CASLE Newsletter No. 30 March 2007


  1. President’s Pen
  2. Foreward
  3. Reports from the Regions
  4. Back to Basics
  5. Commonwealth News
  6. World Urban Forum III
  7. Book Review
  8. Forthcoming Events

We are sending all member associations ten copies of the newsletter, which we hope will be distributed to members. We know that in many cases more members would like to have a copy but the cost of producing and sending the extra copies would be more than CASLE can afford at this time. May we suggest that where possible members are asked to photocopy and pass the copies around their association so that as many people as possible can see what is happening with CASLE today.

It would not have been possible to organise many events without the support of the Commonwealth Foundation and we would like to acknowledge with grateful thanks their continued financial assistance.

1. President’s Pen

Brian J Coutts

In June the University of Otago in New Zealand and CASLE supported my attendance at the World Urban Forum (Habitat III) in Vancouver. The event was of world proportions, attracting over 9,600 delegates from all corners of the world. The status of the event to Canada was emphasised by the attendance of the Prime Minister himself, and the opening included the provincial government, the Mayor of Vancouver and the ‘heavies’ from UN-Habitat including Anna Tibaijuka and many other UN officials.

While progress is being made, the problems of poverty and its health issues, along with inadequate access to the ownership (tenure) of land remain huge issues in the most populous parts of the globe. A report on the Forum appears elsewhere in this Newsletter.

I was able to continue my travels to London where the CASLE officers had arranged a ‘Presidential Lecture’ and diplomatic reception. My topic was the way in New Zealand that we had tackled planning processes through legislation relating to the planning and resource management consents. Commonwealth High Commissioners were well represented, as were other professions, old and new friends of CASLE, and the Commonwealth Foundation. The event was held in the Great George Street rooms of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in London and has generated favourable follow-ups and discussion.

Planning is well developed for our next General Assembly in Christchurch and you will find promotional information elsewhere in this Newsletter. It is conjoined with the 6th Trans Tasman Surveyors Conference and a South East Asian Congress. The Trans Tasman will involve both the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and the Australian Spatial Sciences Institute in a combined event that has been running biennially for 10 years, and adds to this the ASEAN_FLAG four yearly congress. Two FIG commissions will also be joining us. This will make the combined event the largest conference with the widest range of nations represented ever to be held in New Zealand – a truly unique event as all of these agencies meet in New Zealand’s Garden City of Christchurch in October/November of 2007.

I sincerely hope that the insecurities and risks of international travel will have subsided and that as many of you as possible can join us in our very special New Zealand atmosphere. A programme of international standing is assured with the broad variety of participants we will attract.

I realise that this is very early to be making such statements but it will be the last opportunity to do so before the year rushes to an end – so I wish all of you a peaceful and secure festive season with those closest to you, and the opportunity to prosper as 2007 unfolds such that you can join us in Christchurch at the end of October.

Brian J Coutts

The President’s Lecture

Brian Coutts, President of CASLE delivered the President’s Lecture, at The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on Tuesday 27 June.

The Guest list included High Commissioners, Deputy High Commissioners and Attaches from Fiji, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sri Lanka and Cyprus.

There were representatives from the Commonwealth Secretariat, The Commonwealth Foundation, Friends of the Commonwealth, the Royal Overseas League and from other Commonwealth Associations including colleagues from Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth (BEPIC)

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors was well represented by two Vice Presidents and the Chief Operating Officer.

There were also representatives from the Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, MAP Action, AMREF UK, and consultants from companies connected with the built environment.

Organisations closely associated with CASLE were also well represented, including The Commonwealth Housing Trust, The Aubrey Barker Fund, Survey Review and CASLE Europe Group

Dr Clifford Dann, CASLE Europe President gave the vote of thanks to CASLE President, Brian Coutts for his enjoyable and informative presentation.

Dr Dann also took the opportunity to receive a cheque for £2000 from Geoffrey Wright, Hon Treasurer of ARBRIX (dispute resolution group). Dr Dann also thanked ARBRIX on behalf of CASLE for their generous sponsorship of the new CASLE Dispute Resolution Manual.

A drinks reception was held at The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors after the Presidential Lecture.

