FIG Council

Facing the Challenges - Building the Capacity

Work Plan - 2007-2010


The aim of FIG is to be the premier international non-governmental organization that represents the interests of surveyors and users of surveying services in all countries in the world. It is a Federation of member associations all of whom seek excellence in the services that they deliver.


The objectives of the Federation as defined in its Statutes are:

  1. to provide an international forum for the exchange of information about surveying and for the development of fellowship between surveyors
  2. to collaborate with the United Nations and other international and regional agencies in the formulation and implementation of policies affecting the use, development and management of land and marine resources
  3. to promote the disciplines of surveying, particularly in developing countries and countries in economic transition
  4. to promote the role of the surveyor in the management of natural and man-made environments
  5. to promote the development of national associations of surveyors and to promote professional standards and codes of ethics and the exchange of surveying personnel
  6. to promote high standards of education and training for surveyors and to facilitate continuing professional development (CPD)
  7. to encourage the development and proper use of appropriate technology
  8. to encourage research in all disciplines of surveying and to disseminate the results.


The Mission of the International Federation of Surveyors is to ensure that the disciplines of surveying and all who practice them meet the needs of the markets and communities that they serve.


The Council believes that FIG should both “fly high and keep the feet on the ground”. As the leading international non-governmental organisation (NGO) on land issues, FIG must be able to interact with the key players in the field such as the United Nations agencies, the World Bank, and our sister organisations. FIG should therefore contribute to solving the global challenges as presented through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and endorsed by the United Nations. At the same time FIG must be able to interact with politicians at national level to improve and promote the basic conditions for our services and role in society. And we should of course interact in a dialogue with the individual member associations and the individual surveyors to make FIG a relevant and proud icon for our profession. We must be able to strengthen the links between the global agenda and individual surveyors.

The Council proposes an overall theme for the next period of office: “Building the Capacity”. This theme applies to flying high and keeping our feet on the ground in the sense that capacity is needed in developing countries to meet the challenges of fighting poverty and developing a basis for a sustainable future, and at the same time capacity is needed in developed countries to meet the challenges of the future in terms of institutional and organisational development in the areas of surveying and land administration.

In general, the Council will strive to enhance the global standing of the profession through both education and practice, increase political relations both at national and international level, help eradicating poverty, promote democratisation, and facilitate economic, social and environmental sustainability.

On this basis, the key topics of the Council work plan are the following:

  • Promoting and enhancing the role of FIG
  • Continuing and enhancing the dialogue with member associations
  • Promoting FIG as a truly global organisation
  • Responding to the Millennium Development Goals
  • Revising the conference structure
  • Empowering Advisory Committee of Commission Officers (ACCO) and commission activities
  • Sustaining the FIG office administration and finances.

FIG will execute these goals through the coordinated efforts of Council and commission activities. The Council will develop an action plan for implementation.


This relates to the key activities at all levels of the organisation. FIG will continually promote professional development through conferences and commission activities; capacity building and institutional development through guidelines and institutional support; and global development through cooperation with UN agencies and sister organisations. Finally, the Council will strengthen the links between the global agenda (“flying high”) and individual surveyors (“keeping our feet on the ground”)

  • Professional development
    FIG will continually provide a global forum for discussion and exchange of experiences and new developments between member countries and individual professionals in the broad areas of surveying and mapping, spatial information management, and land management. This relates to FIG annual conferences, regional conferences, and the work of the ten technical commissions within their working groups and commission seminars. The Council will ensure that this global forum offers opportunities to take part in the development of all aspects of surveying practice and the various disciplines including ethics, standards, education and training, and the total range of professional areas.

  • Capacity building and institutional development
    The Council will establish a Task Force to deal with Institutional and Organisational Development in surveying and land administration. The Task Force will provide guidelines for building the capacity of national mapping agencies, national surveying associations and survey companies to meet the challenges of the future. The Council will also provide institutional support to individual member countries or regions with regard to developing the basic capacity in terms of educational programmes and professional organisations.
  • Global development
    FIG will continually provide a global forum for institutional development through cooperation with international organisations such as the United Nations and its agencies (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA), the World Bank, and international non-governmental organisations such as our sister organisations (International Association of Geodesy (IAG), International Cartographic Association (ICA), International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association GSDI). The cooperation will include a whole range of activities such as joint projects and joint policy making. The Council will ensure that this leads to joint efforts in addressing topical issues on the international political agenda, such as the reduction of poverty and the enforcement of sustainable development.
  • Linking the global agenda and individual surveyors
    The Council will serve the needs of our member associations, other members and individual surveyors and make sure that they benefit from our global activities and from the work of the technical commissions. This should be enhanced through an increased dialogue with member associations with a focus on explaining the relevance and importance of global activities as a basis for developing the capacity and societal status of surveyors at national and local levels.


