FIG Vice President Greenway attends Congress in Bosnia Herzegovina

Ilidza near Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, 28-30 September 2011

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The large audience listens to technical presentations

FIG Supports in Bosnia And Herzegovina in Addressing Cadastral Challenges

The Geodetic Society of Bosnia-Herzegovina became a Member Association of FIG in 2010, and invited a member of the FIG Council to attend the Congress 2011, held 28-30 September 2011 to make a presentation on the work of FIG to the delegates. Vice President Greenway attended the Contress. Over 200 professionals attended the congress, from Bosnia-Herzegovina and surrounding countries. Both the professional and social elements of the Congress were very well-organised.

Those responsible for the cadastre in the country face a number of particular challenges. Some of these relate to the loss of cadastral records in the recent war; others to the legacy of differing cadastral systems in the country.

The reconstruction of the cadastre following the war began in 2007 and is making good progress. It is seen by the government as a key national task, one which is also being supported by other countries. It is aimed to have the work complete in 2013; this includes a review of the quality of the records with the aim of reducing and removing errors, as well as reconstructing the records that were lost in the war.

Interim solutions for updating records during the period of reconstruction were discussed at the Congress, to ensure that owners have clear title against which to sell land, or to borrow against its value.
Presentations explained the variety of legal bases for the cadastre in the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, including in Republic Syrpska. These are a legacy of the different periods of the country’s history, and make the legal and technical work of reconstructing and maintaining the cadastre and the land registry particularly challenging. For instance, the land registration law and regulations are on the basis of the Austro-Hungarian methods for land registration, which have been abrogated. Other laws are contradictory. FIG has offered to provide support, through its network of experts, to Bosnia & Herzegovina on these complex issues.

Bosnia & Herzegovina also faces a range of challenges that will be familiar to surveyors in many countries – these include: laws that do not allow for the use of GPS and digital data; a shortage of surveyors being trained; and the need to implement the INSPIRE Directive.

The Congress presentations also covered other issues, including:

  • NSDI developments in Bosnia & Herzegovina and surrounding countries;
  • GNSS networks – a 34 station permanent network for the country went live the day before the Congress;
  • Topographic map updating;
  • The developing needs for surveyor education, focussing on the end results required alongside the necessary methodologies, as well as the need to train surveyors in other disciplines including environmental issues.

The Mayor of Ilidza spoke at the opening ceremony of the Congress and challenged delegates to solve the inaccuracies of the cadastre, which are holding the country back. In his opening speech, the President of the Geodetic Society noted that surveying is a special profession, but one which – because of worrying about the millimetres – often appears boring and inward-looking to others.
The audience listened to and responded to these challenges during the two days of the Congress.

Iain Greenway
30 September 2011

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Vice President Greenway with the Congress organisers

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The beautiful old city of Sarajevo

14 October 2011