Professions unite to enhance land tenure security
Standards bodies representing land professionals in more than 150 countries met at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome recently to launch a major new initiative aimed at improving land reporting systems.
Working together, these not-for-profit organisations are seeking to establish the first globally applicable framework for recording land information under the globally agreed Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure in a drive to improve tenure security, land rights, access to investment and economic development.
This is a landmark effort by the professional organisations responsible for training, qualifying and in many cases regulating experts in land surveying, land management, cadastre, valuation and registration.
Despite the vital role land plays in sustaining and protecting lives, resources and economies, it is estimated that around 70 per cent of all land and property is officially unregistered today. As a result, food and human security is compromised and economic development held back.
Where formalised land reporting systems do exist they vary significantly in their level of transparency, enforceability and even recognition.
Speaking after the two-day meeting, RICS Standards Director, James Kavanagh said: This important initiative seeks to establish a common bridge between the technically complex developed world land systems and the socially, culturally and legally complex developing world systems. It will allow countries to benchmark risk and improve public confidence in land ownership and exchange.
The standards organisations involved will establish a joint coalition to oversee the creation of the new, high-level framework and to lead public consultation. The coalition is expected to grow in the months and years ahead as more standards organisations join the effort.