Natural Resources and Protected Landscapes 

An overview from Working Group Chair, Monica Mariaca-Pando

NR&PL Group Mission

The mission of Natural Resources & Protected Landscapes Group is to develop tools, such as methodologies and indicators, for landscape professionals to approach design and planning when working either with natural resources and/or protected landscapes in order to aid decision taking processes.

NR&PL Group Vision

The vision of Natural Resources & Protected Landscapes Group is to research and study existing case studies and two pilot study projects –either related to natural resources or to protected landscapes- to develop minimum tools for Landscape Professionals during the decision taking processes when designing and planning. The tools I would like to generate will be methodology/s and, if possible, indicators that can be easily implemented and can be augmented in the future.

The reason behind looking for methodology/s and indicator/s was because colleagues and I faced a gap of knowledge on how to approach design, planning as well as management of NR and/or PL from the landscape architecture perspective. It was somehow implicit we, as Landscape Architects, provide methods and techniques to come up to an assessment that aided decision taking or design & planning processes. Moreover, this methods and techniques were not specifically developed by landscape professionals. Instead they were humble adaptations from mainly a biological approach to management of landscapes than to design and/or planning. This was made evident to me during my years of work for extractive industries, such as oil & gas and mining. Very little literature and in some cases almost none showed ways on how to work with NR and/or PL. The information I used came from other disciplines. Such information needed all kinds of interpretations and adjustments, instead of being simple, straight forward, to avoid subjectivity or oversimplification.

To comply with this idea I will look for organizations that have already worked on projects related to natural resources and/or protected landscapes, such as the UN Habitat chapter, the World Bank or the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The idea behind working on existing projects is that time and money will be saved and because the end result can be checked and shared with the institution as well.

Also, I still have the intention to look for a couple of projects, team members and funding from all over our Regions that would like to explore, work and come up with methods to approach design and planning when working with NR&PL. These projects will explore methods and indicators and can become either pilot or case studies. This last alternative was my original idea with little response. However, it is still open to all of our IFLA members.

Project Provision

I have already contacted all three mentioned institutions. The IUCN already answered with a high interest about our mission and proposed ways to work together that are being analyzed.

I encourage IFLA members that would like to either be part of the NR&PL Group to sign up by sending me an e-mail message.

Or if your Local Association/Region will like to provide a case study or pilot project, please let me know by e-mail, through your Local IFLA Delegate and cc’ing in our PPP President, Marina Cervera de Alonso.

All projects will be revised by the NR&PL team under the following criteria: 

  1. Must be a project that includes or is related to natural resources.
  2. Must be a project that includes or is related to either protected landscapes or landscapes to be protected.
  3. To start, projects should be located inland. Depending upon results, the Group might expand objectives to sea related projects in the future.

Funding

We all understand that working ad honorem is praiseworthy. However, it does not cover our daily increasing needs. Payment to professionals from other disciplines, our own scarce time and effort involved, reduces the possibility to produce state of the art data and product. If you believe our mission will aid your decision making process and work, please kindly donate money to our work or sponsor specific activities. Your donation will be very much appreciated. For this a special account will be open to facilitate operations and monitor your contribution.

Many thanks in advance for your support!

Members of this working group are:

Chair
Monica Mariaca-Pando