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2. Foreward

We are delighted to announce that CASLE has been granted ‘Special Consultative Status’ at a recent Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

CASLE will be permitted to indicate this new status with the following wording on the letterhead:

‘NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations’

The effect of this new status is that CASLE may now designate official representatives to:-

a.the United Nations
b.the United Nations Headquarters in New York
c.the United Nations Offices in Geneva and Vienna.

The regular presence of CASLE representatives will allow us to ‘implement effectively and fruitfully the provisions for this consultative relationship’.

Organisations such as CASLE that are in consultative status will be expected to submit quadrennial reports on their activities. The first report covering the period 2006 and 2009 will be required by the Committee in 2010.

Every year CASLE will receive a ‘Calendar of United Nations meetings open to participation by or of special interest to NGOs in consultative status’.

We are looking forward to a productive relationship with ECOSOC!

Susan Spedding
Administrative Secretary

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3. Reports from the Regions

3.1 Africa

3.1.1 Tanzania

CASLE conference on promoting sustainable land management in Africa, Bagamoyo, Tanzania, 14-17 March 2006. Report by Dr Clifford Dann

A highly significant event took place at Bagamoyo, Tanzania, from 14-17 March 2006. The theme was Promoting Sustainable Land Management in Africa, and the conference attracted 211 delegates from 14 countries - 8 African, 4 European, Malaysia and Canada. The organisers were CASLE, UN-Habitat and AfRES, with the Institute of Surveyors Tanzania and the Tanzanian Institute of Valuers and Estate Agents as co-hosts. Considerable support was given by the Government of Tanzania.

The purpose of the Conference was to bring together the experts in surveying, land economy and related professions of the Commonwealth countries to share experiences and learn from one another about the ways in which land, as a resource, can improve the well-being of people in the respective countries; one of the key outputs of the Conference being the promulgation of resolutions and methodologies for policies on land utilization for poverty alleviation and addressing problems arising from the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The objectives were to

The sub-themes were:

In addition, reports were given on issues emerging from dialogues of:

The guest of honour at the opening session was the Hon. John Pombe Magufull, Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development. Attention was drawn to problems facing Tanzania, summarised in four categories, namely:

The Minister called for resolutions to be put before African governments covering the following:

  1. There must be radical departure from the existing land tenure systems aimed at improved conditions of land ownership to promote sustainable livelihood of the majority of the people;

  2. Women and children especially in rural areas should indiscriminately be part of the land ownership schemes;

  3. Serviced land should be easily accessible to the poor using transparent delivery systems that subsume inbuilt systems to curtail incidents of conflicts;

  4. The rate of land delivery should be commensurate with the urban population growth to counter the development of informal settlements;

  5. Private housing schemes be encouraged in urban areas by providing appropriate infrastructure and ensuring that the schemes take into account the affordability by majority;

  6. Property ownership schemes in rural areas and development of labour be sustained by containing the scourge of HIV/AIDS;

  7. Land, as a commodity, be transacted, mortgaged, etc. in the interest of eradicating poverty, and the land sector, among others, lead to stimulate poverty reduction in rural areas;

  8. Land and property rates be streamlined to ensure that the poor and the pensioners enjoy ownership without undue harassments;

  9. Applicants, without undue stress, meet costs of titling and registration, which can be prohibitive in terms of time and resources.

A significant keynote address was given by Dr Clarissa Augustinus, who referred to the launch of the Global Land Tenure Network (GLTN). This would facilitate the development of innovative, pro-poor, inclusive and affordable land tools. The full text of the UN-Habitat statement appears elsewhere in this Newsletter.

In all 51 papers were presented, after which five discussion groups were formed to create workshops covering all the sub-themes.

The deliberations in the workshop groups did indeed lead to many conclusions and recommendations, and these are set out below in tabulated form. They throw out challenges to governments and professionals alike, and emphasise the role that members of CASLE have to play.




Land delivery

1. Embrace ICT to simplify land titling and registration process

Make land delivery timely and cost effective

Land rights

2. Recognise the existence of informal settlements in urban areas

Ensure that planning processes take into account affected people and at same time conserve the environment

Land management

3. Re-define the whole gamut of land management

Equitable access to land tenure for all people; ensure sustainable user satisfaction

Land records

4. Governments to invest in surveying and mapping as a strategy to inventory all land

Comprehensive, accessible and easily retrievable records as part of integrated land information system (LIS)


5. Scale up investment in both revenue mobilisation and infrastructure delivery

Exploit fiscal potential of urban land

Land as a commodity

6. Create structures and encourage disadvantaged communities in the use of land; provide adequate compensation when land rights revoked; minimise revocation of land rights

