Pacific FIG Capacity Development Network

Background

The mission of the FIG Asia Pacific Capacity Development Network (AP CDN) is to enable an environment of land, marine and “space” professionals to effectively provide innovative, reliable and best practice solutions to address the regional social, economic, environmental and technological challenges associated with global geospatial trends, our rapidly changing and complex world.

To achieve this mission, FIG’s networking partner is the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management Asia Pacific, in particular Working Group 1 Geodetic Reference Frames. 

The expected outcomes  -

  • Land and marine professionals, namely geospatial scientists and surveyors, have the capability to address the regional social, economic, environmental and technological challenges associated with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Regional geospatial and survey capability and their activities have progressed through alliances and relationships with FIG, UN GGIM AP, relevant like-minded bodies other agencies and / or development partners.
  • Regional geospatial and survey community are self-reliant and have a culture and environment of learning, innovation, a blend of mature and young professionals, and a gender equity base.
  • Regional geospatial and surveying challenges are resolved by a regional, unified, coordinated and collaborative approach.
  • FIG profile in the Asia Pacific region has been enhanced.
  • Associated work plan objectives of FIG Commissions and the relevant UN GGIM AP and GGRF Working Groups have been achieved.

From an operational and / or technical perspective the immediate and primary FIG UN GGIM AP “network” outcome is -

  • Responsible governance frameworks and integrated administrative systems of tenure (rights and interests) for land and marine, are underpinned by sustainable fit for purpose geospatial and survey infrastructure and information management.

Workplan

Regional Capacity Development Network (RCDN)
for the Pacific Islands Countries and Territories (PICTs)

At the FIG Congress in Sydney - 2010, the two (2) day seminar titled, “Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, was convened to workshop the capacity building of PICTs land surveyors and professionals to meet the future challenges when achieving the MDGs. The result of this workshop was the production of the FIG publication “Sydney Agenda for Action – SIDS and the MGDs: Building the Capacity”. This publication outlined guiding principles and an action agenda for PICTs land professionals with respect to building capacity, and it also emphasised the importance of good land governance especially in relation to climate change and natural disaster; access to land, coastal and marine resources; and secure land tenure and administration. To view the subject publication refer to - http://www.fig.net/resources/publications/figpub/pub53/figpub53.asp

In response to the “Sydney Agenda for Action”, FIG co-organised the Pacific Small Island Development Symposium (SIDS) - Policies and Practices for Responsible Governance in Suva, Fiji - 2013.  This symposium was partnered with the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Fiji Institute of Surveyors (a member association of FIG), the University of South Pacific and the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources. There were other UN supporters of this event and they were Human Settlement Program (Habitat), Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and the GGIM - AP.  The purpose of this event was to share information on capacity and professional development, examine the role of the surveyor in climate change, and collaborate on three main themes specific to the PICTs –

  • Improved governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests; 
  • Improved geospatial information management
  •  Securing access to land, land and property rights.

To address dot point two (2), FIG Commission 5 and the UN GGIM AP facilitated two workshops on identifying the status and issues with PICTs geospatial and survey infrastructure, and their integration with land administration systems.  The outcome of these workshops was that, for PICTs geodetic infrastructure to be modernised, sustainable, fit for purpose and meet the needs of the both the geoscience and geospatial industry in the future, PICTs need to be unified in their approach when seeking resources and assistance for this initiative.  Furthermore, a strategic plan which articulates the benefits of an accurate, accessible and reliable unified geospatial reference system to not only the region but to each nation is the first significant milestone that must be achieved.  For a more detailed report refer to - http://www.fig.net/resources/proceedings/2013/fiji/ppt/reports/The%20FIG%20Pacific%20South%20Island%20Development%20Sympoisum%20-Fiji%20Sept%202013.pdf .

From a holistic FIG perspective, the preparation and endorsement of the “Suva Statement on Spatially Responsible Governance” by the participating SIDS community at this event was important.  This agreement and /or declaration was very significant to FIG Commission 5, UN GGIM AP and especially the PICTs geospatial and survey community as it set the strategic foundations and intent for FIG (and UN partners) to initiate, cultivate and take affirmative action.  To view the statement refer to - https://www.fig.net/resources/proceedings/2013/fiji/ppt/reports/Suva_Statement.pdf .

