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News & opinion

5 MAR. 2018

RICS brings global land measurement standards to World Bank gathering

RICS will use the influential platform at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference in Washington D.C. to canvass for further input on the ground-breaking International Land Measurement Standards (ILMS).

RICS is part of a coalition of more than 30 international not-for-profit organisations developing ILMS. ILMS is the first truly global benchmark for classifying, defining, measuring and reporting land information. Its goal is to improve the level of security of land tenure across the world and enable fair compensation during large-scale land acquisition.  

From 19-24 March, RICS will join government, academic, NGO and private sector groups at the annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference in the US capital. The annual meeting is one of the largest gatherings of experts focussed on issues of land. Last year, more than 1,300 global representatives attended.   

Developing the first global land standard

Historically, levels of land ownership and tenure security vary enormously from country to country. Some countries do not currently have formal, embedded systems and up to 70% of land rights remain unregistered, according to the human settlements agency of the United Nations (UN), UN-Habitat. This means that even though there is ownership of a piece of land, the legitimate owner’s ‘rights’ over that land are not recognised in a formal system of land administration.

"Land and its effective use is a keystone of economic and infrastructure development, which is why we’ve collaborated with other international professional bodies to develop global transparent benchmarks aimed at bringing security of land tenure to millions of citizens around the world. Where land rights are not formally recorded or known, we see cases of misappropriation, restricted economic opportunities, land disputes and a range of other political, legal and financial risks. By coming together to deliver on a public service mandate, we aim to produce a standard consisting of high level principals with a real-life application at community level," said James Kavanagh, RICS Global Land Standards Director.

Kavanagh will be at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference in Washington, D.C. to seek input from various international stakeholders and land professionals. Land governance is a prominent feature of the UN’s “Agenda 2030” and its Sustainable Development Goals. It is also a pillar of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda – a global framework on city planning and management to support sustainable urbanisation.