News in 2018

Annual Meeting – FIG Commission 7

The 2017 Annual Meeting of FIG Commission 7 was held in Cartagena/Colombia in an excellent surrounding and thus providing the opportunity to attend for many colleagues from the region.


The Annual Meeting and the international Conference on Cadastre for Emergencies and Disasters - Challenges and opportunities for islands and coastlines, which was co-organised with FIG Commission 9, attracted 94 participants from four continents, among them directors of national expert institutions in cadastre and land administration, international experts, company representatives and professors of important universities and a considerable large delegation from the Republic of Korea. FIG Commission 9 Chair Steven Nystrom (US) was a warmly welcomed participant throughout the meeting.


FIG Commission 7 Chair Gerda Schennach opened the Annual Meeting and welcomed Delegates and guests. Due to cancellation of her flight to Colombia for a weather disaster in Europe it was a premiere that she was present throughout the events by a teleconference facility. Daniel Steudler from Switzerland, Honorary Member of FIG, was in the same situation. Teleconference turned out to

be a good substitute but still not the same as being present personally. The opening session was supported by a presentation from the Commission 7 Chair.

Meeting in Columbia

The theme of the Annual Meeting and the international Conference was ‘Cadastre for Emergencies and Disasters – Challenges and opportunities for islands and coastlines’. The organisers in Colombia were very pleased with the support and confidence to conduct this FIG meetings in Cartagena/Colombia. Daniel Paez, Vice-Chair of FIG Commission 7 and Chair of WG 7.2 coordinated the organising team of young surveyors and students. A very well organised event providing a well thought program with a mix of international and Colombian speakers provided good opportunities for discussions and exchange of positions and views. Find here more details about the program and presentations.

Update of Commission 7 Working Groups


Christiaan Lemmen, Honorary Member of FIG and Vice-Chair of Commission 7 and Chair of WG 7.1 on ‘Fit for Purpose Land Administration’ (FFP LA) gave a presentation about the work in Working Group 7.1. The main focus is on the implementation of LADM and the preparation for LADM II. FFP LA is not always fully embraced and in some cases perceived as a threat. This was for instance expressed in a recently published newsletter of CLGE and debates about the subject will clarify about the visions and future developments. Chr. Lemmen also mentioned that he is appointed as professor on Land Administration Systems at ITC University of Twente. He will combine this with his work at Kadaster. He will step down as Delegate from Commission 7 after his term of office by the end of this year. A long-term active person in FIG and his valuable inputs will be missed as well as his critical questions and statements which kept discussions on core topics alive.

Daniel Paez, Vice-Chair of Commission 7 and Chair of WG 7.2 on Group ‘Land Management in Climate Change and Pre- and Post- Disaster Areas’ summarised the work of his Working Group which is largely reflected in the theme of the Annual Meeting. It was a huge success to have an international event to address the topic.

Robin McLaren, Vice-Chair of Commission 7 and Chair of WG 7.3 on ‘Crowdsourcing of Land Rights’ was not able to participate this year due to health reasons. Also he announced that he will retire after his term of office as Vice-chair of Commission 7 and therefore step down from FIG. This is the end of an era! He put important topics on the agenda like the role of the profession, general boundaries and new technologies and innovations like blockchain technology.

Gyula Ivan, Vice-Chair of Commission 7 and Chair of WG 7.4 on ‘Citizen Cadastre’ was not present during the Annual Meeting. The Working Group will work on the open issues from the Work Plan and prepare contributions for the Technical Sessions in the FIG Congress.

In general most of the activities from the Work Plan of FIG Commission 7 have been completed and fulfilled. The results will be presented in Istanbul during the FIG Congress.


The following events, where FIG Commission 7 will contribute to, will take place:

  • CLGE Meeting (Paris, 29 January, 2018 >> see below
  • World Bank Conference (WashingtonD.C., 19-23 March 2018)
  • LADM II meeting (Zagreb, 7-8 April 2018)
  • FIG Congress (Istanbul, 6-11 May 2018)
  • UN-GGIM meeting (New York, August 2018)
  • FIG Commission 7 Annual Meeting and international Seminar (Bergen, 24-28 Sept 2018)

For the FIG Congress there are in total 450 abstracts for papers submitted. 135 abstracts are related to Commission 7, 19 of them are peer reviewed papers. It means roughly 25 Technical Sessions, which will be a challenge to get scheduled without too much overlapping. Gerda Schennach informed about a side event on cadastre and land management co-organised with the host country where delegates and representatives from surrounding countries are invited to participate. There might also be another side event of GLTN and FAO. Chrit Lemmen will discuss this with Oumar Sylla from GLTN. The aim is to have as less overlap as possible between the side events and the Technical Sessions. Gerda Schennach addressed the limited availability of reviewers for the peer review process for FIG conferences and encouraged Delegates who are willing to contribute with their expertise in the peer review process to get registered in the reviewers database.

For the Annual Meeting 2018 there were three locations proposed:

  • Bergen, Norway
  • San Diego, USA (overlapping with Esri User Conference)
  • Nairobi, Kenya
During the FIG Congress new Commission Chairs for all FIG Commissions will be elected, this year with a delay of two years for the elections as a consequence of the ongoing discussion on the re-structuring of FIG in the General Assemblies since 2015. The main purpose of the Annual Meeting 2018 is the transition of the outgoing Chair to the incoming Chair and to set the agenda for the next term of office together with new Working Group Chairs and the Delegates.

After discussion Bergen/Norway is selected as location for the Annual Meeting 2018 and one-day international conference. The date has been agreed after the meeting for 24 – 28 September 2018.

In January 2018 a CLGE round-table meeting will take place in Paris. The topic of this meeting will be about the stakes of securing sustainable land rights. This seems to be an excellent opportunity for a debate on the role of private surveyors in FFP LA. This event will help to get a better understanding of each other and to discuss the threats and opportunities. Both Claire Galpin, Chair of Géomètres-sans-Frontières and Commission 7 Chair Gerda Schennach will be present.

Young Surveyors

At the end of the Annual Meeting two Young Surveyors from Colombia were awarded by the Commission 7 Chair for their professional work at the university and offered co-funding to participate and present about their work in the FIG Congress in Istanbul/Turkey in May 2018.

The report in PDF can be found here.

The proceedings/presentations and the overall program can be found here


Gerda Schennach and Paula Dijkstra
January 2018