In November 2014, government based PICTs surveyors, hydrographers and geospatial scientists established the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC) and a Charter (http://gsd.spc.int/pgsc/) in direct response to the FIG SIDS 2013 - Suva Statement on Spatially Responsible Governance.  The PGSC Charter articulates a governance framework for a regional network and forum of geospatial information and survey authorities of PICTs to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and unique SIDS challenges, such as –

  • building the capacity of surveyors,
  • improving and standardising geospatial information gathering and dissemination,
  • maximising economic growth,
  • alleviating poverty,
  • improving natural resource management, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

In the PGSC Charter, participating members agree to coordinate, co-operate and communicate geospatial and survey activities; share resources, knowledge, data, and applications of technical and location based information through regional and global partnerships.  For a meeting report on the creation of the PGSC and the Charter, as well as the involvement of FIG and UN GGIM AP representatives refer to -http://www.fig.net/printpage.asp?page=http://www.fig.net/news/news_2014/2014_Pacific_surveyors_meeting.asp

By December 2015, 11 of the 14 participating Pacific countries in the PGSC had obtained official endorsement of the Charter from their respective government Minister or delegated authority.  It appears that with the adoption of the UN resolution on “A Global Geodetic Reference Frame (GGRF) for Sustainable Development” (which was originally initiated by the Republic of Fiji) in February 2015, and the subsequent development of a UN GGIM roadmap for governments to enhance global geodesy, has instigated the political interest and will within PICTs governments to –

  • Recognize the importance of modernizing geospatial and survey infrastructure, and its
  • Association with evidence based decision making to obtain SDGs.    

For more information about the GGRF refer to - http://www.fig.net/news/news_2015/2015_02_un-ggim-resolution.asp .

The PGSC recently met again in early December 2015, to compose a strategic plan with goals and actions that will position the PICTs geospatial and surveying community for the future. As per previous PGSC meetings FIG and UN GGIM AP representatives were invited to actively participate by supplying specialist advice and facilitating forums. For an overview of meeting discussions and activities refer to - http://www.fig.net/news/news_2015/2015_11_GIS_RS-User_Conf.asp .

Current status

Presently, the PICTs geospatial scientists and surveying community have unified and established a regional body, the PGSC, and a Charter that articulates its purpose and governs its workings.   It is anticipated that by the end of 2016 more PICTs will have endorsed the Charter and the PGSC will have adopted a strategic plan that outlines their goals and actions. Once this has task been completed, the implementation of the pathways to achieve their time lined objectives will be the next phase. Discussions and details regarding “implementation” will occur at the next PGSC face to face meeting, which is scheduled for late November or early December 2016. FIG, through their representative, has indicated that if required a FIG nominee should be available for this meeting.

An aside meeting, for those PGSC members who were available, was convened during the FIG Working Week, May 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand to further deliberate and work on the strategic plan.   At this meeting several FIG and the UN GGIM AP representatives contributed to the proceedings.  Also at the FIG Working Week several PGSC members attended the SIDS workshop and assisted with the preparation of the FIG Christchurch declaration “Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in Small Island Developing States: The Role of Land Professionals”. To view a copy of this statement please refer to http://www.fig.net/resources/proceedings/fig_proceedings/fig2016/ppt/sids/christchurch_declaration_sids.pdf .

Strategic Overview

The strategic motives to formalise and structure land and marine professionals in the Pacific region through a joint FIG and UN GGIM AP Regional Capacity Development Network is defined and justified by the FIG Vision, Role and current themes for this term.  Refer to - http://fig.net/about/index.asp .

The intent and purpose of the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals in the PICTs is also supported and reinforced through the FIG publication “Sydney Agenda for Action – SIDS and the MGDs: Building the Capacity”, the regionally endorsed “Suva Statement on Spatially Responsible Governance” and the recent Christchurch declaration “Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in Small Island Developing States: The Role of Land Professionals”.

