SoGreen movement officially presented!
IFLA Europe joins European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA), European Nursery stock Association (ENA), European Interior Landscaping Organisation (EILO), European Federation of Green Roof and Living Wall Associations (EFB), International Organisation for natural bathing waters (IOB) and World Urban Parks (WUP) in SoGreen umbrella organisation.
“SoGreen unites the green world’ Henrik Bos, ELCA President
On 20 November 2020, the SoGreen movement, a global stakeholder group that unites green industries was officially presented at the virtual World Urban Parks Congress, Tirana (Albania). The platform currently gathers European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA), European Nursery stock Association (ENA), European Interior Landscaping Organisation (EILO), European Federation of Green Roof and Living Wall Associations (EFB), International Organisation for natural bathing waters (IOB), World Urban Parks (WUP) and IFLA EUROPE.
SoGreen was established as a response to:
- challenges of economic and social development, as well as sustainable management and protection of natural resources and their importance for the achievement of the objectives of human well-being and social equity;
- the seriousness of the issues related to climate change, the greatest challenge the planet is facing today and yet one that also represents unique opportunity for the emergence of a sustainable prosperity through international cooperation on climate;
- the need for the establishment of policies and measures that are agreed both at national and international level to achieve those sustainable development goals.
This project concept sets out the respective commitments of the parties within this partnership and brings all green organisations - stakeholders together worldwide:
- production: regional and maintenance-friendly supply in various regions
- prescription and planning: knowledge of the right application at the right place
- execution: craftsmanship for a sustainable result
- specific competencies: facades, roofs, indoor, trees, water..
- public green: knowledge and expansion of the local heritage.
SoGreen activities foreseen:
- Join forces, solutions, competences and knowledge to provide expert network and platform;
- EU Green Week: participate actively in the events and organise Conferences that provide solutions for EU Green Deal
- Support existing exchange programmes
- Share and support initiatives in cooperation between partner associations
- Prepare and present joint statements to stakeholders and decision makers
- participation in different networks within European institutions
Henrik Bos, the President of European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA) which initiated the movement, stated at the virtual World Urban Parks Congress:
‘To start this international sector organisation for the global green industries has been one of the biggest goals during my time as president of ELCA. Only when the green sector unites on a global scale can we have the greatest impact, and can we keep our planet green for future generations.’ Green is ‘not just beautiful’ Henrik Bos, who has been president of ELCA since 2019, emphasised that it is no longer enough to only see the decorative value of green: ‘We have to make clear that the importance of the green is much more than just being beautiful decoration.’ Itis high time the world realises that trees and plants can solve a lot of the problems. Planting more trees in cities, for example, will cool down urban heat islands, while giving city-dwellers a pleasant green view. Trees and other plants can also reduce fine particles and carbon dioxide in the air and even run-off rainwater. Green is a common goal! Green industry already recognise their crucial role.
Henrik Bos specified: ‘The green sector builds the green infrastructure that serves our eco-system and offers nature-based solutions to aid biodiversity. The green world is our world.’
As a landscaper in Finland, he worked on the development of a sustainable operating model for the landscape industries, called KESY, that was recently used to redevelop the Tikkurila River Park in Vantaa in Finland from a difficult wetland area into a welcoming oasis. SoGreen is a global solution. As the world is struggling with the effects of global heating and other challenges, SoGreen wants to unite all global partners in the green sector. This is crucial, says Henrik Bos, because ‘It is no longer enough to represent only one part of the green sector. We need to unite all the green industries; from gardens to public spaces and buildings, from suppliers to green professionals in design, creation and maintenance. It is not enough to merely invest in innovation. We need to work together.’