FIG President Stig Enemark attends the World Bank Annual Conference on Land Policy and Administration

World Bank Headquarters, Washington D.C., USA, 26-27 April 2010

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The conference poster.

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President Stig Enemark and Vice-President Matt Higgins.

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Washington D.C., the Mall.

President Stig Enemark and Vice-President Matt Higgins attended the World Bank Annual Conference on Land Policy and Administration, Washington DC, 26-27 April 2010.

The conference was a follow up to the conference in March 2009 organised jointly between World Bank and FIG. This year, however, the contribution from FIG was limited due to the FIG Congress in Sydney taking place just prior to the WB annual conference.

The background of the conference relates to the challenges posed by recent global developments, especially urbanization, increased and more volatile food prices, and climate change. These challenges have raised the profile of land and the need for countries to have appropriate land policies. However, efforts to improve country-level land governance are often frustrated by technical complexities, institutional fragmentation, vested interests, and lack of a shared vision on how to move towards good land governance and measuring progress in concrete settings.

There is a need for the World Bank and their partners, such as FIG, to act in a collaborative and coordinated fashion for taking the land governance agenda forward. The conference aimed to increase awareness of the successful implementation of innovative approaches which can help to not only improve land governance, but also contribute to the well-being of the poorest and the achievement of the MDGs.

The conference was organized around three themes: Large Scale Agricultural Investments; Land Governance; and Research and Capacity Building.

The theme on Land Governance included presentations from President Stig Enemark on “From Cadastre to Land Governance: The Role of Land Professionals and FIG”; Vice President Matt Higgins on: “Global positioning infrastructures and their relevance to building sustainable land administration systems”; and Chair Elect of FIG Commission 7 Daniel Roberge on: “Reconstruction in Haiti: A land rights infrastructure to support its sustainable development”.

The conference was attended by 300 invited experts from throughout the world. It included about 25 sessions with around 100 presentations. Proceedings are available at the WB website:

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Sessions were well attended…
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...from throughout the world.

The conference also had a book launch session that included a new joint WB/FIG/UN-HABITAT/FAO publication on “Innovations in Land Rights Recognition, Administration and Governance” drawing from papers presented mainly at the joint FIG/WB conference in March 2009. The book is available online at the WB website see below. The session also included launching the book on “Land Administration for Sustainable Development” by Williamson, Enemark, Wallace, and Rajabifard, see:

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The closing session provided an excellent overview of the challenges ahead presented by two rapporteurs from each of the three themes. The session was chaired by Ms. Inga Klevby, Deputy Executive Director UN-HABITAT (third from the right). The conference organiser Dr. Klaus Deininger from the World Bank is at the far right.

Finally, following the Joint FIG/WB conference in March 2009 and the outcome in terms of the joint FIG/WB publication on “Land Governance in Support of the MDGs - a new agenda for land professionals” (FIG publication no 45), the conference also provided an excellent opportunity to discuss about the agenda for the future FIG/WB partnership to be included in the FIG work plan for the years ahead.

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17 May 2010