23rd FIG General Assembly, Prague 2000





Extension of UNCHS-FIG Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Period 2000-2003

The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNCHS (Habitat) and the International Federation of Surveyors FIG which was signed on 31/01/1997 just six month after the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, established the framework of a partnership for implementing the land and property-related recommendations contained in the Habitat Agenda: the Global Plan of Action on Human Settlements endorsed by the Conference. The MoU initially formulated for a two years period was then extended on 25th May 1999 to cover the year 1999 while the two parties agreed on preparing a new extension to cover the period 2000-2003.

I  Background: Activities implemented in 1999

1. As a result of UNCHS sub-regional Seminar on Land Management and Local Governance in French-speaking Africa held in Burkina Faso, 20-23 April 1999, a regional network of professional associations of land managers including surveyors, planners and engineers, was established. Representatives of the professional network (MM. Alain Bagre from Burkina Faso and Bachir Olude from Benin) joined FIG as members and attended the FIG Annual Working Week in Sun City, South Africa on 30 May - 4 June 1999.

2. FIG represented by its Mr. Markku Villikka, Director of the FIG office, participated at the 17th Commission on Human Settlements -CHS17, held in Nairobi 1-10 May 1999. On that occasion FIG joined the new Steering Committee of the Habitat Professionals Forum established to implement the conclusions of the Habitat II Conference.

3. A FIG high-level visit to UNCHS and UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi took place on 24-25 May 1999. The FIG Delegation included Mr. Robert Foster, Vice-President and President-elect of the FIG Bureau 2000-2003, Professor Ian Williamson, Director, FIG/UN Liaison, and Mr. Markku Villikka. The mission was received by Mr. Daniel Biau, UNCHS Ag. Deputy Executive Director, on behalf of the Executive Director and Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP Deputy Executive Director and held discussions with various UNCHS senior managers of the two organizations.

4. UNCHS-Gender Unit (Ms. Diana Lee-Smith) and UNCHS-Land Management Programme (Ms. Sylvie Lacroux) prepared a paper titled "The Gender Perspective in the Habitat Agenda: Implications for the Surveying Profession" as a contribution to FIG Task force on Under-represented Groups in Surveying, chaired by Ms. Gabriele Dasse.

5. FIG Commission 3 represented by Mr. Robin McLaren from UK, participated at the UNCHS Regional Workshop on Land Survey and Large-scale Mapping in Support of Settlements Planning, Land Development and Management, held in Nairobi, Kenya from 4 to 8 October 1999. UNCHS focal point for that event was Mr. Don Okpala, coordinator, recently established Unit on Urban Development and Economy.

6. The UNCHS Disaster Management Unit launched a call for consultancy on Cadastre Information System for its Kosovo project in August 1999. Various FIG members from UK, Denmark and Poland etc. responded. The Finnish Soil & Water Consultant Ltd. was selected.
UNECE-MOLA sent representatives to Kosovo to work together with UNCHS in the formulation of a technical assistance project aiming at the re-building of the municipal administration in the war-torn province of Kosovo.

7. UNCHS represented by Ms. Sylvie Lacroux, participated in the UN-FIG International Workshop and Conference on Land Tenure and Cadastral Infrastructure for Sustainable Development, held respectively in Bathurst and Melbourne, Australia 17-27 October, 1999. The meeting issued the Bathurst Declaration on Land Administration and endorsed the vision of the UN Global Campaign on Security of Tenure just about to be launched.

8. A UN-FIG Round Table took place on 27th October 1999 in Melbourne, Australia. It was attended by FIG Bureau members and representatives from FIG Commissions 1, 2, 5, 7; representatives from the Permanent UN Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Africa, Asia and Pacific and Latin America; the Chairperson, Meeting of Officials on Land Administration (MOLA), UN Economic Commission for Europe. UN organizations participating were the Department of Economic and Social Affairs DESA - Division for Sustainable Development, FAO, UNCHS (Habitat), UNECA and the World Bank. GTZ from Germany attended as well. A review of previous FIG UNCHS collaboration was undertaken on that occasion and the basis for future collaboration in conjunction with other UN Agencies and partners were agreed upon. The Bathurst Declaration on Land Administration will constitute the collective input to the year-2000 meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).