From an FIG organisational perspective the FIG UN GGIM AP PICTS “network” of land and marine professionals outcomes are -  

  • PICTs geospatial scientists and surveyors have the capability to address the regional social, economic, environmental and technological challenges associated with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • PICTs geospatial and survey capability and their activities have progressed through alliances / relationships with FIG, relevant like-minded bodies (such as the PGSC, UN GGIM AP, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Geoscience Division, and IAG), other agencies and / or development partners.
  • PICTs geospatial and survey community are self-reliant and have a culture and environment of learning, innovation, and a gender equity base.
  •  PICTs geospatial and surveying issues are resolved by a regional, unified, coordinated and collaborative approach.
  • FIG profile in the PICTs has been enhanced.
  • Associated work plan objectives of FIG Commissions and the relevant UN GGIM AP and GGRF Working Groups have been achieved.

From an operational and / or technical perspective the immediate and primary FIG UN GGIM AP “network” outcome is -

  • Responsible governance frameworks and integrated administrative systems of tenure (rights and interests) for land, fisheries and the forest, are underpinned by sustainable fit for purpose geospatial and survey infrastructure and information management.

Based on experience and guidance, it is highly probably that it may take 10 years to realize the espoused outcomes, however for this business plan it is expected that after 4 years substantial progress will have been made to attaining these outcomes.

Project and Implementation Plans and Timelines

To accomplish the outcomes of the “network” of land and marine professionals the following projects, activties or actions need to be implemented -

Establishment of a FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of land and marine professionals

As per the precis previously mentioned, considerable work into the planning component has been undertaken by PICTs community to realise their objectives and to progress their geospatial and surveying capability.  To maintain the momentum and to move forward to the implementation phase PICTs must continue to co-operate with existing development partners whilst discovering and building new relationships.  FIG can assist with this process by using its status, profile and influence in the international surveying arena to form a FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of land and marine professionals.

Membership to the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” could consist of (but not limited to) representatives from the PGSC, SPC Geoscience Division, Australian government agencies such as Geoscience Australia, Bureau of Meteorology, New Zealand government agencies such as and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), UN GGIM AP Working Groups, International Association of Geodesy (IAG) Working Groups, International GNSS Service (IGS), FIG Commissions, FIG Young Surveyors Network, and FIG Corporate entities.  It is anticipated the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals will primarily undertake an independent advocacy role to the PICTs geospatial and surveying community by supplying technical, administrative and professional support and advice that is aligned with FIG UN GGIM AP “network” outcomes. The “network” should also be jointly led by the Chair of UN GGIM AP, and a FIG Chair appointed by the FIG Council. The initial term for this “network” of professionals should be 4 years.

The FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals should be established and operational by the end of 2016. 

Driving the agenda and action in the Pacific

As per the “Sydney Agenda for Action – SIDS and the MGDs: Building the Capacity” it is imperative that regional bodies lead, provide direction and engage the Pacific community.  The PGSC is one of these regional bodies who are “championing” and driving an “agenda for action” through a unified, and collaborative manner.  The PGSC has a strategic plan to improve the capability of the geospatial and surveying community, and in the future other land professionals. The PGSC has also generated their action plans on a Charter founded on the principles of the Suva Statement on Spatially Responsible Governance.  As a consequence the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals must -

  • Continue to advocate the role of the PGSC;
  •  Endorse the actions of the PGSC;
  • Promote PGSC successes; and
  • Provide professional and technical advice or guidance to the PGSC as required. 

Support of this nature can be demonstrated through FIG media, reports, presentations at events, participating in meetings, and integrating the PGSC into the FIG “network” and community.

The time line for the above mentioned actions by the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals should begin immediately, and then be as required or on-going.

