International Seminar and State and Public Land Management and FIG Commission 7 Annual Meeting

Verona, Italy,  9-15 September 2008

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From left to right: András Osskó (Chair FIG Commission 7); Domenico Romanelli (President of the Provincial College of Surveyors of Verona); Fausto Savoldi (CNGeGL President); and Stig Enemark (FIG President).

Verona – Italy – was the Global Capitol for Land Professionals

Verona, Italy, has been the meeting point for two FIG events being held from 9–15 September 2008. One event was the International Seminar on State and Public Land Management – this seminar was organised by FIG Commission 7 (Cadastre & Land Management) and the Consiglio Nazionale Geometri e Geometri Laureati (CNGeGL), in co-operation with FIG Commission 9 (Valuation and the Management of Real Estate) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Land Tenure and Management Unit. The Seminar was followed by the Annual Meeting of the FIG Commission 7, organised in close cooperation with CNGeGL. Both events attracted Land Professionals from all over the world.

Seminar on State and Public Land Management

The seminar aimed to help raise global awareness of problems associated with state/public land and its management, improve knowledge of good practices in this area, and encourage these to be addressed in new development initiatives. Introductions by Stig Enemark on work of FIG in this area and Mika Törhönen on work of FAO. Willi Zimmermann stated that 37 % of the planet is "owned" by around 147 states - 21 % of the planet is "owned" by 26 monarchs holding ultimate ownership; there were no contributions from this type of states. It was observed that poor governance of public lands disproportionately affects the poor. There is a need for a pro-poor policy on public lands because of dependence of rural poor on such lands. Case studies were presented by experiences. There are different types of state lands – a ‘continuum’ can be constructed (similar to the continuum of Land Rights as developed by UN-HABITAT). State lands deliver public services that individuals cannot provide for themselves. State land management can be improved by technical means and by good governance in Land Administration – legitimate, responsive, accountable, representative, transparent, equitable, consistent and impartial, participatory and dedicated to integrity. Solving this is in fact is a political and social issue – it is about power relationships. Guidelines in relation to this subject will be published in the very near future by FAO.

Annual Meeting FIG Commission 7

This Annual Meeting has a long history and is in fact the only world wide forum for Land Administrators and Land Professionals. FIG President Enemark highlighted that surveyors have an important role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Land Administration is in support of the Global Agenda, global partnerships are continuously under further development. Many subjects were under discussion, knowledge sharing and networking is most important for developing countries. Surveyors contribute to land management. In so called developing countries massive land titling programmes and land administration projects failed in many cases to realise social objectives. Collaborative and participatory approaches are needed, as more attention to the development of rural area’s. New land tools are required, e.g. the Social Tenure Domain Model. Impact of e-Governance, e-Conveyancing, e-Land Administration and many other complex e-Area’s was discussed – especially on changes in processes, existing power structures in land administration and ongoing business during implementation. The annual meeting was traditionally combined with an open symposium this time on Environment and Land Administration “Big Works for the Defence of the Territory" – e.g. the protection of historical Venice for high water levels; this is a serious construction work. There are impacts on Land Administration.

Commission chair András Osskó looked back to successful events – with thanks to our Italian colleagues for their excellent organisation. Verona is Passion!

Read more:


  • Stig Enemark: Environment and Land Administration - Focus on Rights, Restrictions and Responsibilities. Keynote presentation at the FIG Commission 7 Open Symposium, Verona, Italy 14 September 2008.

Picture Galleries:

Richard Grover and Christiaan Lemmen
15 September 2008