II. Guidelines and Principles for the Extension of the FIG-UNCHS MoU

a) FIG and UNCHS to increasingly work in a tripartite relationship with other bodies, such as aid or development assistance agencies in respective countries;

b) FIG and UNCHS to progress issues of common interest in their respective work plans aiming at the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, the New Delhi Declaration and the Bathurst Declaration;

c) To recognize that in order for UNCHS and other UN Agencies to access the professional resources for joint UN/FIG activities, "seed funding" is required from a UN Agency for FIG to leverage additional funding from a third party such as a national aid or development assistance organization;

d) To recognize that while FIG will co-ordinate UNCHS/FIG activities through its Bureau and the permanent FIG office, FIG seeks to utilize the experience and resources of all its individual Commissions;

e) To recognize that UNCHS (Habitat) through its recent revitalization is becoming more regionally decentralized and will focus its programmatic activities in support of two Global Campaigns respectively on Secure Tenure and Urban Governance; in turn FIG will endeavor to seek support and involvement of its member associations and regional delegates of individual Commissions to participate in regional activities;

f) FIG and UNCHS participation at jointly organized events to fund their respective organizations, recognizing that the FIG is a non-profit organization without access to financial resources and as such relies on its individual members raising external funding for their involvement or having participation funded by a UN agency or a third party;

g) To consider that at least two years lead-time is required to introduce initiatives of common interest into the respective work-programmes.

h) To ensure that all-joint activities are developed with a gender perspective and promote the recommendations of the Global Agenda for the Promotion of Women’s in Development issued at the Beijing Conference, September 1995.

III. Proposed areas of joint activities for 2000-2001:

1. Promoting the Global Campaigns on Security of Tenure and Urban Governance at regional and local level through:

1.1 Enhanced coordination and joint activities between UNECE through MOLA and other working parties from the Regional Committee on Human Settlements, and UNCHS Global programs in the policy and normative guidelines formulation as well as in the area of technical assistance provided to the countries in transition economy;

1.2 In Latin America, Africa, Asia, North America, FIG to designate focal points as counter parts to Habitat existing regional offices based respectively in Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Fukuoka in order to coordinate mutual support to work programme activities of the two organizations taking place in each region;

2. Developing capacity-building/training and networking activities in Land administration at regional and country level:

2.1 FIG Commission 2 on Education to make a proposal in view of UNCHS 2000-2001 work programme activities; to consider establishing a fellowship Programme within UNCHS (Habitat) following the experience of FAO and the World Bank;

2.2: Following up on working relations between UNCHS Gender Unit and FIG Task Force on Under-represented Groups in Surveying;

3. Monitoring and Assessing the implementation of the New Delhi Declaration and the Bathurst Declaration through:

3.1 Build working relations between UNCHS Women and Habitat Programme and the FIG Commission 7 Working group on Women’s Access to Land and Property

3.2 Documenting and disseminating best practices on Spatial Information Management, collaboration proposed by FIG Commission 3 as a follow up to 1999 UNCHS Workshop on the issue (UNCHS Coordinator, Urban Development and Economy Unit)

3.3 FIG Commission 7 in liaison with Habitat Focal point for land management, to contribute research on legal aspects of land administrative reform.

4. Participation/Contribution to global events organized or supported by one of the two partners:

4.1 FIG Annual Working Week, Prague 2000, 22-26 May 2000

4.2 URBAN 21: Berlin, 4-6 July 2000

4.3 Istanbul + 5 (New York June 2001) and the two preparatory meetings to be attended as member of the Steering Committee of Habitat Professionals Forum (May 2000 and February 2001); and participation at regional meetings towards Istanbul + 5 (FIG Bureau and UNCHS Coordinator, Istanbul +5)

4.4 FIG Congress in Washington, 21-26 April 2002

For UNCHS(Habitat)

Dr. Klaus Toepfer
Ag. Executive Director


Robert W. Foster
President of FIG 


18 February 2000

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