Adoption of a regional geodetic reference frame that underpins an integrated information system

The FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals needs to provide their experience and knowledge to PICTs on geodetic reference frames and integrated information systems to administer tenure, property rights / interests and sustain development of land, fishery and forestry industry. To make this happen the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” should participate in meetings, convene workshops and seminars at regional symposia on -

  • Scanning and analyzing the existing and future environments and trends with respect to land administration, geo-information systems, and geospatial / geodetic infrastructures;
  • Identifying specific geodetic and land or geographic information systems technical needs for field and office procedures, tools and applications;
  •  Processing, analyzing, integrating and managing survey and geospatial information (datasets) via data centres;
  • Promoting the benefits of modernising geospatial and survey infrastructure;
  •  Adopting standards, guidelines and preferred practices;
  • Assessing resourcing requirements and sources of funding via a regional and collaborative approach;
  • Developing and implementing geospatial and survey strategic, business and action plans;
  • Communicating geospatial and survey strategies and plans;
  • Concepts such as fit for purpose and sustainable infrastructure; fundamental datasets that are authoritative, accessible, reliable (integrity), accurate; interoperable, can be integrated, and are relevant;  
  • Developing geospatial and survey legal or statutory requirements, policy and administrative orders; and
  • Preparing relevant “models or templates” that can be used by PICTs.

The timelines to achieve or action the above will depend on the social, economic, technical, and political situation of a PICT, however the availability and access to models and/or templates (in relation to the above) that are specific to the region, is an imperative “milestone”. Work on this activity should be immediate as some PICTs are moving towards enhancing their geospatial or survey infrastructure.  For example, presently Fiji and Tonga are two Pacific Island countries who are seeking to modernise their geodetic datum and reference frame; and the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are endeavouring to improve their land administration / information systems.  

Increasing the Resource Base

For the Pacific region to have sustainable development, accessing additional resources to complement the PICTs local means is a necessity.  In most cases the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of land and marine professionals will need to assist, guide and mentor PICTs to -

  • Consult with stakeholders to identify and prioritise their geospatial and surveying initiatives or applications before developing a resourcing schedule; 
  •  Devise realistic business, resourcing and implementation plans for each initiative, which are linked or related to regional objectives;
  • Cultivate relationships with development partners who are supportive and to seek new alliances and opportunities to augment resources for their geospatial and surveying initiatives;
  • Recognize potential duplication of investments, identify opportunities for collaborative investments, and where practicable share or jointly acquire resources; and
  • Identify regional and international aid programs, and how their funding or investing operates in the region.

As previously mentioned the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals’ role will be to primarily advise, workshop and “model” (e.g. create templates) the above.  This will then enable the PICTs to build their own capability and engender ownership, which are attributes for a more viable and preferred long term option. 
The associated timelines for this action will be determined by the PICTs specific initiative however it generally should be as required and on-going.

Build the capacity of PICTs geospatial scientists and surveyors

With respect to building the capacity, the overall goal for the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals is to enable the PICTs geospatial and surveying community (and other land professionals) to be self-reliant, have a culture and environment of learning, innovation, and a gender equity base.  To accomplish such an outcome the FIG UN GGIM AP “network”, in conjunction with the PICTs, need to facilitate appropriate meetings and workshops to consider the following outputs and determine the appropriate action for how they can be attained –

  • Critically evaluate the status of geospatial and survey capability in PICTs academic institutions, and determine immediate needs, future core capabilities, educational and training requirements;
  • Engage and form alliances with academic and relevant development partners (both regional and local) to formulate and implement suitable and sustainable geospatial and surveying curriculum;
  •  Foster and develop the young geospatial and surveying professionals through sponsorship and mentoring programs;
  • Promote and create an awareness of the geospatial, surveying and geoscience profession to secondary school institutions through an effective technology based marketing campaign;
  • Recognise the important contribution of the PICTs women in the geospatial and surveying industry, and create opportunities to expand their involvement;
  • Develop mechanisms to exchange information and experience amongst PICTs, in key areas such as technical developments, data management and geospatial or survey techniques; and
  • Continuing professional development is part of the geospatial and surveying culture.

For these outputs to come to fruition, implementation and action by the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals should be immediate.