The ongoing dialogue between Council, the commissions and member associations is of vital importance for FIG. This relates to all levels of FIG activities. The Council will ensure that this dialogue is continued and enhanced for the benefit of the global standing of the surveying profession. The Council will also strive to increase our member base and promote the benefits of being a member of FIG.

  • Promoting the benefits of being a member
    The benefits of membership in FIG include issues such as international recognition and enhancement of the profile of the surveying profession; access to the international surveying community for exchange of experiences and new developments; and opportunities through the commission working groups to take part in the development of all aspects of surveying practice and professional issues. The Council will promote these benefits by all available means.
  • Increasing the membership base
    The Council will strive to increase the FIG membership base by approaching potential new members and explaining the benefits of being a member of the global surveying community. Key regions in this regard are India, Central Asia, Central Africa and parts of Latin America.
  • Ongoing implementation of the information and communication policy
    Sufficient, timely, and readily accessible information and communication is vital for FIG to ensure an ongoing dialogue with member associations. The FIG website is the key means in this regard. The Council will initiate an evaluation of the current website to make it even more informative and easily accessible. The Council will also review the current FIG information and communication policy that includes other means such as newsletters, President’s letters, annual reports, FIG publications, etc., and prepare a more attractive and informative FIG brochure explaining about the organisation and its activities. The Council will also support efforts to establish an online peer reviewed FIG Journal.
  • Establishing a forum for mapping agency chief executives
    The Council will consider establishing a special forum at FIG Working Weeks and Congresses aiming at chief executives of national mapping and cadastral agencies commencing at the 2010 FIG Congress. This should ensure a focus on organisational issues relevant to this group of participants.
  • Establishing a forum for corporate members
    The Council will consider appointing an FIG ambassador for corporate members to increase the base of sponsorship at all levels of activity and establish a special forum for corporate members during FIG conferences.
  • Including students and young surveyors
    The Council will develop a policy for better integrating students and young surveyors into FIG activities. This should include easy access to the FIG conferences, and special sessions related to students and young surveyors.


FIG is now a truly global organisation based on the direct election of Council members from all regions of the world. The Council will strive to ensure a truly global representation at all levels of governance and at all FIG events. In this regard the term “global” covers both regional and cultural diversity.

  • Encouraging global representation in Council and commission officers
    The Council will encourage global representation in the Council as well as among Commission officers. This should reflect both regional and cultural diversity and ensure that FIG is governed and recognised as a truly global organisation. At the same time the election process should be fully democratic and aim to find the persons most suitable for the positions. The Council will strive to facilitate this process of maturing the organisation in a thoroughly global perspective.
  • Encouraging global distribution of and representation at FIG conferences
    The Council will strive to ensure that the FIG conferences are distributed in a way that reflects the truly global perspective of the organisation. The Council will also encourage a more global representation at the conferences with a special focus on facilitating an increased participation from developing countries.
  • Interacting with regional organisations and respecting cultural diversity
    The Council will increase interaction with regional surveying organisations sharing similar aims and objectives as FIG. Such organisations may relate to geographical regions or cultural background. This approach should increase the overall standing of the surveying profession at all levels. The Council will also consider appointing FIG Regional Ambassadors where appropriate to implement this approach.


The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) form a blueprint agreed to by all of the world’s states and the world’s leading development institutions. The MDGs represent a powerful concept towards development, security and human rights for all. These goals are now placed at the heart of the global agenda.

Surveyors play a key role in this regard in terms of providing some of the fundamental preconditions for development. FIG will identify its role in this process and spell out areas where the global surveying profession can make a significant contribution. Issues such as tenure security, pro-poor land management, and good governance in land administration are all key issues to be advocated in the process of reaching the MDGs. Modern surveying technologies offer good opportunities for FIG’s technical commissions to contribute in this process. Measures such as capacity assessment, institutional development and human resource development are all key tools in this regard as well. FIG and the world wide surveying profession have already contributed in many ways to the implementation of the MDGs. However, a more focused approach is needed if FIG is going to present a clear profile in contributing to this global agenda.

