FIG Commission 7 - Cadastre and Land Management

 Work Plan 2019-2022

Original work plan in -pdf format

Terms of Reference

Land is where most activities of earth occur. People define nations based on the land they were born or occupied and land today, unfortunately, is the main source of conflicts and wars around the globe.

Commission 7 of FIG focuses on the economic, social and environmental challenges for surveyors in managing land rights, restrictions and responsibilities. Throughout the history of humanity, surveyors have played a fundamental role in defining where in the geographical space land rights are. In many cases, cadastre surveyors are active participants of systems, processes and institutions to assign, transfer and protect land rights.

The cadastre, which is the inventory of lands of any jurisdiction, is the heart of a land management system. Commission 7, therefore, focuses its efforts on surveyors that work in the field of design and developed cadastre system as well as other parts of the overall land management system of a nation or sub-national jurisdiction. Topics that are often discussed by Commission 7 activities and publications include:

  • land tenure in a diversity of cultures and societies
  • cadastre and land registration
  • reforming the cadastre legal framework, governance arrangements and digital systems
  • security of land tenure, data and information as well as policies for access to information by citizens
  • Fit-For-Purpose and pro-poor land administration /low-cost models
  • Models and strategies to involve the private sector in the provision of services within a land management system, such as PPPs
  • new technologies for remote and in-situ data acquisition on land rights / social media and third-party data capture / crowdsourcing / role of landowners
  • land use and land policy
  • valuation and taxation of land / land markets
  • multi-dimensional and multi-temporal cadastre
  • impact of climate change and disasters on land rights
  • standards in land administration
  • capacity building in land administration

Mission statement:

Fair, equitable, transparent land rights, restrictions and responsibilities are a key component of most developed societies and a focus of developing nations in order to improve social and economic conditions of their nations. Commission 7 mission is to work with surveyors and other related technical experts from all nations to provide a platform to discuss challenges, explore new technologies, generate new ideas and support the development of a stronger cadastre surveying profession across the world. The main desired outcome of the Commission 7 is supporting cadastre surveying profession on improving their relevant cadastre and land management systems in such a way that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are met.

To achieve this, the main output of Commission 7 are technical publications that are developed in a participative manner among FIG members. Other outputs include events, such as the Annual Meetings, as well as participation in key international forums such as the UN-GGIM, UN FAO, UN-Habitat and the World Bank Land and Poverty conference.

Overall Commission Plan

For the next four-year, Commission 7 is intended to build from existing achievements in the Commission in previous years while tackling the new challenges facing the cadastre profession. We believe at the Commission that it is time to focus on those topics that are of concern of surveyors around the world and offer a platform for discussion to ensure cadastre surveyors have the necessary tools to evolve into prosperity in the new approaches across the world for land management.

During the next 4 years, the Commission will put an effort to ensure the views of surveyors are heard by governments across the globe as well as by international organizations and donors such as the United Nation and all its agencies, The World Bank and all other multilateral development banks and donor organizations such as the European Commission, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, DFID, DFAT, AFD, SDC and many more. To achieve this, commission 7 will work during events of these organizations and FIG to ensure there is constant communication between officers and agendas are coordinated.

Commission 7 proposes the development of this Work Plan under three guiding principles:

  • Building from previous achievements within the Commission and FIG
  • Support the overall FIG plan with high-level of coordination and communication with all FIG instances including the Presidency, Vice-Presidencies and other Commissions
  • Always represent the views and needs of surveyors and when differences exist to act as an enabling platform for discussion and consensus

To achieve this Work Plan and contribute to its mission, Commission 7 has the following objectives for the period 2019 – 2022:

  • to promote the importance of sustainable land management infrastructures as being essential for sustainable development and economic growth to facilitate the understanding of innovative and advanced technologies in cadastre and land management
  • to raise awareness of the role of surveyors in land management matters to the public and among stakeholders by developing workshops and other events where open discussions are conducted
  • to identify mechanisms to follow the progress of cadastre and land management systems and its contribution to achieving the SDGs
  • To explore more efficient mechanisms to fund improvements and expansions of land management systems, including the participation of private surveyors in the provision of specific systems under PPP arrangements
  • to produce publications that enhance the ability of surveyors to address new challenges

From an operational perspective, FIG Commission 7 proposes to have 4 Working Groups during the next four years (maximum 4 actives at any one time). These working groups are:

  • Cadastre Technologies and the digital Twin
  •  Fit for purpose
  • Cadastre template and the SDGs
  • The role of the Cadastre Surveyor

Working Groups

Working Group 7.1 – Cadastre Technologies and Smart City (2 years)

Policy Issues

There are multiple technologies being offered for surveyors as part of their activities in the development of cadastre and land management systems. Many of these technologies are unknown to many surveyors, and there is limited understanding of the role, if any, of these technologies.