Assist with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enhance alleviation of poverty, and all property rights to be respected

Informal settlements

7. Implement short, medium and long-term schemes and strategies, inclusive of urban renewal and conservation

Mitigate the informal settlement development cycle


8. Put in place structures and strategies for acquisition of land for orphanage centres/shelter, food and education for vulnerable communities

Help to meet the UN-Habitat Agenda, recognising the link between development, health and education

Promoting private investment

9. Encourage the private sector to supplement government efforts to provide housing and infrastructure

Arrest the deterioration of housing and infrastructure delivery

Capacity building and research

10. Recognise the role of professional institutions to develop quality academic programmes, maintain standards, help form research partnerships, and provide continuing professional development

Bring the development process to the highest possible level and contribute to capacity building

This demonstrates just how much there is to be done by governments, CASLE and other agencies alike, and provides a formidable agenda for future action.

The challenges were eloquently summarised at the Closing Session by guest of honour Dr Christine Ishengoma, Regional Commissioner, Coast Region.

After referring to means of improving conditions of sustainable livelihood, action to avoid unplanned settlements and the mushrooming of slums, affordable housing, HIV/AIDS and poverty issues, and education, the Commissioner concluded with these stirring words:

“I would like to call on all of you and your institutions to strive to make meaningful research, which should be disseminated to the relevant sectors and the community so that everybody can realize the benefits of Land Economy.”

Special thanks go to Regional President Mr Cyprian Riungu and to all who took part, notably to the organising committee, headed by Prof. Simon Ndyetabula and Mr Eugene Silayo without whose energy and determination the conference would not have been possible.

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3.1.2 Zambia

Livingstone Conference
2-5 May 2007
Venue: Zambezi Sun International

Following the highly successful conference in Tanzania last March on Sustainable Land Management in Africa, plans are now in place for a follow-up event as a joint Africa/Europe regional conference.

The theme will be “Housing, Health and Social Infrastructure”, and there will be particular emphasis on:

In addition to support from the Commonwealth Foundation, the event will be in conjunction with The Copperbelt University and the African Real Estate Society.

The organiser, Mr Nalumino Akakandelwa, would be pleased to hear from those interested in sponsorship, attendance, presentation of papers, logistical support or helping the local organising committee.

Enquiries to Susan Spedding at the CASLE office:
Tel +44(0)117 328 3036; e-mail:


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3.1.3 UN Habitat Statement

Statement from UN-Habitat at the Casle Africa Region conference on promoting sustainable land management in Africa

By Clarissa Augustinus

UN-HABITAT is encouraging Member States, professional bodies, NGOs, donors and all individuals to develop new pro poor land tools to be able to deliver security of tenure to the poor. I will first speak about the context for these tools and then about the Global Land Tool Network we are launching and the pro poor land tools which partners think need prioritization. We as UN-HABITAT congratulate both the organizers of the meeting, and the speakers, for the focus on this important subject. We are always keen to work with CASLE for this reason.

The Context

The subject of land in Africa is both a critical and a sensitive one. UN-Habitat’s global mandate covers all human settlement, although we are often known as the agency for cities. In the cities of the developing world, slum upgrading is one of our key tasks where security of tenure and land are of critical concern.

In 2001, 924 million people, almost one-third of the world’s urban population, lived in slums. The majority of these people are in the developing regions, accounting for 43 percent of the urban population. Sub-Saharan Africa had the largest proportion of the urban population living in slums in 2001 at over 70 percent. It is projected that without serious mitigating action in the next 30 years, the global number of slum dwellers will double to about 2 billion.

Mechanism for Gendering Land Tools

There is now widespread recognition that despite the well established international and national principles promoting women’s rights to property, increasing awareness and resources devoted to their realisation, as well as political will driving implementation strategies, women’s property’s rights remain largely illusory. Without effective gendered land tools, the dismal situation with regard to women’s access to property is certainly going to continue. We are committed to the Millennium Development Goals, but without tools we are not going to reach our targets. The Global Land Tools Network (GLTN), which facilitates the development of innovative, pro-poor, inclusive and affordable land tools, has therefore prioritised gender tools. Every land tool must be gendered. In my brief presentation, I will outline how the GLTN is seeking to provide a framework for gendering land tools. The GLTN consultations between partners underway will lead to the presentation of the framework at the World Urban Forum in Vancouver in June this year. My objective is to seek your support and suggestions in strengthening this process.

