Improving the FIG/UN-HABITAT cooperation:
FIG President Stig Enemark attends the GLTN International Advisory Board Meeting, during the 16th Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development

UN Headquarters, New York, 6-8 May 2008

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GLTN Advisory Board Meeting, UN-HABITAT Office, New York, 7 May 2008.

FIG President Stig Enemark attended the Global Land Tool Network International Advisory Board (IAB) Meeting in New York 7 May 2008 during the 16th Meeting of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD-16) 5-16 May 2008.

The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) under UN-HABITAT was launched in June 2006. The main objective is to contribute to the poverty alleviation and the Millennium Development Goals through land reform, improved land management, and security of tenure. The GLTN aims to establish a continuum of land rights rather than just focus on individual land titling. The official website is available at:

To reach this overall goal the GLTN partners have identified l8 key land tools that are grouped into 5 overarching themes. Furthermore 8 cross cutting issues are identified, including gender and grassroots mechanisms. The themes and issues are available at: See also the diagram below showing the relation between the GLTN objective, cross cutting issues, themes and tools.

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Diagram showing how the GLTN objective, cross cutting issues, themes and tools relate.

The GLTN International Advisory Board (IAB) is established to provide objective advice on issues related to the GLTN policies, operational strategies and projects. IAB consist of representatives of the various 7 segments of GLTN partners, where FIG represents the international professional bodies. The full advisory board is available at:

The meeting in New York was the second of IAB while the first was held in during the 21st Session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-HABITAT in Nairobi 16-20 April 2007, see:

The meeting in New York was chaired by the FIG President Stig Enemark due to apologies from the IAB Chairperson, Mrs. Ambassador Agnes Kalibbala, Uganda. The key issues included an evaluation of the overall GLTN activities during the last year. In general GLTN has been very successful in setting a global agenda focusing on the land tool and land tenure issues. The support from the GLTN partners is very committed and the interaction between the grassroots organisations and the international professional bodies appears as very promising. It should be made clear, however, that GLTN is about tool development, documentation and assessment while implementation at scale should be the responsibility of governments. There might be a need for a business plan on how to work with partners at country level. It should also be shown that land tools are not only about professionals but can be delivered by grassroots too.

The GLTN secretariat is headed by Ulrik Westman from the Land, Tenure and Property Administration Section, UN-HABITAT, Nairobi. The meeting was also attended by Clarissa Augustinus, Head of this section, Mohamed el Sioufi, UN-HABITAT Shelter Branch; and Klaus Deininger from the World Bank Land Thematic Group. Other participants included Chris Paresi (International Institute for Geoinformation Science, ITC), Jan Peterson (Huairou Commission), Mikael Atterhög, (Swedish SIDA), Mikael Taylor (Internatonal Land Coalation, ILC), Mona Brother (Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and Siraj Sait (University of East London, UEL).

As mentioned, the meeting was held during the CSD-16 that is huge UN event over two full weeks. Interestingly, this was the first time that the land issue was brought to the very top of the agenda on Sustainable Development. A whole range of sessions were held to discuss this issue with a main focus, however, on rural development, agriculture, and natural resource management. Relevant material of the CSD-16 event is available at:

During the CSD-16 a range of side-events took place. One of these organised by UN-HABITAT, related to Gender and Land and included a presentation from Dr. Diane Dumashie, Chair of FIG Commission 8 entitled "Gendering Land Tools: from Policy to Practice" and showing the results of the UN-HABITAT/FIG workshop held in Bogamoya, Tanzania, March 2008 on Land Tools: Developing Criteria for Gender Sensitivity. The presentation is available here.

UN-HABITAT also hosted a reception Tuesday 6 May that included launching of a new publication entitled: “Secure Land Rights for All”. The publication is available at:

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Manhattan, New York

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UN Headquarters, New York

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Times Square, Nwe York