FIG/ World Bank Conference “Land Governance in Support of the Millennium Development Goals: Responding to New Challenges”

Washington DC, USA 9-10 March 2009

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FIG President Stig Enemark, Inga Björk-Klevby (Deputy Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, Mark Crackler, Director, WB ARD, Klaus Deininger, WB and Paul van der Molen, FIG.

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Conference poster.

The FIG - WB Conference "Land Governance in Support of the Millennium Development Goals: Responding to New Challenges" took place at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC, 9-10 March 2009. The conference was organised by the International Federation of Surveyors and the World Bank. The general aim was to emphasise the important role of Land Governance in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to show how FIG and the WB work in parallel in this regard.

The Conference was attended by about 200 invited international experts representing governments, UN agencies, development agencies, professionals, academia and private sector.

The conference was divided on six themes:

  • Land governance for the 21st century
  • Building sustainable, well-governed land administration systems
  • Securing social tenure for the poorest
  • Making land markets work for all
  • Improving access to land and shelter
  • Land governance for rapid urbanization

Together with opening and closing sessions, donators session and country reports in total around 80 papers were presented in 20 sessions.

At the closing session of the conference Prof. Stig Enemark, FIG President concluded that "land governance is a crucial issue in meeting the MDGs and should be high on the global agenda. New challenges in relation to this (climate change, food security, energy scarcity, natural disasters, urban growth, environmental degradation) have to be met. This is only possible in a multi disciplinary approach – which calls for partnership. It can be observed that the technology tools as available today are far ahead compared to legal and institutional tools. For application of sophisticated technology tools a good partnership is needed. Capacity building and learning is also most relevant and urgent. In the process of land administration the continuum of land rights as developed by UN-HABITAT provides a good basis since this approach is socially embedded. Finding evidence on the ground remains a key issue, this is where the land professionals come involved. This process is expensive – a better monitoring of the money that is spent is most relevant. There are reasons to be optimistic looking at the strong demand from the client countries to help addressing Land Administration."

The main outcomes of the conference and a joint FIG/WB declaration will be published shortly in the FIG publication series.

Proceedings are now available both on the FIG web site and the WB web site.

In the organising committee FIG was represented by President Stig Enemark and Paul van der Molen. Leading from the World Bank was Klaus Deininger, Lead Economist, World Bank Land Thematic Group.

The gold sponsors of the event were ESRI, Trimble, Dutch Kadaster and GTZ and silver sponsors Leica Geomatics and ITC.

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Panel at the Closing Session: Joan Kagwanja, Economic Affairs Officer, UN-ECA, chair of the closing session (left), Paul van der Molen, the Netherlands, Clarissa Augustinus, UN-HABITAT, Cheryl Morden, IFAD, Jolyne Sanjak, MCC, Helge Onsrud, Norway and Alain Durand-Lasserve, France and Paul Munro-Faure, FAO.