  • Developing an FIG policy on the MDGs in cooperation with the UN agencies and the World Bank
    The Council will establish a UN Liaison Committee chaired by the President to bring together expertise to analyse, explain, and present an FIG response to the MDGs. The Committee will cooperate with UN agencies and especially the World Bank in developing an FIG policy document and a strategy for implementation of necessary actions. The policy should also help the world better understand the important contribution of the global surveying community in providing the basic conditions for social, economic, and physical development.
  • High level FIG/WB conference in 2008 to promote the FIG global profile in this area
    The Council will develop a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Bank that will outline the common interests and future cooperation between the two parties. On this basis the Council will liaise with the World Bank to establish a high level joint conference to be held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC, USA, in November 2008. The conference will present FIG and World Bank policies in this area and further develop common efforts on achieving the MDGs with a special focus on capacity building in land administration and good governance.


The FIG conference structure is a major concern in terms of possible overload and also allocating the necessary financial and human resources. The concept of having two conferences every year is too demanding in this regard. The Council will therefore implement the following structure:

  • Even years: Major conference such as the FIG Congress or a major Working Week
    The FIG congresses are held every four years on even years. Given the size of the congress there is then no capacity to have a regional conference the same year. Likewise, in even years between the congresses a major Working Week should be held e.g. in cooperation with a sister organisation or a UN agency.
  • Odd years: Working Week and regional conference in partnership with the UN organisations
    In odd years normal Working Weeks will be held. This will be complemented by a regional conference, normally held in a developing country, and having a more targeted approach related to the problems of that specific region.
  • Council initiated expert symposia on topical issues e.g. linked to national events
    The Council will ensure that the conference structure is further complemented by various expert symposia focusing on specific themes and linked to national or sub-regional events.


The work of the commissions is the very heart of FIG activities. The Council will support this work by all available means. The Council will ensure that the Advisory Committee of Commission Officers (ACCO) is an empowered and innovative forum for professional development and strategic enhancement of FIG activities. This also includes issues such as the quality of the technical programme at conferences and the opportunity for having papers peer reviewed and published in an FIG Journal.

  • ACCO as a dynamic forum for strategic advice and professional development
    The Council will facilitate and support the potential of the forum of the commission chairs and ensure an innovative dialogue with the Council. ACCO will be chaired by an appointed Council member in cooperation with the ACCO representative in the Council. ACCO meetings will also include time allocated for discussions with the President.
  • Enhancing the profile of the technical programme at the conferences including peer reviewed papers
    The Council will encourage an enhancement of the quality of the technical programme e.g. by establishing key sessions within each commission with selected or invited high profile speakers. The Council will also encourage the establishment of a peer review system that allows for the possibility of getting papers peer reviewed based on academic standards. These measures will be balanced to ensure FIG conferences are still a forum for both academic and professional presentations.
  • Establishing an online FIG journal
    The Council will support efforts to establish an online FIG Journal for publishing peerreviewed papers. The format and profile of such a journal is to be further discussed with ACCO and FIG Academic Members.
  • Establishing Task Forces to deal with inter-commission activities and policy implementation
    The Council will establish Task Forces to deal with relevant inter-commission activities especially in response to external requests and demands. e.g. the Council will establish a Task Force to deal with the FIG contribution to the UN-Habitat agenda on a Global Land Tools Network. This Task Force will include contributions from a range of commissions and especially 7, 8 and 9. The aim is to develop substantial input in this area to be launched at the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum in Nanjing, November 2008.


The Council considers that the FIG Office, after the re-organisation of the office administration and the move to new premises, is functioning well. In the future services provided by the Office will be considered against resources, activities and new income generated through organising FIG events. During this term of office the Council will consider how FIG can be developed into a more self-financed organisation independent of the hosting member association. The Council will perform annual reviews of the FIG Office.

