The FIG Congress 2022, held in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 15 September, provided an opportunity for GLTN partners to reconnect face-to-face post-COVID to share updates, discuss challenges and explore opportunities joint programming and collaboration. These engagements were through bilateral discussions, technical paper presentations, joint partner sessions and a meeting with the professional cluster.
Robert Lewis-Lettington – Chief of the Land, Housing and Shelter Section and Secretary of GLTN – delivered one of the keynote sessions on day one highlighting GLTN’s approach and priorities in the urban-rural land continuum including support to land policy, tenure security, food security, strategic land use planning and integration of cross-cutting issues. This presentation set the scene and helped to provide some reflections for subsequent presentations and sessions during the Conference on the importance of good land governance on urban-rural land linkages.
Two technical papers, highlighting new developments in the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) tool and its application in a formal land administration context respectively, were also presented. The former showcased adaptation of STDM as a rapid mobile data collection app to support collection of land tenure data, social-economic and demographic data, infrastructure and basic services at the city level especially in a post-disaster context. The latter presentation demonstrated the customization of STDM – joint initiative with GIZ – as the basis of the Computer-Based Flexible Land Tenure System (CB-FLTS) currently being rolled out at Land Rights Office in Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform.
Moreover, GLTN partners co-organized two special sessions on valuation of unregistered land and the Volunteer Community Surveyor Program (VCSP). In the Valuation of Unregistered Land session, the practice manual and its applications – including select global case studies on unregistered land and the acquisition, valuation and compensation processes – were presented and discussed. The interactive session also delved into the evolution of understanding non-market values and its significance across various application contexts. For the next steps, the focus will be on raising more awareness of the guide and manual, exploring the possibility of undertaking a pilot test, and supporting more research discussions on valuation of non-market values.
The session with the FIG Young Surveyors Network (YSN) on the VCSP provided an opportunity to reflect on the successes and lessons learnt in the five years since the inception of the Program, but also to enable the big picture thinking of the next steps in scaling up the Program through a sustainable and more inclusive approach. The session encouraged bold conversations and healthy debates with contributions from GLTN and VCSP team members alongside other partners and mentors to the program. The outcomes of the session will be combined with feedback from a workshop held during the Young Surveyors Conference on “Volunteering for the Future: Smart Surveyors for Social Good”.
FIG, as the Professional Cluster co-lead together with the Arab Union of Surveyors, also convened a meeting with cluster members to brief on the status of various cluster activities and to brainstorm on the potential follow-up activities for 2023 as well as GLTN’s Phase 4 programme (2024 – 2027). The meeting led to the discussions on follow-up activities on further testing of the valuation of unregistered land practice guide; support to Francophone countries through capacity development and translation of knowledge materials; awareness raising of the Framework for the Effective Land Administration (FELA), documentation of lessons learned and experience in the implementation of STDM tool, and leveraging on the VCSP to support research and documentation work on land tools.
GLTN also participated in a joint session on the Stand for Her Land Campaign jointly organized by Landesa and World Bank. The session highlighted the work of the Stand for Her Land campaign – which GLTN is a member of – and provided an opportunity to identify and discuss possible ways for FIG members to engage with the campaign and its mission of stronger implementation of women’s land, housing, and tenure rights. During the session, Robert Lewis-Lettington remarked on the importance of promoting and strengthening women’s access to land and natural resources for poverty reduction and economic growth.
The STDM Advisory Committee met to review and discuss on the latest updates related to the development and application of the tool; identify opportunities to raise more awareness within the Network; and, facilitate more advanced technical discussions on its positioning with regard to emerging land and technology issues and trends. During the meeting, Eva Maria Unger from Kadaster International took over the chairmanship of the Committee from Jaap Zevenbergen of University of Twente.
Finally, we would like to pass our warm congratulations to Diane Dumashie on being elected the next President of the FIG. She has been a longtime friend and advocate of GLTN, and we look forward to continued fruitful collaboration ahead.