News in 2023

FIG Council establishes new Regional Network

August 2023

A new FIG Regional Network has been born. This is the third FIG Regional Network and covers the entire Americas region.

The Regional Capacity Development Network originates from the Africa Task Force 2009-2014 that delivered a clear direction for African member Associations to actively increase their presence in FIG. This resulted in the first Regional Network in Africa (ARN). The idea was to have a global network operationalised on a Regional basis. Initially, the CDN was expanded to include the Asia-Pacific region (AP-CDN).

The appointed Chair of the Network, Dan Roman US, presents the proposal for a new Regional Capacity Building Network in the Americas region for the General Assembly  in Orlando, Florida, 1 June 2023.

The opportunity to take the first steps to new network came up due to the fact that the FIG Working Week 2023 would be held in Orlando, Florida, USA. The location was carefully selected to make it possible for professionals from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean region to attend.

During the FIG Working Week 2023 a two-day workshop was held to explore their needs for the Small Island Deveoping States (SIDS) with a special focus on the Carribean and Pacific states. South and Central America likewise needs capacity development and sessions both in English and Spanish were held with good attendance.

The workshop and the sessions determined a real need and recommendation for an Americas CDN to develop capacity in the Caribbean as well as South and Central America.

FIG Council decision

These sessions and meetings led to a proposal presented at the second General Assembly and raised by representatives from the meeting to FIG Council to establish a FIG Regional Network in the Americas Region spanning from North, Central, Carribean and South America. There was support to the proposal by the members.

FIG Council thanked for this proposal and for the amount of work put into it. It has been driven by the President, Diane Dumashie, together with Vice President Kwame Tenadu with two active representatives from the region, Dan Roman, US and Rosario Casanova, Uruguay.

At their following meeting FIG Council agreed to this constructive initiative, and the proposal was adopted to establish a new FIG Regional Network Americas that accommodates each of the three distinct areas in the Americas.

Dan Roman, USA, was appointed Chair of the Network with Rosario Casanova as Vice Chair.

Currently the Terms of Reference are being finalised.

Participants at the SIDS workshop during the FIG Working Week 2023 in Orlando, Florida

Mandate and vision

The overarching mandate of the Americas region will be “to develop workshops to build the capacity of land professionals to enable them to effectively embrace current global trends in their respective region”  and together with relevant partners.

Their vision is:  By 2030 Americas land professionals will provide global thought leadership and promote professional leadership qualities amongst its members and within their Associations as active Members of the FIG.

The Americas CDN spans all of the Americas and will need foci in subregions that conform to the broader linguistic and cultural groupings. This will facilitate interaction inside each subregion to maximum potential. However, coordination must exist between the subregions as a part of the broader regional CDN activity. Many issues in each subregion will require coordination across the boundaries. Fortunately, regional activities and meetings are already in place that facilitate communication between the subregions.  

Each subregion will continue establishing the network, build members and their associations capacity to engage and interface at all institutional political levels including the Americas regional oversight level to grassroots community involvement. The recommendations resolved that land professionals in the Americas apply their collective knowledge and build their capacity to achieve the UN SDG’s by 2030.

Many of the same concerns that exist in the Africa and Asia-Pacific CDN’s likewise exist in the Americas. Land tenure and ownership are  uncertain or ambiguous in many parts of South and Central America. Optimisation of available land area for commercial development is necessitated in many port areas and especially in the Caribbean SIDS. Successfully leveraging the efforts by the respective national governments in the Americas into broader private sector ventures will be a key to  professional success for all Member associations. Governments are cooperating to build a common infrastructure, but it must be parlayed into the private sector in order to achieve the goals given by the UN SDG’s. 

Focus areas

The Americas CDN will focus within each of the subregions around common themes.

  • Establishing contact with existing subregional and regional organizations
    • Determine their missions, mandates and membership
    • Determine any gaps or missed opportunities to engage more fully
    • Determine needs for capacity and capability development
    • Determine potential resources to meet these needs
    • Coordinate with any academic and professional organizations to ensure connections to the governmental and intergovernmental organizations
  • Find and engage with national professional societies
    • Recent surveys indicate that such groups exist in countries not active in FIG
    • The key is to find and engage these associations to maximize their capability
    • Additionally, to provide them the potential benefits of membership within FIG
    • Develop subregional and regional workshops, training, and seminars
  • Connect national professional societies with their respective governments
    • Governments are developing national SDI to integrate regionally
    • FIG can facilitate knowledge and skill transfer to professional societies to enhance the GKI and engage the private sector economic engine
    • FIG contacts at the global and regional level quill facilitate meeting needs at all levels
  • Work within FIG to ensure action and activity throughout the Americas
    • Work within each Commission to ensure engagement throughout the region
    • Ensure engagement and involvement of national professional societies and government institutions to maximum benefit
    • Coordinate and facilitate any needed resources from global level to the regional
    • Leverage the Young Surveyors Network (YSN) to establish new or invigorate existing professional societies in the region

Participants at the Spanish Speaking Sessions and meeting during the FIG Working Week 2023 in Orlando, Florida





Louise Friis-Hansen
September 2023