  • Administration
    The Council will allocate appropriate resources to the FIG Office to enable it to respond to the requirements set out in the work plan. The Council will also ensure that the services provided by the Office reflect the resources available. The FIG Office is currently hosted by DdL in Copenhagen free of charge. As a longer-term strategy, the Council will prepare for FIG to become fully economically independent. This process depends on the success of generating more revenue from FIG events.
  • Finance
    The Council will strive to ensure that the financial reserves become at least 1.5 times the annual expenditure of the Federation in order to guarantee the continuing operation of the FIG Office. To achieve this aim the Council will commit to only small increases in the membership fees to secure the current service level. The increases in financial reserves should be funded by increased sponsorship and by generating other sources of revenue including increased income from FIG conferences. The strategy of supporting countries with low or low-middle income economies will be continued and enhanced by various means.
  • Meetings
    Council meetings will take place at regular intervals, at a minimum of three times a year including meetings during the FIG conferences. Additional meetings will be organised by email or by teleconferences.
  • Events
    • FIG XXX General Assembly and Working Week, Hong Kong SAR, China, 13-17 May 2007
    • 6th FIG Regional Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica, 12-15 November 2007
    • FIG XXXI General Assembly and Working Week, Stockholm, Sweden, 14-19 June 2008
    • FIG XXXII General Assembly and Working Week, Eilat, Israel, 3-8 May 2009
    • 7th FIG Regional Conference, in the second half of 2009. Venue and dates to be decided in 2007
    • FIG XXIV Congress and XXXIII General Assembly, Sydney, Australia, 9-16 April 2010

In addition FIG will organise or co-sponsor joint conferences and seminars together with other international organisations. The ten technical commissions will also organise their annual meetings, seminars, and symposia. All these events will be announced on the FIG web site.


The individual responsibilities of the members of the Council for 2009-2010 as follows.

President Stig Enemark

  • provide the professional and strategic leadership of the Federation
  • take appropriate initiatives to ensure that the Federation achieves its principal objectives as laid down in the statutes and defined within the plan of work
  • clarify and communicate a future vision for the Federation and oversee the development of the Federation’s strategic plan
  • promote the Federation to external agencies and ensure the coordination of the Federation’s relations with such agencies
  • recommend and ensure the appointment of task forces to undertake specific tasks which are not within the ambit of the commissions or to assist the work of the Council
  • consult the General Assembly whenever a question arises outside the administrative powers of the Council submit a written report to each meeting of the General Assembly.

Vice President Dalal S. Alnaggar

  • be responsible for co-operation with students, young surveyors and under-represented groups
  • lead on links with member associations within Arab countries and cooperation with the Arab Union of Surveyors
  • develop the Federation’s information policy and quality of FIG events
  • co-operate with other international and with regional bodies according to the decisions of the Council, especially UNESCO
  • chair and participate in task forces as appropriate
  • report as required to meetings of the General Assembly.

Vice President Iain Greenway

  • be responsible for financial strategy and its implementation based on the guidelines given by the Council, advice the FIG office on finance issues, presentation and reporting back to the General Assembly on finance issues, and negotiation on salaries and issues related to the office staff in cooperation with the President
  • be responsible for implementing the new office structure
  • provide the link between the Federation and the FIG Foundation
  • prepare and coordinate the FIG Journal together with the President and the Chairperson of ACCO
  • providing a link with national mapping organisations, heading towards the Director General Forum in Sydney
  • co-operate with other international and with regional bodies according to the decisions of the Council
  • continue on developing the capacity building policies and chairing the Task Force on Institutional and Organisational Development
  • report as required to meetings of the General Assembly.

Vice President Matt Higgins

  • chair the Advisory Committee of Commission Officers together with the ACCO representative
  • ensure that commission chairs develop their plans of work for inclusion in the Federation’s work plan
  • ensure that commission chairs implement tasks assigned to them in congress resolutions and included in their work plans
  • ensure that commission chairs deliver high quality technical programmes at the FIG events
  • ensure liaison as required between the commissions together with the ACCO representative
  • ensure liaison between the Council and the local organizing management committee of FIG Congress 2010 as agreed with the President
  • lead on links with member associations within Australia and the Pacific
  • co-operate with other international and with regional bodies according to the decisions of the Council, especially UN OOSA
  • chair and participate in task forces as appropriate
  • report as required to meetings of the General Assembly.

Vice President Teo CheeHai

  • develop the policies and practical approaches related to implementing regional structures such as the ASEAN FLAG
  • be responsible in policy areas of mutual recognition and professional ethics, etc. and develop the website information in support of implementing such policies
  • lead on links with member associations within South East Asia and Asia and to engage allied regional bodies
  • chair and participate in task forces as appropriate
  • co-operate with other international and regional bodies according to the decisions of the Council
  • report as required to meetings of the General Assembly.