6th FIG Regional Conference
in San José, Costa Rica, 12-15 November 2007

Coastal Areas and Land Administration
- Building the Capacity

The 6th FIG Regional Conference was organized by the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y de Arquitectos de Costa Rica (CFIA)/ Colegio de Ingenieros Topógrafos de Costa Rica (CIT) which is the FIG member association in Costa Rica. As has been the case with the previous FIG regional conferences the conference in San José was  organized in co-operation with other international and regional organizations like the United Nations and its agencies as well as with international and regional spatial information societies. The conference was open to participants from all over the world however with the main focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. To help regional and local participation the conference was held in English and Spanish. The FIG Regional Conference attracted participants from 30–50 countries representing all continents.

This was the first time that the FIG Regional Conference was held in Latin America. Costa Rica offers best possible venue for such an important event. The theme of this regional event was selected so that it focused on the hot topics in the region which are capacity building, land administration and environmental issues, especially the use and future of coastal regions. Based on the outcome of the conference “Coastal Areas and Land Administration – Building the Capacity” FIG will also prepare an FIG publication “Methodologies for Pro-Poor Coastal Zone Management

At the opening ceremony the keynote addresses were given by Ing. Juan Manuel Castro Alfaro, President of CFIA/CIT, Prof. Stig Enemark, FIG President, and Mr. Fernando Zumbado, Costa Rican Minister of Housing. The welcome address on behalf of CFIA was given by  Ing. Freddy Bolanos, Representing the Executive Director of CFIA, Ing. Olman Vargos Zeledon

In the technical programme there were 21 technical sessions and workshops. Running three sessions in parallel the sessions attracted a lot of delegates and held a very high professional standard so as did the 3 Plenary Sessions on each of the 3 topics of the conference and they were well attended. Totally 60 papers were presented and published.

The technical exhibition was compact having booths covering surveying and geomatics technology internationally and in Costa Rica.

Social highlights of the week included on Monday the Welcome Reception at the CFIA headquarters. This activity gave the delegates a time for relaxation and an opportunity to observe and enjoy the Choir of CFIA. On Tuesday the Costa Rican Cultural Evening Evening at the Pueblo Antiguo Park took place. In this event fireworks, typical dances, typical drinks, typical food, Costarican music, and a Costarican mascarade was organized for the delegates. The Farewell Dinner on Wednesday evening was given in the Ramada Hotel Conference Center.

The Closing Ceremony took place on Wednesday and addresses were given by Arq. Eugenia Morales, Sub Director of CFIA, by Ing. Juan Manuel Castro Alfaro, President of CFIA/CIT, and by Prof. Stig Enemark, FIG President. At the end of the ceremony appreciations to the 6th FIG Regional Conference was given by Prof. Stig Enemark who thanked the organizers for a well prepared Regional Conference.

The joint Technical/Social tour on Thursday collected about 205 delegates to the Poas Volcano followed by lunch at the Colinas del Poas restaurant. Finally the last stop of the tour was at the Coffee Britt company to have a coffee tour. In this location the participants learned about the processes in a coffee plantation and enjoyed a very entertaining and informative show telling the history of coffee..

The event drew attention of the press and the media. As a result of this event a whole page in the most important news paper of Costa Rica was printed on Saturday 17 of November. Besides that the objective of the event was addressed in three of the main radio news stations.

Before the conference the FIG Council and Commission officers had their administrative meetings.

Links to material from the Regional Conference in Costa Rica