The challenge is that existing land tools are mostly not gendered and existing gendered land tools are not scalable. Though our focus is women’s security of tenure, we recognise that engaging with the gender dynamics - namely the land relations between men and women - is critical. It is simply unacceptable to have gender neutral or gender blind land policies because we know that women’s experiences and needs are distinctive, as are the obstacles they face in accessing their land rights. Therefore, GLTN emphasises on ‘active’ and ‘effective’ land tools that are generated through the participation of women at every stage of the tooling process. We know that there are community based or local gendered land tools, but GLTN seeks to add value through strengthening social tenure and translating it into secure legal tenure which is recognised by the land agency thereby giving rise to rights and remedies. We will also pilot any scalable gendered community tools.

Land tools are generated primarily through fours sources:

  1. There are the community organisations and women’s grassroots groups who are closest to the lived experience and therefore spontaneously create responses and tools. These groups are significant because they are able to mobilise, monitor and implement tools.

  2. There are the professional tool developers whose positionality, expertise and resources in developing land tools cannot be overestimated. They are after all the professionals whose tools are recognized and integrated into land management systems.

  3. There are the policy makers and decision makers who make assumptions about tools in designing implementation strategies. They are critical because they the implementers, enforcers and provide institutional and political impetus.

  4. There are expert bodies- developments agencies, academics and consultants who have experience in developing gender tools cross-sectorally. They are a valuable resource.

GLTN seeks to bring together all stakeholders and these four vital players in a mission to systematically genderise land tools.

We are starting from virtually zero level because we really do not know what gender land tools exist and work or how to genderise these tools. What we have seen is ad hoc initiatives which though well meaning are contingent on specific conditions and not sustainable. Therefore, we are setting out to create an engendered tooling methodology based on agreed principles, rights and values through a well thought process. It is not possible to approach gender tools in isolation, for the process is intertwined with challenging patriarchal attitudes, social structures and obstacles to women’s empowerment. Therefore, gender sensitisation of land policies, practices and approaches through gender mainstreaming is imperative. We need to consider how all segments of the land profession and industry- one that is greatly resistant to gender inputs- can be made to respond effectively to the challenge of genderising land tools. For this we need better gender disaggregated data, which is lacking in relation to land statistics. Innovative and participative information gathering methods, for example through community mapping are important but we need clear methodology and guidelines in order that such data can be well formatted and used in formal processes to guarantee women’s security of tenure.

Gendered analysis and social assessment using a range of methods- desk reviews, interviews, focus group discussions, case studies, trend analysis, social mapping, stakeholders consultations- and involving all stakeholders is vital. This process is important but it must be efficient, targeted, action oriented and affordable. Through gender analysis it will be possible to develop a framework through values, principles and objectives, which can facilitate an inventory of existing land tools. The next phase of evaluation of land tools will concentrate on which existing tools are gendered or capable of being gendered and which of them are scalable and how this can be done. Through this, we will be able to identify ‘gaps’ in gendered tools and facilitate the development of effective tools. That leads us to the challenge of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of these tools.

The mechanism for genderising land tools is thus a systematic, rigorous, participative and targeted progression for which we must construct a road map, critical self-assessments, milestones and timelines. Therefore, we are developing strategies aimed at identifying all stakeholders, financial and human resources, professional support and political will. The mechanism will by itself not be able to deliver the tools, for that is dependant on the commitment and capacity of partners and users. What we endeavour to do is to provide the guidelines, the meeting place and the impetus for a critical but hard process of building the tools through which women’s land rights and security can be guaranteed. I invite all those who share our common vision to join us and to input into this process.

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3.2 Asia Region

3.2.1 India

Mr Karan Kharb and members of the Institution of Surveyors of India are organising a seminar on ‘Causes of disputes, time and cost overrun in construction projects and remedies, with particular reference to developing countries’. The seminar is in collaboration with CASLE and Professor Dr Alan Spedding, past President of CASLE will be attending with Mrs Susan Spedding and will be presenting a paper.

Dates: Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 October 2006

Venue: The India International Centre, 40 Maxmuller Marg, New Delhi.

