-national landscape professionalrelationships.There are 7 proposed principles which applyto the practice of landscape professionals.They were drafted by the LI working withcontributions from IFLA. They will givecontext to, and provide the framework for,either country or national association specificcodes of practice which will be aligned withthe principles2. Any Codes of Practice will1be monitored (for individual compliance) bylocal associations and/or relevant regulators.Compliance monitoring of the specific codesof practice will allow individual associationsor organisations to understand the levelof compliance with the principles for theirmembers in their differing regulatory contexts.The principles were presented to IFLAassociation delegates at the 2019 WorldCouncil meeting in Oslo in September 2019.At this meeting, delegates from the 77 IFLAmember associations supported the furtherdevelopment of the Principles with theintention to adopt the Principles globally atthe end of 2020 following consultation.These principles are the statement of ashared global vision for the protection andenhancement of the environment throughethical landscape practice. They also referenceboth organisations declarations in regard tothe climate and biodiversity emergencies. Theprinciples will be reviewed on an ongoing basisby the Landscape Institute in collaboration andconsultation with IFLA. A full review of theprinciples will be conducted every 5 years.Your input is now neededWe are seeking landscape architects, relatedlandscape, parks and place professionals andtheir associations to review the latest versionof these 7 ethical principles.This consultation will open on July 6th runningfor a period of one month and close on FridayJuly 31st. Feedback will be reviewed by both LIand IFLA following the consultation with a viewto suggesting further changes, if needed, andlooking to adopt principles before the end of2020 to commence implementing from 2021.https://ies-coalition.org/standards/The Landscape Institute has developed a revised Code of Practice which updates its 2012 Code of Conduct and is aligned to the 7 global principles.The draft new Code can be viewed at f.2Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 20202

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE1Landscape professionals promote conservation andenhancement of the environment and quality of lifefor now and future generations.Guidance notes:i. This means considering the impact on theenvironment of the work, such assessmentusually to be undertaken before work takesplace where it is possible to do so. In somecases this will take the form of a full, formal,environmental impact assessment. In othercases the assessment will be less formaland landscape professionals should usetheir judgement. Such assessment wouldinclude considering the impacts on theenvironment as a whole (both positive andnegative). It will also include considerationof measures that could mitigate or removedetrimental impact where this is identified.Questions that such an assessment shouldideally answer include:a. Are there any negative impacts on theenvironment that would be created bythis work? If so, what can be done toremove or mitigate these impacts?b. Does this project make the lives ofpeople, animals and plant life better?ii. Landscape professionals consider theimpact of their work on the culturaland social heritage of place includingcultural and social heritage preservation.Landscape professionals should take timeto understand the social history of the placewhere they will be working to understandthe impact such work will have. This willin many cases involve engagement withlocal communities to understand the impactof work on the social and cultural, as wellas environmental, heritage of the place.Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 2020iii. Impact on the environment includes aconsideration of the need to reduce carbonemissions and greenhouse gas emissions inline with global targets to keep emissions to1.5 degrees warming. However landscapeprofessionals should aim to achieve a netzero carbon emission target in relationto their work wherever this is possible.iv. Landscape professionals consider thehealth and wellbeing of people (physicaland mental) and animals affected by theirwork. Plant health must also be considered.Landscape professionals will need to payparticular regard to the need to enhancethe physical and mental wellbeing of thoseaffected by work in a particular place andshould seek out expert advice on thiswhere necessary.v. Landscape professionals pay due regardto the 1992 UN Framework Convention onClimate Change, the European LandscapeConvention and RIO declaration.vi. This principle covers all aspects of alandscape professional’s practice includingproject planning, procurement of servicesand goods and evaluation.3

