Last week, the Eleventh Session of the Working Party on Land Administration (WPLA) provided an international platform for a high-level exchange on issues related to land administration and management. Amie Figueiredo, of the Housing and Land Management Unit at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) helped us t0 answer a few questions on the event.
1) What is the goal of the 11thsession of the Working Party on Land Administration? What are the objectives of such a meeting?
The Eleventh Session of the Working Party on Land Administration (WPLA) provided an international platform for a high-level exchange on issues related to land administration and management. At the Session on 27-28 February, representatives from over 35 of the UNECE member States reviewed the work of the WPLA since the Tenth Session in 2017 and in 2018. And discussed how UNECE can continue to work to improve land management and land administration practices throughout its region and the needs and priorities of land administration in the UNECE region in support of Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda. The WPLA improves land administration and management as it is a driving force for economic stability and growth. Under this area of work, UNECE addresses land registration, e-governance, land tenure, spatial information and cadastres.
2) Can you give us some history and background on the Working Party on Land Administration?
The Meeting of Officials on Land Administration was created in 1996 (with the scope of work of the Committee was extended to include urban planning and land use and thus, MOLA was established) during the Committee on Housing and Land Management’s sixtieth Session in 1999, the Committee welcomed the decision of the Commission to give the Meeting of Officials on Land Administration the status of Working Party to consolidate work on cadastre and land registration while promoting more efficient land markets in the ECE region. The group was granted a standing character by the UNECE Commission in recognition of its work in the promotion of land privatization and land registration systems in the UNECE region and of the need for such work to continue. The Working Party held its first session on 15-16 November 1999 and its eleventh session on 27-28 February 2019.
3) What do you feel are the most pressing issues in terms of land administration in the UNECE region at the moment?
Sound land administration and sustainable land management are indispensable for economic, social and environmental development. This still remains critical to achieving sustainable development. Improving land administration and management is a driving force for economic stability and growth and good governance. Under this area of work, the Working Party on Land Administration promotes sustainable practices to address land registration, e-governance, land tenure, spatial information and cadastres.
4) Can you tell us more about UNECE’s work with regards to the land related SDGs?
Agenda 2030 recognizes the importance of land in achieving the sustainable development goals including SDG1- Ending poverty in all its form; SDG2 – eradicating hunger, SDG5 – achieving gender equality and empowerment of women, and SDG11 – building inclusive and resilient cities. The New Urban Agenda further underscores the importance of land governance in urban planning and development. Improving land administration and management practices often results to increase in long term and sustainable investment opportunities; both in rural and urban areas with sectors like agriculture and infrastructure development at the core for most economies in UNECE region and globally. With the inclusion of land in the SDGs including a robust monitoring framework to measure progress through specific land indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1; governments are challenged to provide robust and comparable data, both administrative and survey data to measure progress against targets 1.4 and 5.a. The UN custodian agencies for these two indicators; UN-Habitat, World Bank and FAO have joined forces to align methodologies for monitoring these two indicators. The work of UNECE member States must reflect on progress made in the implementation, monitoring and reporting on SDG1 and 5; building on highly developed national administrative data infrastructure from UNECE member States must reflect on the new emerging requirements for monitoring land in the SDGs and their application in the region.