Cost:Students of Institution of Surveyors of India Rs 1,000/- per head

Members of Institution of Surveyors of IndiaRs 2,000/- per head

Non-members Rs 5,000/- per head

CASLE Members societiesUS$ 50 per head

Other foreign delegates US$ 100 per head

Local site seeing tours and shopping excursions will be available for accompanying persons

For further information please contact:

Shri RR Bhaskar
Manager seminar
Som Datt Builders Ltd
56-58 Community Centre
East of Kailash
New Delhi – 110 065
Tel: 91-11-6431607/8/9 (Office)
Tel: 91-11-25259023, 91-11-25283795 (Residence)
Fax: 91-11-6236373

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3.2.2 Malaysia

The Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia (ISM)

The following is the brief report of Malaysia and Singapore by the Regional President, Sr Chua Siow Leng:

ISM Principal Office Bearers For The 45th Session 2006/2007

The principal office bearers for the Session 2006/2007 are as follows:

President : Sr Noushad Ali Naseem Ameer Ali

Deputy President: Sr Hj. Abdullah Thalith Md. Thani

Hon. Secretary General: Sr Shariza Sabri

Hon. Treasurer General: Sr Ratna Mahyuddin

The Prefix ‘Sr’

Following the approval of the Registrar of Societies, all Fellows and corporate Members of ISM whose subscriptions are up-to-date may use the prefix ‘Sr’ (an abbreviation for Surveyor) before their names.

Briefing on Accreditation of Courses and Setting up of APC

A briefing, jointly organized by RICS and The Institution of Surveyors Malaysia for the first time in Malaysia, on “Accreditation of Courses and Setting up of APC” was held on 27 April 2006 at Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers, Subang Jaya. The briefing was conducted by Sr Chua Siow Leng, Chairman of RICS Malaysia Working Group and Mr. Nick Hudson, Education Development Manager – Asia Pacific, RICS Oceania.

The objective of the briefing was to create awareness in universities on the scope of accreditation by RICS. Thirty one attendees from seven Malaysian universities, The Institution of Surveyors Malaysia, Board of Quantity Surveyors Malaysia and Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Real Estate Agents were encouraged to assist universities to obtain accreditation in order to achieve international recognition and facilitate the portability of graduates for employment overseas.

Surveyors’ Alliance Asia (SAA)

The SAA held its 3rd Executive Council Meeting on 14 June 2006 in Kuala Lumpur and also its first inaugural annual function on 15 June 2006 in conjunction with the 8th Surveyors’ Congress which was held from 14 to 15 June 2006. The speakers for the SAA Event were:

8th Surveyors’ Congress

The 8th Surveyors’ Congress was successfully held on 14 and 15 June 2006 at the Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur. RICS contributed to the event and took part in an exhibition that was held in conjunction with the Congress.

The Congress was attended by about 400 participants. Day one of the Congress was generic – all about realizing visions. Renowned speakers included a well-known Malaysian ‘motivational speaker’, the Malaysian ‘Everest’ man, the Malaysian ‘South Pole’ lady and an American entrepreneur based in Singapore.

Day two had three concurrent sessions. A day of technical papers – focused on the construction and property industries. Leading experts in their fields shared their views. This was in line with expectations that professionals and businesses must continually keep abreast of latest developments.

The Congress was officiated by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Natural Resources & Environment, Malaysia.

Quantity Surveying National Convention on 4-5 September 2006 at Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers, Subang Jaya, Selangor

The Quantity Surveying National Convention (QSNC) started in 2001 and since then has become an annual affair, the 2004 series being an international event. Jointly organized by the Board of Quantity Surveyors Malaysia (BQSM), The Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia (ISM) and QS-offering universities and supported by the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) and the QS Branch of the Public Works Department (JKR), this Convention has grown steadily and incrementally to become one of the most anticipated event for Quantity Surveyors in the country.

The Quantity Surveying Programme of the School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia has this year’s honour of being one of the co-organisers which also marks its coming of age as one of the leading institutions of higher learning offering quantity surveying, having obtained accreditation by the prestigious Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recently.

The theme for this year’s Convention is “Quantity Surveying: Leading Through Innovation”.

