IFLA-Climate Change Action Plan Model
Open Letter to IFLA
Climate Change Action Plan
Over the last few months I have given the idea of creating an IFLA Globe Warming charter a lot of thought. I reviewed the UIA Declaration on Sustainability and Cultural Diversity and found it word heavy, very open ended and unfocused, creating an unclear map on how to proceed.
In many ways, the UIA Declaration’s open ended approach makes sense. Because of the complexity of the issues surrounding globe warming and sustainability, it is hard to approach a charter at an “all encompassing” level without it becoming open ended and word heavy.
A tight, direct and explicit written charter that gives a clear road map of actions might potentially limit new approaches to globe warming over time. So while there is a value to vagueness, it does not help individuals on the ground. For them the issue of globe warming gets pushed to the side again.
I started writing a draft IFLA charter but it became clear to me that the first step should be to create a globe warming action plan.
This needed to be detailed enough to start giving direction, but open enough to allow regional development depending on what core globe warming issues were most significant to each region. I came to the conclusion that the action plan had to be visually based so that the complexity of ideas could be understood in relation to each other, and not a vertically word heavy document.
I started working on flow diagrams I but kept coming back to a more circular diagram that tended with my blurry, tired eyes to look like a molecule, with ideas in circles connected with lines. At this stage I turned to carbon molecules and found that one of the most readily identifiable is the C60.
C60 is one of the molecules found in soot. it takes the “buckyball form discovered and made famous by R Buckminster Fuller, the writer of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth and Geodesic domes.
It seems ironic that the globe warming action plan could be based on the C60 structure, and could be called the “soot plan” which has been one of the most ready identifiable forms of pollution since the Industrial Revolution. What is useful about creating a globe warming action plan in the soot graphic form is that it allows for the following:
The final point I believe really needs to be addressed is this: If IFLA wants to make a significant positive impact on reducing globing warming then it has to be willing to bring to bear its full weight on the issue. This may mean IFLA having to reconsider its role as an institute. As an international collective IFLA has considerable political and economic influence, which if used as a constructive tool could bring about the fastest positive change for globe warming. We know that landscape architecture is a major client of international manufacturing (concrete, steel, copper, stainless steel, plastics, mined stone, timber), which is one of the most polluting sectors in the world, secondary only to agriculture.
If IFLA were to start meaningful dialogue with manufacturing about the issues of environmental impact of material production, and empower its individual members with the information to make informed decisions on material selection, it would achieve a significant impact on globe warming. The traditional approach of strengthening education and research is a positive step, but IFLA can make a greater contribution by starting to use it collective buying power for positive change.
I hope this is helpful or will at least spark debate on the process and the role of IFLA and globe warming. I have a range of further developed ideas on how to strengthen research, encouraging private practice to share information, creating transparent and meaningful sustainability design awards, how to approach industry, and so on. These can be developed once the base model idea has been considered by IFLA, and if found to be viable.
IFLA new letter 2008