To address this, working group 7.1 will focus on exploring these new technologies with a critical eye and on building capacity within the surveying community to ensure the best use of the technology and the competitiveness of cadastre surveyors in the market.

Digital twin and Smart City, in particular, are emerging as key topics to improve transportation, energy, social safety and to decrease pollution caused by climate change and urbanization. To solve these problems, total efforts are being made on the smart city construction with all the latest technologies such as Drones, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Robot Technology, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) Technology for the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And a smart city can be completed using the platform base called the Digital Twin.

Finally, smart cities are being built to solve the problems of cities that have reached their limits and to ensure sustainability, and eventually, smart cities will change the paradigm of urbanization around the world with the continuing growth of cities and the construction of human-centred smart cities that improve the quality of citizen’s life.


Jang, Bong Bae


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Working Group 7.2 – Fit-for-purpose (FFP) implementation (4 years)

Policy Issues

Many people do not have tenure security. Less than 30% of land rights are documented. Linking people to polygons of land should happen in a fair way. The Fit-For-Purpose (FFP), Land Administration approach, argues for cost-effective and time-efficient, transparent, scalable and participatory land administration.

During the previous terms, the Commission contributed to the development of the approach and underlined the importance of FFP as a mechanism to optimise resources and, therefore, expand the coverage of land administration system.

 A great understanding and adoption of the concept are being achieved. However, further work is required for improving implementation mechanisms. In particular, methods and procedures are needed to identify purposes and selecting the best fit for each situation and to find ways to accommodate to legal national frameworks and to gain legal security for landowners by visible agreement by decision makers.

This working group will focus on collecting experiences and lessons from projects in the world where principles of the FFP approach were applied. The experiences and results will be discussed and shared. This will support surveyors understand better how to implement FFP in cadastre and land management systems. This working group will also work on improving the understanding of FFP in the broader surveying community and highlights where improved capacities are needed to ensure surveyors maintain the relevance of participation in land administration systems. These two tasks will help the working group to contribute to the further development of FFP.


Paula Dijkstra (NL)


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Working Group 7.3 – Cadastral Template 2.0 and the SDGs (4 years)

Policy issues

Since 2003, and by mandate of Resolution 4 of the 16th UNRCC-AP in Okinawa, Japan, Commission 7 with the support of Melbourne University has maintained a repository of information about cadastre systems across the world in the website Commission 7 members have been instrumental in maintaining this information and today there is information for over 50 countries. The relevance of the Cadastral Template platform has been renewed by the United Nations GGIM expert meeting in New York (2018) in where a resolution was approved to support use as a supporting mechanism to track the progress on achieving the sustainable development goals.


Daniel Steudler (CH)

Abbas Rajabifard (AU)


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Joint Working Group – Urban Challenges (Joint Working Group with Commission 8 and 9)


According to the United Nations1 urbanization prospects, by 2050 68 % of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. To ensure a sustainable development and ensure access to services for all, including the vulnerable, requires considerable effort from all involved. It touches upon themes such as urban resilience (social well-being, health, services, climate), informal settlements, affordable housing and financial sustainability among others.

Policy issues

  • Scope and analyse current and future challenges for communities in small, medium, large, and megacities, in terms of urban resilience, climate change, housing and informal settlements, and fiscal health.
  • Investigate principles of traditional tribal communalism and understand how those principles can be successfully reintroduced into contemporary residential development.
  • Explore current practices around the globe for tackling urban housing issues and combine existing research which forecast future practices.
  • Investigate critical success factors of existing high-density living arrangements (environmental, social, legal, etc).
  • Contribute to the dissemination of best practices of how spatial planning can contribute to address the present and future urban challenges.
  • Investigate the potential contribution of land-based finance to addressing these urban challenges.
  • Develop an audit tool for the assessment of sustainable municipal finance, fiscal health and land-based value capture tools in relation to the urban challenges.
  • Posit alternative future design models and provide guidance for governments, municipalities, communities and professionals on incorporating these models into current practises for sustainable, spatially informed, and sociable city-living.


Erwin van der Krabben (Netherlands)

James Berghan (New Zealand)

Claire Buxton (New Zealand)


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