International Symposium & Exhibition on Geoinformation 2006 from 19-21 September 2006 at Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers, Subang Jaya, Selangor

The International Symposium & Exhibition on Geoinformation 2006 (ISG2006) is an annual educational event for professional and practitioners involved in geoinformation technologies, which include Surveying & Mapping, Hydrography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Remote Sensing, image processing, automated mapping and information technology. ISG attracts leading geoinformation researchers of all fields from all corners of the globe, including geomatics, hydrography, engineering, built environment, computer science, geography, information science, mathematics, psychology, social science, marine and oceanography sciences and medical sciences. ISG2006 will feature exciting technical programmes, consisting of keynote addresses, parallel sessions, exhibition and a social programme. The objective of ISG2006 is to allow researchers and practitioners to address their findings and views, exchange knowledge and experiences and explore new research directions.

The theme “Empowering The Changing World Through Geoinformation Technologies” reflects the fact the surveying, mapping and the management of geospatial data into useful information, can empower the people and organizations towards informed decisions of this changing world. The symposium will focus on basic research findings, innovative spatial solutions and products for facilitating various decision-making processes involving all sectors of the geoinformation technologies.

10th Pacific Association Of Quantity Surveyors (PAQS) Congress

The Congress was successfully hosted by the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers on 21 to 24 May 2006 at Marina Mandarin Singapore. It presented an excellent opportunity for participants namely, Quantity Surveyors, Cost Engineers, Project Managers, Estate & Property Managers and other real estate and construction professionals, to collaborate their efforts in advancing the new geographical frontier in globalization and technological frontier in re-engineering. The theme was “Advancing New Frontiers”.

14th Asean Valuers Association (AVA) Congress

The ASEAN Valuers Association was constituted in June 1981 with five founding members namely, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The objectives of AVA are to promote closer relations, co-operation and mutual understanding amongst valuers and allied professionals in ASEAN; provide organizational framework for regional co-operation in the study and research in the harmonization of relevant fields of valuation amongst ASEAN countries; and to co-operate with international, regional, national and other organizations in the furtherance of the objectives.

The bi-annual AVA Congress is the major highlight of the AVA’s calendar of events. Past congresses have received high levels of participation and support from member countries.

The 14th AVA Congress was successfully hosted by SISV from 3-5 July 2006 at Meritus Mandarin Singapore. Participants from Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam attended the Congress. This year’s theme was “Valuation In Asia”.

1st WAVO Valuation Congress

The above Congress will be hosted by SISV from 27 to 29 November 2006 at Meritus Mandarin, Singapore.

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3.2.3 Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Conference

The Surveyors Institute along with the co-sponsors, The Institute of Valuers and The Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Sri Lanka, in conjunction with CASLE and other professional bodies, proposes to arrange a conference in Colombo in June 2007 (See Conferences section for latest details).

The general theme is expected to be on the role of the surveying profession in achieving growth and sustainable livelihoods. Issues to be addressed include education, geographic and land information systems, land tenure, land use planning, and construction cost economics.

In the area of education Sri Lanka has a particular problem of considering methods and cultures vis-à-vis graduates, and the education gap between graduates and present surveyors. Overall there will be a collaborative approach involving government departments and teaching establishments, and advocacy for highest professional and technical standards.

Sri Lanka contributes to Seychelles Conference

CASLE has responded to the invitation by The Commonwealth Foundation and the Government of the Seychelles to be represented at a workshop from 9-12 October 2006 in Victoria, Seychelles. The theme is Adaptive strategies for Climate Change and Disaster in the Commonwealth.

The object of the workshop is to bring together Commonwealth civil society organisations working in relevant sectors including the environment, health and education to identify effective strategies to prepare for climate change and related disasters, and explore opportunities of working with grassroots organisations to achieve this.

In our Newsletter No. 28 details were given of the special response of members of the Surveyors’ Institute of Sri Lanka (SISL) in identifying very poor families who lost their homes in the tsunami disaster, and assisting the re-building with funds provided by the Commonwealth Housing Trust (CHT) – the UK registered charity endorsed by CASLE.

A submission was made to the Commonwealth Foundation that a member of SISL would be able to point to the practical measures which can be taken by a civil society organisation at the grassroots community level, in the wake of a major disaster for rapid building without undue bureaucratic delay. The then President of SISL Mr M Kaluthanthri, spear-headed the response, and he will be presenting a paper at the workshop. CASLE is grateful to the Commonwealth Foundation for facilitating this participation.

The significance of the action which was taken by SISL is that it was possible to ensure that houses were actually built in a timely manner without lengthy procedures. It also helped to meet the needs of the very poor by identifying really needy cases. Expertise, both professional and technical, was provided on a pro bono basis.

