Dear Executive Director Maimounah Sharif, State Secretary Hiim, friends and colleagues!
It is a great honour for me to present some of our experiences when it comes to promoting secure and equal access to land and property in support of the 2030 Global Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We want to contribute to the “data revolution” for sustainable development, since access to timely and usable geographic data is critical to informed decision-making and monitoring of progress towards meeting the targets.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority has since long been engaged with development aid within our fields of expertise, which are geodesy and production of various maps, but also cadastre and land registration.
75 % of the World population lack any legally recognised evidence of right to the land they live on or use for production. Secure rights to land plots would radically improve the framework for poor people to invest in and improve their housing conditions.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority have been collaborating with UN-HABITAT through The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) for many years.
We consider GLTN as an important alliance of global regional and national partners contributing to improved land management and security of tenure.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority is a member of the International Advisory board which advises the GLTN steering committee on strategic and technical issues with regards to programme implementation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides financial support to GLTN, and Maria Lodin from International Services is member of the board of GLTN.
The engagement of the Norwegian Mapping Authority in development aid in this area was much extended when we in 2005 established a separate unit for development cooperation; “The Centre for Property Rights and Development”, later renamed to “International services”. The establishment of a permanent unit for development aid was supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The main responsibilities for our International services are to manage development projects rooted where we stablish maps and IT systems for property registration, spatial data infrastructure and address systems. We take care of procurement according to EU legislation, quality assurance of projects and institutional capacity building.
The biggest ever distribution and registration of land plots has taken place in former socialist countries in Europe since the fall of the communist regimes. An estimated 100 million land plots have be identified in the field and recorded on maps and in registers. During the last 20 years new public services have been established in all former socialist countries. In some of them you are now able to find very sophisticated public services. We are pleased to have contributed to some of these.
Norway and The Norwegian Mapping Authority is taking active part in UN-GGIM - the UN's expert group on geographic information management. UN-GGIM has recently developed the Integrated Geospatial Information framework (IGIF) which is closely linked to the new framework for Effective Land Administration (FELA).
We believe that this framework will be an important contribution to better utilization of geospatial information to benefit for society in many countries, also for our own country, following the guidance on nine strategic pathways to better management and utilization of geospatial information.
The Framework for Effective Land Administration (FELA) is closely aligned with IGIF and will be an important reference for further development and strengthening of land administration and land management systems.
The Norwegian Mapping Authority want to promote these frameworks actively, and give feedback to the further process of developing Country-level Action Plans, based on possible experiences from pilot countries.
The Norwegian government have recently published a “Digital strategy for Norwegian development policy” in support of the digital revolution. New technologies and digital solutions can help developing countries to achieve economic growth and improve welfare, and even to skip some developmental stages. To promote digitalisation in our areas of responsibility an initiative has been taken by the main operators of public registers in Norway to develop a concept for development cooperation.
An agreement has been signed between the Tax authority, the Business Register, Statistics Norway and the Mapping Authority on a joint commitment to a new development assistance program: «Registers for development». The four agencies have established a working group to continue the cooperation. "Register for development" is anchored our national strategy.
I want to conclude my presentation by emphasizing our desire for continued collaboration with UN-HABITAT to promote effective land administration that leads to better tenure security and contribute to smart and resilient societies.