Measuring and Monitoring the Success of the FIG “network”

For an overview of the proposed FIG UN GGIM AP “network” projects and actions please refer to Attachment A.  Also to monitor and measure the progress of the FIG “network” actions and the attainment of outcomes, its’ activity will need to be reviewed annually, and more specific performance indicators and indicative timelines have been included in Attachment A.

Resourcing Considerations

To date, assistance to the Pacific region on geospatial and surveying matters has been provided through various Australian government based or international aid organisations or specific technical programs from countries neighboring the PICTs. Since 2013, FIG has had active representation via Commission 5, however to elevate the development of the professional surveyor in this region and to achieve tangible results, the opportunity for a Regional Network under the auspices of the FIG Capacity Development Network and in conjunction with the UN GGIM AP, is considered to by the stakeholders as an invaluable opportunity.
To deliver outcomes, this “network” will need in kind support, financial assistance and resources to implement the programs and actions previously mentioned.  Consequently, the FIG UN GGIM AP network will need to secure commitment from like-minded professional bodies, development partners, corporate or commercial sponsors, and other donor agencies for the following resourcing requirements –

Provision of administrative and logistical support to the “network.”

It is anticipated the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” will require administrative support that will be similar to the present arrangements with FIG Commissions, Task Forces and other Networks. In this context, the main tasks expected would be –

  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of a web portal to publicise the workings of the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals in the PICTs (note the web location will be linked to the existing FIG Organisation / Network website for the FIG Regional Capacity Development Network -http://www.fig.net/organisation/networks/capacity_development/index.asp);
  • Assist with the planning and organisation of relevant workshops, seminars, forums; and
  • Provide administrative advice and support on related matters such as general processes and activities, records, publications, and finances.

Corporate or Commercial sponsors to consider providing technical advice, support and tools for professional development workshops organized by the “network.”

The role of corporate or commercial sponsors in the “network” would be to primarily advise and demonstrate the functionality or technical operation of various traditional or state of the art materials, instruments, applications, hardware, and software that are available to PICTs to administer and manage datasets, geospatial / survey infrastructure and integrated systems. This interaction between the parties would most likely occur in a workshop environment that is not generally commercially motivated, and be facilitated as an occasion for PICTs to analyse and evaluate their options.   

Needless to say, business opportunities for corporate or commercial sponsors may eventuate as a result of their involvement with the workshop; however this commercial activity would not be the role or function of the FIG UN GGIM AP “network”. 

Land and marine professionals to provide their expertise and knowledge for the “network” at nominated PICTs events, symposiums, technical conferences, seminars and workshops.

The engine of the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” will be its members, and in FIG’s circumstance these are the Commission representatives. Presently it is anticipated that to build the technical capacity of PICTs most of the expertise and knowledge can be sourced from FIG Commission 3, 4, 5 and 7 (also UN GGIM AP, and IAG working groups) however for other aspects of capacity building (academic, curriculum, and professional development), FIG office bearers who have had experience in improving the capacity in Regions across the FIG community, including the FIG Africa Regional Network, should be available to partner and provide ongoing ideas.

Financial contribution to assist the FIG Chair’s travel expenses to perform “network” activities.

Membership to the FIG “network” of land and marine professionals will consist of representatives from various governments, private sector organizations or professional bodies, and it is expected their participation will be supported by their respective employer or Member Association. As previously mentioned, to coordinate the “network” of FIG UN GGIM AP professionals in the Pacific, FIG Council will need to appoint a regional leader or Chair.  To perform the associated duties and actively participate the Chair will be expected to volunteer their time but will require financial assistance to cover other expenses such as travel. It is estimated that an upper limit budget of €4000 per year will need to be allocated to the Chair of the “network” of FIG UN GGIM AP professionals in the Pacific. 

Financial contribution to assist with the logistics for FIG “network” professional development technical seminars and workshops.

