Two consultation sessions with UN-Habitat/Global Land Tool Network - GLTN


As one of the founding partners of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), FIG has contributed to the development of land tools with GLTN since 2006. Today, GLTN has grown to have 80 partners divided into four different clusters, Bilateral and Multilateral Organisations, International Training and Research Institutions, Rural/Urban International Civil Societies and International Professional Bodies. FIG is a member of the International Professional Bodies Cluster, and has had the honour for several terms to be the lead of the cluster. During the current term, 2019-2020, the cluster lead is jointly held by Arab Union and FIG.

Today, with its partners  GLTN has developed 25 tools in the areas:


The areas are: Access to land and tenure security, Land administration and information, Land-based financing, Land management and planning, Land policy and legislation, Cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth, land and conflict etc. Source:

Over the years and since 2006, FIG has been involved in the development of many of these tools. Today, the tools are successfully used in many projects at a local, national and regional level.

Still, some of the tools need to be further developed and refined, and FIG, together with the other members of the International professional bodies cluster are pleased to be part of this work.

Currently the International professional bodies cluster is working on two different activities. Already some work has been done on these two activities, and the idea was to bring the current material to the FIG Working Week 2020 where two dedicated sessions were prepared for a consultation with experts in the hope to encourage good discussions and progress among the participants of FIG Working Week.

The two activities during the term 2019-2020 are:

  1. Development of a conceptual framework on urban-rural land linkages
  2. Development of a manual on valuation of unregistered lands
Development of a conceptual framework on urban-rural land linkages

Traditionally, land policies have been developed separately between rural and urban areas. There is a strong push from international organization, particularly UN, to change this. These institutions call for the urgent need to plan, design and implement integrated policies and programmes within the urban-rural continuum as compared to the traditional binary approach of focusing only in urban or rural contexts. They argue that urban and rural spaces offer different but complementary assets and strengths and better integration of development interventions is needed to ensure better socio-economic performance. However, land being central in the development discourse and in the ‘spatial’ aspects of development is not well articulated in the debates nor it features as a key “core” component of urban-rural linkages discourse.

There is a need to reverse this situation and the development of a conceptual framework on urban-rural land linkages becomes a necessity. This task involves a scoping of existing work in this topic, understanding its relevance to the over-all sustainable development agenda, identifying key challenges as well as potential opportunities, discussions and consultations with experts, and finally, offering a robust conceptual framework.
During FIG Working Week, the open workshop would have presented the literature review for the land sector and a preliminary scoping document for the conceptual framework. Participants would have had the opportunity to participate in the development of this UN framework as well as interacting with key practitioners in the urban-rural linkage area.
The expert group is working on alternative ways for a consultation session.

Development of a manual on valuation of unregistered lands

Another interactive session was planned for FIG Working Week 2020 on the topic of the valuation of unregistered lands.

Following UN-Habitat/GLTN’s guide no. 1/2018,  which explains why valuations of unregistered land and informal property are needed, and RICS Research (valuation of unregistered land), UN-Habitat/GLTN is developing a robust, due diligence protocol and manual (including basic checklists and sample formats) on the registration of unregistered lands.

Value, and its attribution to unregistered and/or informal land & property, is a key component to sustainable land administration systems and is a critical component of effective land acquisition, taxation and transfer processes. Indeed, it can be argued that ‘value’, whether defined in purely economic terms or in a wider context of social, environmental and cultural value, is the key to establishing tenure security and identification of legitimate ownership. ‘Value’ is directly linked to local and regional revenue generation, functioning formalized land & property markets and is a central enabling factor within land-based financing (as underlined within the New Urban Agenda). However, this is a difficult area, with limited professional capacity and knowledge, and a chronic lack of data and in many cases cultural/social understanding. Several organisations, agencies and NGOs (GLTN, RICS, FIG, UNFAO, Namati) have attempted to better understand unregistered land valuation and informal markets through extensive research, policy guides, international guidelines (VGGT) and due diligence standards (ILMS & UNFAO – lawyers advising on land acquisition). This has resulted in strong empirical evidence and potential governance but not in a practical, field-based due diligence protocol for how to arrive at appropriate and reasonable market[1] ‘value’. This manual has a great opportunity to synthesize previous outputs, bring closer collaboration between interested parties through the formation of a working group, and help ‘value’ become more effective and appropriate during the land formalization, acquisition, transfer and taxation process. 

A masterclass was planned to take place at the World Bank meeting in March 2020 which was cancelled due to COVID-19. Instead an online meeting was held, and all experts involved in this activity were looking forward to having another consultation face-to-face in Amsterdam during FIG Working Week. The planned session was meant as an interactive consultation, bringing together expert views on a new unregistered land valuation manual that will cover about 70 percent of the land surface of the world. This consultation will now also be changed to an online version. The intention was to discuss the preliminary work of the authors, initial concepts that need to be recognised and included and also act as an opportunity to engage the global FIG family of land professionals.

Authors of the manual are Dr. Mike McDermott and Dr. Peter Wyatt, who had looked forward to an open discussion on the format of the GLTN manual and a debate on the changing nature of valuation and its critical interaction with developing world land security, informality and differing forms of tenure.

Louise Friis-Hansen, FIG