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE2Landscape professionals recognise the issue of climateand biodiversity emergency and practice in a mannerconsistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.Guidance notes:i. Landscape professionals understand theissues raised by the global climate andbiodiversity crisis and how this impacts ontheir work. They understand that working inthe public interest means working to reducenegative impacts on the environment andpromoting net gain.iv. Sustainability principles should beembedded into organisational procurementprocesses and policies. It is importantthat those delivering services on behalfof landscape professionals are awareof, and demonstrate, the importance ofsustainable practices.ii. The UN Sustainable Development Goals3are a set of objectives aimed at achievinga better and more sustainable future forall. They address the global challengesincluding those related to poverty,inequality, climate change, environmentaldegradation, peace and justice. The 17Goals are all interconnected, and it is hopedthat they will be achieved by 2030.v. Landscape professionals demonstrategood environmentally responsiblepractices to colleagues in the deliveryof services, in order to promote betterworking practices to others who may benewer to the profession or undertakingprofessional development in this area.iii. Sustainable development practices mayinclude, but are not restricted to, theundertaking of full or partial environmentalimpact assessments in order to understandthe impact on the environment of aparticular project or task before that workis undertaken. Where potential negativeimpacts are identified, work is planned andcarried out in such a way as to remove orreduce that impact.3Case study: X firm hascommitted to net zero carbonemissions by 2025. It has made a publiccommitment to assisting clients toget to net zero by 2030. It does thisby offering “critical friend” adviceand support to clients and gentlychallenging unsustainable practiceswhere /sustainable-development-goals/Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 20204

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE3Landscape professionals work collaboratively with andare respectful of others and do not in their provision oflandscape services unlawfully discriminate.Guidance notes:i. Landscape professionals know andunderstand the legal requirements relevantto their place of practice. They act inaccordance with the UN Declaration onHuman Rights4 and where possible act ina way which exceeds the expectations ofthe Declaration.ii. Landscape professionals deliver servicesin a way that respects the diversity of thecommunities they serve. This means being respectful of the culturaland social heritage and community culturespresent in the places where services arebeing delivered. Respect for different culturalidentities and traditions is important.iv. Landscape professionals understand theneed for collaboration and partnershipworking to benefit society. Effectiveimplementation of this principle includesworking collaboratively. Landscapeprofessionals will be able to secure thebest results by utilising an interdisciplinaryapproach, co-ordinating with othersincluding government, suppliers andrepresentatives from the local community.Parties to such partnerships establishedby landscape professionals for the deliveryof landscape work will be clear about theirresponsibilities and the principles to whichlandscape professionals are working.iii. Landscape professionals actively seek outa diversity of viewpoints in any engagementor consultation relating to their work. Thisis likely to include a cross section of theaffected community is consulted and thatrepresentatives of relevant communitiesare on-human-rights/Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 20205

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE4Landscape professionals comply withnational and international law.Guidance notes:i. It is the responsibility of each individuallandscape professional to ensure they areaware of the law and regulations relevant totheir role and particular projects. Landscapeprofessionals should be aware that the lawis not the same in different jurisdictions andit is therefore important to be aware of anyrelevant differences.ii. Landscape professionals deliver servicesin a way which go beyond the strictlegal requirements in order to deliver apositive impact.iii. Landscape professionals should be awareof any obligations on them arising froma relationship with a particular regulatedentity/firm or parent company. Wherelandscape professionals deliver servicesin other jurisdictions they should alsomake themselves aware of any relevantlegislation and requirements relating tothe delivery of landscape services inthat jurisdiction.Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 2020iv. Landscape professionals are required tothink at all times about the importance ofprofessionalism and service quality. Wherea course of behaviour is not proscribedby law (e.g. bribery and corruption law incertain countries) landscape professionalsthink about how to ensure they protectthe reputation of themselves and theprofession and seek expert advice on thiswhere this is needed.v. In the course of their day to day practicelandscape professionals will gather, use andrecord the data of individuals. Such data isprotected in accordance with the relevantlaw and that the landscape professionalhas appropriate systems in place for theprotection of that data.6

