The UN-FIG Conference was held at the Congress Centre in Melbourne, Australia where FIG Congress in 1994 also took place.



One of the UN representatives was Dr Sylvie Lacroux, UNCHS (Habitat) together with Robert W Foster, the new President of FIG (left) and Prof. Ian Williamson at the opening reception in Melbourne Town Hall.



Totally 25 background papers prepared by 40 international experts for the Bathurst Declaration were presented at the UN/FIG Conference in Melbourne.
In the  technical session Cadastre and Land Administration speakers were Prof. Ian Wlliamson (left), Paul Munro-Faure, Chair of FIG Commission 7, Jude Wallace, former Commissioner of State Victoria Land Act, Jürg Kaufmann and Daniel Steudler, editors of Cadastre 2014.



Director JoAnna DiSano UN-DESA, keynote speaker and conference supporter together with conference organiser Prof. Ian Williamson (left) and Prof. Peter Dale, President of FIG at the FIG/UN Roundtable after the Conference.




Melbourne 24 - 27 October 1999

UN/FIG Conference on Land Tenure in Melbourne launches the Bathurst Declaration on Land Administration for Sustainable Development

The Critical Role of Land Administration in Sustainable Development

The joint United Nations – International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) International Conference on Land Tenure and Cadastral Infrastructures for Sustainable Development was held in Melbourne on 24-27 October, 1999.

The aim of the Conference was to explore humankind-land relationships in the next millennium in the context of AGENDA 21, a product of the UN’s 1991 Rio de Janeiro conference, and the emerging global village. It determined a broad vision and a set of guidelines for legal, technical and institutional cadastral infrastructures and systems to support land management and in particular land administration to ensure sustainable development. It clearly showed that appropriate land administration systems are essential to sustainable development, and that without them sustainable development is simply rhetoric.

The attainment of sustainable development is increasingly urgent. Half of the world’s population already is concentrated in urban areas with cities struggling to absorb this impact, yet urban dwellers are set to rise to two thirds of the world population in 25 years. In this same time frame two thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed conditions. The severe tensions between economic development and environmental management must be addressed. Land administration has a clear role and this was stressed in the Bathurst Declaration on Land Administration for Sustainable Development. The role of land administration in supporting sustainable development has significant implications for the administrative structure of government, private sector activities and individual rights/responsibilities.

The joint UN-FIG Bathurst Declaration on Land Administration for Sustainable Development was launched in Melbourne on 25 October 1999. The Declaration was prepared the previous week at a workshop in Bathurst, New South Wales, involving 40 leading experts from around the world representing 5 UN agencies and the World Bank, and a host of international experts on land, water, tenure reform, indigenous rights, women’s rights, the information revolution and government/institutional reform.

Three hundred delegates attended the Melbourne Conference from thirty countries. The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Councillor Peter Costigan welcomed guests on Sunday 24 October at the Melbourne Town Hall and the United Nations Director of Sustainable Development, Ms JoAnne DiSano opened the Conference on Monday morning. The Victorian Minister for Environment and Conservation, the Honourable Ms Sherryl Garbutt MLA closed the Conference on Wednesday 27 October, demonstrating her support for the initiatives to administer our land in a sustainable manner.

The Conference was jointly organised by Professor Ian Williamson, Director, FIG-UN Liaison, Department of Geomatics, The University of Melbourne and Professor Don Grant, Australian Delegate, Commission 7, FIG, Surveyor General of New South Wales. The Conference was sponsored by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Statistics Division), New York; International Federation of Surveyors (FIG); Land Victoria, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria; Land Information Centre, New South Wales; The Institution of Surveyors, Australia Inc.; and the Department of Geomatics, The University of Melbourne, Australia. Support was also provided by a large number of private companies and institutions concerned with land administration and related technologies.

The Conference was followed a Roundtable between FIG and five UN agencies and other international partners. The discussions were focussed on implementation of the Bathurst Declaration and other FIG/UN Co-operation during 2000 –2003. These negotiations will be implemented by bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding.

The Bathurst Declaration, program, Conference presentations, technical papers, session summaries of discussion, a full list of sponsors and supporters and other relevant information can now be found at the FIG home page. 

Already at the moment following documents are published in FIG publication series and available on FIG home page and will be mailed to member associations in January 2000: