News in 2020

FIG and GLTN-International Professional Bodies Cluster activities

August 2020

Three main areas of activities

UN-Habitat/Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) has structured its 80 partners in four different clusters. FIG, together with AUS, are currently co-lead of the International Professional Bodies Cluster, represented by Rafic Khouri and Diane Dumashie.

During 2020, the Professional cluster is involved in three different activities within the GLTN agenda:

  • Urban Rural Land Linkages
  • Valuation of Unregistered Land
  • Arab Land Initiatives

2020 has turned out to be a very different year than what we expected, and ongoing global and regional events have influenced the cluster activities; this has led to a lack of cluster updates in recent months. The continuing uncertainty on what events and conferences would take place and in what format is continuing and this has influenced the plans and progress of the activities. Each of the activities are still being carried through but with changes to plans and a slight delay in delivery. All activities should have been finalised by the end of September but have been extended to end of year 2020.

Here is a short overview of the progress and the planned changes for the Professional Cluster activities:

1.  Urban Rural Land Linkages
Background and aim:

To date, many development and research institutions are now working towards strengthening urban-rural linkages. These agencies include the World Bank, OECD, FAO, IFAD, UN-Habitat, IIED, UNFCC, EC and many others. These institutions call for the urgent need to plan, design and implement integrated policies and programmes within the urban-rural continuum as compared to the traditional binary approach of focusing only in urban or rural contexts. They argue that urban and rural spaces offer different but complementary assets and strengths and better integration of development interventions is needed to ensure better socio-economic performance. However, land being central in the development discourse and in the ‘spatial’ aspects of development is not well articulated in the debates nor it features as a key “core” component of urban-rural linkages discourse. There is a need to reverse this situation and the development of a conceptual framework on urban-rural land linkages becomes a necessity. This task is taken by GLTN professional cluster, in collaboration with partners from the academic/research cluster and key experts and land stakeholders and involves a scoping of existing work in this topic, understanding its relevance to the over-all sustainable development agenda, identifying key challenges as well as potential opportunities, discussions and consultations with experts, and finally, offering a robust conceptual framework.

Progress update:
  • FIG commission 7 is leading the project, with the support of commissions 8 & 9.
  • A full draft has been produced by Dr Eugene Chigbu, lead consultant and chair international research at GLTN.

Source: draft URLLs document – Dr Eugene Chigbu

  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, an online consultation strategy has been developed (first one on 7th of August) with experts.
  • Originally, consultations and debate were planned to take place at the yearly FIG Commission 7 meeting – which in line with so many other events have been cancelled in a physical format and will be transformed to an online meeting. Instead workshops in English, French and Spanish are being planned.
  • These meetings will take place online, multi-language and multi-time zone as 2-hour specific workshops. These workshops will take place between 20 and 22 October
  • A final Urban Rural Land Linkages is planned to be published by the end of the year.

FIG Commission 7 Annual Meeting will be online between 20 and 22 October and is open for all who are interested. The theme of the meeting is Building community resilience: Urban-rural land linkages and strategies to deal with COVID-19. A central part of the online event will focus on workshops to discuss the GLTN draft urban-rural land linkage framework currently underdeveloped. We encourage you to participate in the meetings.
More information

2. Valuation of Unregistered Land – manual
Background and aim:

With the support from professional organisations and land and valuation experts, UN-Habitat, RICS, FIG and GLTN have developed and launched the publication on “Valuation of Unregistered Lands: A Policy Guide”. The focus of the Valuation of Unregistered Land initiative is to produce a practical manual that operationalises the 2018 GLTN policy guide and creates a robust, practical framework for land valuation within this difficult sector (acquisition) in line with existing international standards such as IVSC (International Valuation Standards Council)  and ILMS. Valuation is a critical element of functioning land administration systems and this new manual should provide a key enabling tool for prospective land-based financing and fair compensation initiatives. This publication provides key principles and policy guidance for people to progressively undertake valuations of unregistered lands based on available evidence and data. It is intended to assist in the achievement of professional level valuations of unregistered lands and enable users of this guide to discern how and when this has been achieved. The expert group expects that field-based lessons learnt and workable solutions will be documented and add to a body of knowledge that helps influence regional and national manuals on how to better value unregistered land in the future, and significantly contribute to sustainable development objectives. The manual serves to strengthen the implementation of the continuum of land rights a key tool to strengthening security of tenure for all. Governments, policy makers, the valuation industry, practitioners, capacity development institutions and other interested parties should use this manual to help achieve the SDG goals of conflict prevention, food security, gender equity, justice and sustainable urban and rural development.

The final goal is to produce a practical manual bringing the GLTN policy guide into practice and action. The demand is clear that there is a need and justification to practically implement the policy guide. This activity will require further consultation with professional organisations and experts on land and land valuation. It will need to further hone the final output for practical use and make certain that the manual is developed in a participatory way. The manual will be robust and global, based on agreed standards of best practice, due diligence protocols and expert collaboration. The activity will also tie up with existing similar initiatives (GLTN Land based financing initiative) and will bring multi-disciplinary experts in the consultation process.

Progress update:
  • FIG commission 9 (valuation) is leading the project
  • Expert working group (the latest online meeting was Friday 31st July 2020) is close to finalising a pre-consultation draft document.
  • After consensus, the open, global consultation will take place online. An online masterclass is planned for early September as part of the consultation process.
  • A comprehensive draft manual is under circulation, and
  • We expect a final review manual late October, ready for delivery to GLTN Dec 2020.

If you would like to take part in the open consultation, expert review and/or forthcoming masterclasses and outreach events please contact 

3. Arab Land Initiative projects
Background and aim:

Good land governance is an important area of attention for the Arab region. The increase in armed conflicts and social unrest witnessed in the past decade is rooted in various issues, including land. Land administration in the Arab countries is still largely using conventional approaches hence the need to introduce the concept of “fit-for-purpose land administration” in order to meet the needs of people and their relationship to land, to support security of tenure for all and to sustainably manage land use and natural resources.

Progress update:
  • Rafic Khouri, AUS, has attended the Cairo meeting where the 9 organizations with which GLTN had signed contracts attended.
  • He also participated in the online workshop entitled “Towards a Postgraduate Program in Land Governance Serving the Needs of Lebanon and Other Middle Eastern Countries”, organized by the Lebanese University in mid-June.
  • Currently, he is reviewing the translation of a trilingual glossary about land-related terms (English, French and Arabic)

Further information:

4. Advocacy and collaboration
  • FIG is collaborating with Stand for Her Land campaign, Diane Dumashie is in contact with FIG members
  • GLTN is contributing via GLII, to the FIG Task Force on the SDG’s.  In GLII lead role on monitoring it is aiming to align with FIG activity.



Louise Friis-Hansen
28 August 2020