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE5Landscape professionals are committed to continuingprofessional development and ensure they only provideservices they are competent to deliver.Guidance notes:i. The requirements on individuals inrelation to CPD will vary depending onthe country. For LI members 25 hours ofCPD must be undertaken each year by allCorporate members of the LI. The currentrequirement (subject to 3-year review)is that at least 5 of the annual 25 hoursmust relate to climate, sustainabilityand resilience. The 25 hours should bebroken down into at least 10 hours of“formal” CPD and 15 hours of “informal”CPD. For some European countries CPDrequirements are set out in EU directives,relevant countries will reflect these in theircountry specific Code of Practice.ii. Most professional bodies/regulators willrequire a minimum number of hours tobe completed on an annual basis. It isimportant that these requirements aremet in order to ensure that landscapeprofessionals have all the necessary skillsand experience to deliver services. Wherea landscape professional does not havethe competence, knowledge or skills toundertake work, the expectation is thatCPD is undertaken until such competenceis achieved and work should not beundertaken until such time as competenceis achieved.Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 2020iii. CPD should comprise a mix of formal andinformal learning – For example formalCPD may involve participating in formalorganised activities, e.g. courses, seminars,workshops, conferences. Informal CPDmay involve activities undertaken by theindividual on their own such as experiential/workplace learning, reading and projectresearch. It may also be done with otherssuch as peer review or work shadowing/secondments.iv. Landscape professionals ensure thata record of all CPD undertaken is kept.This record can be used to demonstratea commitment to and maintenance ofcompetence. It may also be used todemonstrate compliance with countryspecific Code of Practice CPD requirements.v. Landscape professionals seek out relevantprofessional advice where this is neededand never undertake work or provide advicewhere they are not fully competent to do so.7

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE6Landscape professionals deliver quality landscape servicesand clients and/or the public are able to provide feedback orraise issues about service.Guidance notes:i. Landscape professionals promote theirservices in a truthful and responsiblemanner. Landscape professionals do notmislead the public, clients or others in theadvertisement of their services.ii. Landscape professionals ensure thatthere are mechanisms in place which canbe used by clients to provide feedbackor make complaints about the quality ofservice received. This may include havinga complaints policy and process.iii. Those wishing to offer feedback or raisean issue about the services of a landscapeprofessional should be confident that theywill be dealt with quickly and effectively.iv. Service complaints should be dealt withat organisational level and where breachesof the relevant Code of Practice are found,these should be reported to the relevantprofessional body.Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 2020v. Landscape professionals seek outopportunities for disseminating examplesof best practice to colleagues and the widerprofession, where possible.vi. Landscape professionals fully engage withorganisational training and supervisoryprocesses/systems are in place to supportthe delivery of high quality services.vii. Landscape professionals should be opento a range of dispute resolution optionswhere this is relevant to the dispute orcommunity/place where the disputetook place. Alternative forms of disputeresolution may be considered, includinginclude mediation, conferencing orcommunity engagement.8

The PrinciplesPRINCIPLE7Landscape professionals uphold the integrity of thelandscape profession and are honest and transparent intheir relationship with their national body/regulator.Guidance notes:i. Landscape professionals understand thatprofessional behaviour is key to the integrityof the profession. Landscape professionalsrole model the following behaviours(adapted from the UK Nolan Principles):a. Selflessness – Acting in the publicinterest, aware of the responsibility toprotect and enhance the environmentbalanced against the needs andrequests of client/s. Landscapeprofessionals’ primary duty is to thepublic interest which is paramount inconsideration of the impacts posed bya piece of work.b. Integrity – Avoiding placing themselvesunder any obligation to peopleor organisations that might tryinappropriately to influence them in theirwork. Not acting or taking decisions inorder to gain financial or other materialbenefits for themselves, their family, ortheir friends. Declaring and resolving anyconflicts of interest and relationships.c. Objectivity – Acting and taking decisionsimpartially, fairly and on merit, using thebest evidence, without discriminationor bias.Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 2020d. Accountability– Being accountable fordecisions and actions and submittingthemselves to the scrutiny necessaryto ensure this.e. Openness – Making decisions in anopen and transparent manner. Notwithholding information unless there areclear and lawful reasons for doing so.f. Honesty– Being truthful.g. Leadership – Actively promoting theabove principles and being willing tochallenge poor behaviour whereverit occurs.ii. Landscape professionals are encouragedto review their practice against theInternational Ethics Standards Coalition(IESC) standards to which both theLandscape Institute and InternationalFederation of Landscape Architectsis affiliated https://ies-coalition.org/standards/.iii. Landscape professionals act in the publicinterest, to which their primary duty of careis owed.9