As mentioned before, to develop the technical capacity of geospatial scientists and surveyors in the Pacific it will be necessary to convene workshops on specific topics, techniques and applications that have been determined by PICTs, and complement existing technical programs or initiatives in the region.  These workshops however should be practical extensions of academic theory that is, follow the format of the Commission 5 Reference Frame in Practice seminars; and to effectively use resources workshops should co-incide with regional PICTs events or activities such as the annual Pacific GIS / RS Users Conference.  The indicative venue logistic costs in the Pacific for a workshop in Fiji, such as room hire and catering, can range from €20 to €45 per person per day.   Therefore, to support a FIG UN GGIM AP “network” 2 day workshop for 50 delegates, the upper limit amount would be €4500.  Note, depending on the workshop topic this budget amount for the workshop could be divided amongst a combination of professional bodies, development partners, corporate or commercial sponsors, and other donor agencies.

Please note, it is recognized that any FIG in kind support, financial assistance and resources will be considered by the FIG Council on a “case by case” basis and be subject to a formal proposal by the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” and the availability of budgetary funding.

Obstacles and Challenges

The main obstacles that would affect the outcomes of the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” are –

  • The loss of momentum and interest from the PICTs high level decision makers in government.

Presently there is strong political will from the major PICTs governments, to not only support but to take affirmative action on certain issues, such as dealing with climate change and management of disasters.   FIG can assist the PICTs geospatial and surveying community to leverage this situation and to maintain momentum by demonstrating interest, support and commitment to the region through the establishment of the FIG “network” of professionals and delivery of tangible outcomes.

  • The lack of diverse and sustainable resourcing to improve geospatial and surveying capabilities.

This capacity building issue is not unique just to the surveying profession however FIG has access to a network of international organisations and member associations that could assist PICTs to lobby or apply for resourcing to develop their capability. Also through the assistance of the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of professionals and the PGSC, it is envisaged that PICTs will have the capacity to build strategic alliances with existing Pacific regional organisations; and identify, understand and utilise regional and “global aid” programs that are initiated by agencies such as - Aus Aid, NZ Aid, US Aid, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation.

  • PICTs establishing impractical or unobtainable outcomes, objectives and timelines that do not have a regional or unified approach; and/or PICTs stakeholders placing unrealistic expectations on the geospatial and surveying community.  

It is proposed that the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” of land and marine professionals will be able to advise PICTs on - how to manage and leverage expectations; the benefits of a collaborative regional method to resolving geospatial and surveying challenges; the creation of tangible work plan goals to manage the geospatial or survey aspects relating to technological, economic, market, societal changes; and how surveyors operate and govern / administer these changes.  

  • PGSC not being recognized as the regional body representing the geospatial and surveying community in the Pacific.

To overcome this potential obstacle, the FIG “network” of professionals need to advocate regionally and international that the PGSC is working innovatively, collaboratively, and in a unified manner with PICTs, various sectors and stakeholders (government, academic, commercial and user) in an environment of competing resources and agendas.

  • Insufficient in kind support, financial assistance and resources to implement the FIG UN GGIM AP “network” programs and actions.

It is hoped that like-minded professional bodies, development partners, corporate or commercial sponsors, and other donor agencies will realise the opportunities in the Asia Pacific region and provide the necessary commitment to fulfill resourcing requirements.

Recommendations

It is recommended the FIG Council take the following action –

  • Consider the proposed business plan
  • In the event that the proposal is not successful, the FIG Council should provide feedback on how this initiative can be progressed in the near future.
  • In the event that the proposal receives favourable consideration, the FIG Council should endorse the establishment, plans and note the indicative resourcing of a Regional Capacity Development Network of professionals to build the capacity of geospatial scientists and surveyors in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories for an initial term of 4 years. 
  • To Co-Chair the FIG “network” of professionals the FIG Council should appoint Mr. Rob Sarib as he has been working as the FIG representative in this region since 2013, been actively involved with the FIG Commission 5 and related administrative workings for 3 terms, and has established a rapport with the PICTs geospatial and survey community, as well as the PGSC and relevant UN GGIM AP working groups or representatives.
  • Acknowledge Dr. John Dawson as the UN GGIM AP Co-Chair of this “network” of land and marine professionals.

©2017 FIG