FIG PUBLICATION NO. 68

The FIG Christchurch Declaration

Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in Small Island Developing States

The Role of Land Professionals

SIDS Workshop, FIG Working Week, Christchurch, New Zealand 30 April – 1 May 2016

FIG REPORT

Authors: David Mitchell, Stig Enemark, Tony Burns and Bill Robertson

   


This publication as a .pdf-file (28 pages - 3,2 Mb)

1. FOREWORD

This publication is the result of the workshop on “Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in Small Island Developing States – The Role of Land Professionals” held in Christchurch, New Zealand 30 April – 1 May 2016 in connection with the FIG Working Week 2016. It includes a report of the seminar and a FIG Christchurch Declaration as the main outcome of the workshop.

The workshop was organised to address the many distinct challenges that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are facing in their pursuit of social and economic development and these challenges are compounded by the adverse impacts of climate change.

The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) has organised several regional forums on the role of land professionals in supporting SIDS. In 2010 a 2-day SIDS Seminar was held over five sessions at the FIG Congress in Sydney. The major outcome of this seminar was FIG Publication 53 (FIG, 2010). In September 2013 a follow-up symposium was held in Suva, Fiji that aimed to build upon the discussions in Sydney in 2010. The outcome of this symposium was the FIG “Suva Statement on Spatially Responsible Governance”
(FIG, 2013).

A key outcome of the Third international Conference on Small Island Developing States in Apia, Samoa (UN, 2014) was the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (the ‘SAMOA Pathway’). International cooperation and genuine and durable partnerships were seen as critical to the implementation of sustainable development in SIDS.

Building on these initiatives, FIG arranged this SIDS workshop in Christchurch, New Zealand. The workshop was organised by Dr. David Mitchell, Assoc. Professor at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia with a lead team consisting of Prof. Stig Enemark, FIG Honorary President, Denmark, Mr. Tony Burns, Managing Director of Land Equity International, Wollongong, Australia, and Mr. Bill Robertson, Director of Bill Robertson Associates, New Zealand. FIG would like to thank the team for their great efforts in organising this workshop and also drafting the FIG Christchurch Declaration for consideration and adoption by the workshop. Finally, we want to convey our sincere thanks to all the delegates who travelled from various parts of the world to attend this workshop and whose active participation ensured the success.

The FIG Christchurch Declaration will hopefully serve as a guiding document for the land professional in SIDS in facing the challenges of the future. FIG is committed to support this process.


Chryssy Potsiou David Mitchell
FIG President Workshop Organiser

 

2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Facing the Global Agenda

The theme of this workshop is in the heart of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development. The agenda includes 17 goals, with 169 targets and about 240 indicators. The overall goal is to “End poverty in all its forms everywhere” (UN, 2016). The targets to achieve this relate to ensuring that all men and women have equal rights to ownership and control over land and other forms of property (Target 1.4), and building the resilience of the poor and vulnerable and reducing their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters (Target 1.5).

The Agenda also addresses rapid urbanisation through Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. More specifically, SIDS are mentioned in Goal 13 on “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” where Target 13.b aims to raise capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing states. The workshop involved about 35 participants with representatives from SIDS countries mainly from the Pacific Region but also from Trinidad and Tobago, Timor-Leste, and Zanzibar. It should be noted, that although the workshop discussions and the resulting declaration were biased towards the Pacific region, there was a broad consensus on the issues by participants from other SIDS regions, and declaration has direct relevance for SIDS countries throughout the globe.

The workshop and the resulting declaration emphasised the way and means for land professionals to: Address climate change, natural disaster and urbanisation challenges and vulnerabilities; address the challenges in land governance and administration; and, for this purpose, build capacity in land governance and administration and enhance professional and organisational collaboration.

The workshop addressed these global themes in a SIDS context with a focus on the role of land professionals in facing the challenges. A range of issues were identified as listed in the FIG Christchurch Declaration presented in chapter 3. Some core initiatives include:

Advocating for land policy and legal frameworks informed by the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (FAO, 2012) that recognise, respect and safeguard all legal and legitimate tenure rights, provide access to justice to resolve land disputes, are pro-poor and gender-responsive, and provide for effective and full participation
by all. This should assist land governance to address the key vulnerabilities of climate change, natural disasters and urbanisation.

Promoting the adoption by land professionals of the fit-for-purpose approach to land administration in building spatial, legal, and institutional frameworks to reduce capacity demands on land agencies and other institutions, and allow for protecting of all legal and legitimate tenure rights at scale. Such principles should also be applied for building land-use planning and land valuation systems.

Encouraging the establishment of a Regional Capacity Development Network (RCDN) of experts in each SIDS region to improve partnerships and provide technical, administrative, and professional support and advice to engage in related initiatives. Foremost to establish within FIG a RCDN of experts for the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) and to enable the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC) and, as a first stage, to lead and engage with the PICTs geospatial and surveying community on related activities.

Land professional have vital roles to play in promoting engagement and collaboration from all sectors of society. A strong land professionals´ network is required to facilitate and coordinate knowledge sharing and training between countries, collecting and sharing geospatial information, and supporting capacity development at country level.

The workshop venue (Christchurch, New Zealand) located near the SIDS in the Pacific Region.

3. Declaration

FIG Christchurch Declaration:
Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in
Small Island Developing States: The Role of Land Professionals

We the participants of the FIG Small Island Developing States workshop held in Christchurch from April 30 to May 4, acknowledge the inherent diversity between SIDS countries in governance, rate of urbanisation, population density, geomorphology, exposure to natural hazards, and land tenure arrangements. We are also cognizant that SIDS share many common characteristics of small population, their dispersed nature and physical isolation from markets, high levels of exposure to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards, and severe limitations in capacity. We recall the SAMOA Pathway declared SIDS remains a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.

