Building a Regional Structure for the Surveying Profession in Latin America

FIG President Stig Enemark and President Elect Chee Hai Teo attend the XI International Congress, San Jose, Costa Rica, 17 – 19 September 2010

Ing Mainor Guadamuz Chavarria, the President of CIT surrounded by his core team when finalising the new Asociacion Panamericana de Profesionales en Agrimensura (APPA) (Panamerican Association of Surveying Professionals).

The Eleventh biennial International Congress of the Colegio de Ingenieros Topografos de Costa Rica (CIT), was held at the international conference center at the Ramada Plaza Herradura, San Jose 17-19 September 2010. The theme for this year’s congress was “Geomatica: Geodesia, Topografia y Catastro en Tiempo Real” (Geomatics: Current Trends in Geodesy, Topography and Cadastre) reflecting the current challenges and opportunities encountered by the profession not only in Costa Rica but also the region. Some 400 plus delegates attended the three-day Congress, approximately 1 in 5 is from outside Costa Rica, from as far south as Argentina and as far north as Canada.

President Stig Enemark and Pedro Cavero, the current FIG Ambassador to Latin America represented FIG at the Congress. Incoming President, CheeHai Teo was also in attendance.

The opening ceremony was graced by the Honorable Ministra de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos (Minister of Housing and Human Settlement) Costa Rica, Ing. Irene Campos Gomez. In her officiating speech, she urged the profession to continue play its role and to contribute towards the current national agenda including the Government’s Programa de Regularizacion del Catastro y Registro (the modernisation program of the Costa Rican Registry and Cadastre).

President Stig Enemark, in his opening address, congratulated the host and organiser on their professional development and observed progress and achievements by the local profession since FIG’s Regional Conference in San Jose organised jointly with CIT in 2007. In his keynote presentation, President Enemark spoke of “Cadastre and Land Management – A Global Approach”. The President underpinned the significant role of the cadastre in modern land administration systems and in support of the global agenda and also pointed at the core role of the land professionals and the need for a high quality and interdisciplinary educational base. Pedro Cavero ably translated all of President Stig Enemark’s speeches and presentations.

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Pedro Cavero, Stig Enemark, Chee Hai Teo.

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Intensive meeting for preparing the APPA statutes.

On the side-line of the congress were the numerous and energetic meetings and discussions by members representing the profession from Argentina, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela with Costa Rica as the host and convenor. These efforts eventually led to the formation of the Asociacion Panamericana de Profesionales en Agrimensura (APPA) (Panamerican Association of Surveying Professionals). Ing Mainor Guadamuz Chavarria, the President of CIT together with nominees from Argentina, Mexico and Panama, will helm the Pro-tem four-member Council.

The formation of APPA was indeed a highlight of the professional activities within CIT’s XI Congress and also represented the culmination of efforts by FIG over about ten years to mobilise the profession within Latin America. FIG wishes to extend its heartiest congratulations to the many able professionals who worked tirelessly, usually behind the scene, to realise this regional structure. FIG has pledged to work with this latest regional structure to develop and advance the profession in the Americas. A major opportunity in this regard will be FIG Regional Conference that is likely to held in Montevideo, Uruguay, by the end of 2012.

The three-day Congress included a series of diverse presentations covering the cadastre and land administration, geodetic reference frames, coastal zone management, geospatial information system, surveying education and professional ethics. Presenters were not restricted to just Costa Ricans, and they come from Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Uruguay and not forgetting Denmark and Spain. The social programme for foreign delegates, an evening at the cultural Pueblo Antiquo, was a relaxing, happy and entertaining evening, a necessity especially for those participants engaging in the meetings and discussion leading up to the formation of APPA.

Further readings:

Images from the centre of San Jose

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The cathedral

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The National Theatre

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Image from the lively San Jose City Centre

15 October 2010