Good Governance in Tenure - 28/01/2010
The 7th FIG regional conference entitled ‘Spatial Data Serving People' was held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 19th to 22nd October 2009, gathering together 250 international participants from 54 countries and 150 local experts to discuss issues in land and surveying. The three themes of the conference were land governance, Spatial Data Infrastructure and the environment, and capacity building. The selected focus on good governance in tenure was strongly supported by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Regional Consultation on Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources, organised for Asia as a fully integrated part of the conference. This two-day consultation attracted more than eighty people from fifteen Asian countries to discuss the FAO guidelines.
Key Land Issues
In the plenary session on land administration Keith Bell of the World Bank (WB) discussed key matters to do with land in East Asia in relation to six WB-funded projects worth more than 180 million USD in 2009. He concluded his presentation with the remark that land-sector reform was complex and cross-sector, and thus required a broadly-based development strategy that addressed the wider social, economic, natural resources and environmental agenda. Land reforms required long-term engagement, but governments with a record of good governance and political will for reform were most likely to attract support.
Australian Jude Wallace challenged participants in the second plenary to rethink how land-acquisition policies should be linked to human rights, and find the right tools to do so. Knowledge transfer had to involve all stakeholders: the Global Land Tool Network and FAO provided good examples. The outcome of the conference is preparation of the Hanoi Declaration on land acquisition in emerging economies. This publication will identify the problems and issues related to land acquisition in Vietnam and the South East Asia region, analyse these problems in the context of best practice, and provide guidelines, recommendations and tools for good governance and practice.
One conclusion was that SDI must be used as a tool for risk and vulnerability analysis and for preparing action plans to prevent natural disaster. It was also needed to prepare for early warning and evacuation systems, as well as for reconstruction and access to shelter, water and food. All things crucial for regions like South East Asia, strongly hit by the impacts of climate change. This means a big demand for political will and management responsibility, as well as responsive professionals and organisations.
The third theme on capacity building allowed FIG honorary president Holger Magel to challenge surveyors to establish a Global Academic Partnership (GAP) with six targets for sustainable development. FIG vice-president Teo CheeHai discussed the code of ethics, urging FIG to revisit its ethical guidelines in relation to recent world developments.
Next FIG event
FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia, 11-16 April 2010