We reaffirm the significance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated goals, targets and indicators in efforts to reduce poverty, protecthuman rights, promote gender equality, and protect natural resources.

We recall the 2010 FIG Sydney Agenda for Action, the 2013 FIG Suva Statement on Spatially Responsible Governance that, together with the 2015 United Nations Resolution on Global Geodetic Reference Frame, established a clear framework for developing capacity in land governance within Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the roles and responsibilities for land professionals and practitioners.

We acknowledge the unprecedented global momentum to improve security of land and natural resources tenure and reaffirm the importance of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGTs), the Continuum of Land Rights and the Global Land Tool Network’s
suite of pro-poor and gender-responsive land tools.

We, hereby issue this FIG Christchurch Declaration on Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in Small Island Developing States: The Role of Land Professionals, and resolve to:

Address climate change, natural disaster and urbanisation challenges and
vulnerabilities through:

  • Advocating for the adoption in national policy and legal frameworks relevant international instruments, including the Sendai Framework, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
  • Advocating for land policy and legal frameworks informed by the VGGTs that recognise, respect and safeguard all legal and legitimate tenure rights, provide access to justice to resolve land disputes, are pro-poor and genderresponsive, and provide for effective and full participation by all. This should assist land governance to address the key vulnerabilities of climate change, natural disasters and urbanisation.
  •  Emphasising the importance of robust and resilient geodetic networks, and the contribution to be made by spatial data, including earth observations and geospatial information.
  • Mainstreaming disaster risk and vulnerability assessment into all aspects of land and marine administration.

Address the challenges in land governance and administration through:

  • Promoting the adoption by land professionals of the fit-for-purpose approach to land administration in building spatial, legal, and institutional frameworks to reduce capacity demands on land agencies and other institutions, and allow for protecting of all legal and legitimate tenure rights at scale.
  • Promoting the principles of participation and inclusiveness in land use planning and ensuring that all legal and legitimate tenure rights are respected in the land use planning process.
  • Promoting the importance in legal and policy frameworks of the development of valuation systems that allow for fair and timely valuation of all types of tenure rights to support taxation, the operation of markets, transactions in tenure rights, and compensation for expropriation.

Build capacity in land governance and administration to address these challenges through:

  • Encourage the establishment of a Regional Capacity Development Network (RCDN) of experts in each SIDS region to improve partnerships and provide technical, administrative, and professional support and advice to engage in related initiatives. This should also include formal partnerships between SIDS and nearby countries. Foremost to establish within FIG a RCDN of experts for
    the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) and to enable the Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC) and, as a first stage, to lead and engage with the PICTs geospatial and surveying community on related activities.
  • Advocating for the international bilateral and multilateral organisations and professional bodies to provide a coordinated approach to supporting education and training in the areas of surveying, land administration, land management and land governance. Mechanisms should include funding for scholarships, providing flexibility in entry requirements for students from SIDS, training of staff, exchange opportunities, and the dissemination of international guidelines and conventions. Other support should include providing e-learning and training materials to relevant academic and training institutions. This includes the full suite of e-learning and thematic technical guides for VGGTs, and the extensive online material supporting the GLTN land tools.
  • Emphasise the importance of capacity development to support improved geodetic and spatial data infrastructures, as well as current, complete and effective geospatial information to support land governance and land administration.

Enhance professional and organisational collaboration to address these challenges through:

  • Encouraging strong, genuine and durable partnerships at the subnational, national, sub-regional, regional, and international levels to support transparent and participatory approaches, to revising legal and policy frameworks based on principles of responsible governance.
  • Building on the opportunity afforded by the smaller population in SIDS, encourage the international land sector to consider coordination and harmonisation to provide multi-stakeholder, multi-actor and multi-sectorial solutions at regional or national level in SIDS.
  • Encouraging and supporting the development of regional political, policy and technical coordination mechanisms in the land sector that provides a strong point of entry for engagement of multilateral and bilateral organisations and international professional bodies to facilitate and coordinate approaches to knowledge sharing and training between countries, collecting and sharing geospatial information, and in supporting capacity development at country level.

Adopted May 18th, 2016 as an outcome of the SIDS Workshop, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Low laying atoll, Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean. The capital, Funafuti, is on average two metres above sea level. Source: wordatlas.com

4. WORKSHOP OBJECTIVES

The objective of this workshop was to discuss the key issues faced by SIDS countries. A concept note was prepared to provide a list of readily available reference material on these issues to provide guidance for the workshop presentations. The concept note intended to set out a list of initial questions or issues for discussion in break-out sessions during the workshop, and also provided a framework for the workshop declaration documenting the outcome of this event. Read the full FIG Publication 68 in pdf


Authors: David Mitchell, Stig Enemark, Tony Burns and Bill Robertson


Copyright © The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), October 2016.

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International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
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DENMARK
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E-mail: FIG@FIG.net
www.fig.net

Published in English
Copenhagen, Denmark
ISSN 1018-6530 (printed)
ISSN 2311-8423 (pdf)
ISBN 978-87-92853-55-4 (printed)
ISBN 978-87-92853-56-1 (pdf)

Published by
International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
Printer: 2016 LaserTryk.dk A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark


FIG PUBLICATION No 68

The FIG Christchurch Declaration
Responding to Climate Change and Tenure Insecurity in Small Island Developing States
The Role of Land Professionals SIDS Workshop, FIG Working Week, Christchurch, New Zealand 30 April – 1 May 2016

Published in English
Published by The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), October 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark
ISSN 1018-6530 (printed)
ISSN 2311-8423 (pdf)
ISBN 978-87-92853-55-4 (printed)
ISBN 978-87-92853-56-1 (pdf)


©2017 FIG