Glossary of TermsCode of practice: a set of written ruleswhich explains how people working in aparticular profession should behave.Community engagement: a dynamicrelational process that facilitatescommunication, interaction, involvement,and exchange of views between anorganisation/entity and a community ona particular subject, issue or project.Conflict of interest: A conflict of interest canarise where an individual or entity’s impartialitymay be undermined due to the possibility ofa conflict between that person’s self-interestand their professional interest or the publicinterest. A conflict may also occur where anindividual or entity’s responsibility to anotherlimits that person or entity’s ability to dischargeits responsibility to a third-party.Continuing Professional Development(CPD): the ongoing process of professionallearning and development of skills undertakenby a professional throughout their career.CPD may be undertaken in a number ofways and is not restricted to attendance atclassroom sessions.Cultural identity: the identity or feeling ofbelonging to a group. It is part of a person’sself-conception and self-perception may berelated to nationality, ethnicity, religion, socialclass, generation, locality or any kind of socialgroup that has its own distinct culture.Cultural heritage: an expression of the waysof living developed by a community and passedon from generation to generation, includingcustoms, practices, places, objects, artisticexpressions and values.Dispute resolution: the process of resolvingdisputes between two or more parties.Impact assessment: a structured a processfor considering the implications, for people andthe environment, of proposed actions whilethere is still an opportunity to modify (or even,if appropriate, abandon) the proposals. It maybe applied at all levels of decision-making, frompolicies to specific projects.Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape ProfessionDRAFT July 2020Interdisciplinary approach: drawingappropriately from several disciplines (or separatebranches of learning or fields of expertise)to redefine problems outside of normalboundaries and reach solutions based on aninformed understanding of complex situations.Landscape professional: Landscapeprofessionals work in the design andmanagement of places both within andbeyond the built environment. Landscapeprofessionals enhance the quality of specifiedplaces through the provision of planning,design, research, and management services.“Landscape professional” includes landscapearchitects, technicians, scientists, plannersand managers. It may also include urbandesigners, garden designers, place managers,parks managers and academics. It mayalso include those who give professionaladvice within the landscape sector.Mediation: a dynamic, structured, interactiveprocess where an impartial third party assistsdisputing parties in resolving conflict throughthe use of specialised communication andnegotiation techniques.Public interest: relating to the welfarewell-being of the general public. This wouldinclude health or wellbeing of the environmentincluding plants and animals. Public interestalso relates to anything which has appeal orrelevance to the general population.Service complaint: a client or clients bringinga problem or issue to the attention of anindividual or organisation providing a service,with the expectation of some redress.Social heritage: culturally learned customs,codes, and rules of behaviour that are constantacross generations. Examples include givinggifts on particular occasions or greeting otherswhen one enters a room.Wellbeing: creating the conditions forpeople, animals and the environment tothrive. Wellbeing refers to quality of life andprosperity, positive physical and mental health,and is demonstrated in the existence ofsustainable thriving communities.10

Global Ethical Principles for the Landscape Profession DRAFT July 2020 In 2018 the Landscape Institute(LI) proposed to the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) World Council, that a new set of global ethical principles for the profession be developed to promote ethical practice across the global landscape professional community.

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