Handing over the Presidency - 04/01/2011
The formal changeover of FIG presidency took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 26th November 2010, when incoming president CheeHai Teo of Malaysia took office. Elected by Congress in Sydney earlier this year, he makes his entry together with the new Council and Chairs of all ten FIG commissions.
Outgoing president Prof. Stig Enemark received words of thanks, appreciation and honour from delegates and representatives of member associations at a festive ceremony attended by nearly a hundred people from all continents. The list of his achievements is not short. Professor Enemark's term of office was marked by a president who ‘flew high' but ‘kept his feet on the ground'. As president of the leading NGO on land issues, he is well known both in UN circles and to the World Bank.
Our profession has an important role to play in the challenges and developments of this era. We are talking here about more equal access to land and food, water, and other resources; about the climate and environmental crises, and their impact on, for example, coastal zones; and about solutions, such as proper land management and regional planning. We are referring too to conflict management in relation to land. In a more crowded world these issues require solutions. And this is why the direction for FIG is onward from land measurement to land management, from cadastre to land governance, and from local to global. ‘No development without a coordinate' is the slogan here.
How We Got Here
Juha Talvitie of Finland, past-president of the Federation 1988 - 1991, in his keynote address gave a nice extrapolation of how the design, foundation and construction for such a truly global organisation have evolved over the past twenty years. One very important change has been that Council is no longer related to the next national FIG Congress host, but democratically elected; Prof. Enemark was the first elected president.
An organisation of more than 350,000 surveyors expect a lot from FIG, its new president, Council and Commissions. But no less from its delegates, associated organisations, member federations and individuals. The other side of the coin is that those 350,000 also bring their support and commitment. It is the moral duty of the profession to keep involved in the millennium development goals.
Another substantial contribution from Professor Enemark appears in the newly published Land Administration for Sustainable Development. Apart from books, and just as relevant for the profession, is the fact that we now have peer-reviewed papers from the congresses. There are in fact twenty new FIG publications from the last four years, covering the complete field of land management, surveying and geodesy in all its aspects.