Special thanks are due to the members who took an active part, including Mr D D Y Abeywardhana (SISL Council member), Mr Gerald A de Silva (SISL Vice-President), Mr M Kaluthanthri (SISL immediate past-president), Mr W A Wijeyarantne (SISL President), Mr B G Karunadasa (licensed surveyor and Court Commissioner) and Mr K Kammanankada (SISL member)

The example points to opportunities that can be developed and initiatives taken by CASLE when a disaster occurs. In the particular case of Boxing Day 2004, CASLE made contact in the first week of January 2005 with SISL, and a modus operandi was in place within a few days. Funds for building the new houses were raised by CASLE endorsed charity The Commonwealth Housing Trust.

A report on the Seychelles workshop will be included in the next Newsletter.

One of the families identified by SISL

From devastation to a new beginning

Destroyed homeThe Ranjith family

The Ranjith family’s home was virtually destroyed. This shows the rebuilt house nearing completion, located in the Hambantota District. Mr Ranjith’s occupation is carrying fish on a bicycle and selling them in neighbouring villages.

(Further details and photographs can be found on the CHT website

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3.3 Atlantic Region

No report

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3.4 Europe Region

CASLE Workshop in Cyprus 30th June 2006

Land surveyors, planners, valuers and quantity surveyors assembled at the RAI Building in Nicosia, thus representing many interests and disciplines. The overall theme embraced the responsibility and role of the profession in achieving development that is sustainable.

Delegates were welcomed by Mr Koullis Talattinis (Association of Valuers and Land Economists) and a member of ETEK (Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber).

In a keynote address, the CASLE Europe Regional President, Dr Clifford Dann, referred to the first regional conference held in Cyprus in 1984, when the theme was “The role of the Surveyor in Development”. He said that the purpose of CASLE was just as relevant today as then – advocacy of techniques and best practices, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), high standards, dissemination of knowledge, publications, networking, and partnering with kindred professions; this was borne out by the current programme of activities in all of the five regions. Dr Dann also referred to the practical work achieved by CASLE’s two related charities – the Aubrey Barker Fund, which had funded the replacement of surveying equipment which had been washed away by the tsunami in Sri Lanka, and the Commonwealth Housing Trust, which was enabling surveyors there to secure the re-building of many damaged homes of the very poor. (Further details may be found on the websites and

CASLE’s priority subjects were outlined, including interaction with civil society, working with UN-Habitat and the Commonwealth Foundation, community sustainable development and pro-poor shelter, urban and regional planning, land and property administration and management, urban governance and security of land tenure. Thus CASLE had a continuing wide and humanitarian remit as well as a technical one, and Clifford Dann suggested that there was a great opportunity for members in Cyprus to look beyond its shores to provide help; especially as Cyprus is a strong member of the Commonwealth Foundation and of the UN, including FAO (food and agriculture), UNESCO (education, scientific and cultural), IBRD (international bank for reconstruction and development) and IDA (international development association).

Dr Dann then stressed the responsibility of the profession under the headings of proficiency – training and expertise, highest principles of integrity and the paramouncy of the over-arching criterion of working to the public advantage. This was the very purpose of a professional society.

The workshop then turned to the first of the three themes:

Spatial Information (SI) in Land Use Planning

Delegates were reminded that SI has become ‘big business’; Australia and North America particularly have embraced this as a new technology field for research and academia. SI acquires, manages and analyses data that has geographic, temporal, and spatial context. It develops and manages related information technology tools – e.g. aerial and satellite remote sensing imagery, the Global Positioning System (GPS), and computerised geographic information systems (GIS and LIS).

Land use in so many parts of the world had suffered and continues to suffer from resource mismanagement, corruption, disruption, pollution, malnutrition, slums, poverty and the consequences of HIV/AIDS. ‘Tools’ are needed for planning and managing the use of land; for example GIS for water utilities and other essential services, a cadastral database for revenue and city management, computerised LIS and secure tenure with systems of land registration.

Reference was then made to the recently launched UN-Habitat global land tools network. CASLE had already had input to the new campaign, particularly at its conference in Tanzania in March. Examples were given of the vital role of land use planning in city-wide spatial planning and slum upgrading, land readjustment and regional planning. In the areas of land management and administration, post-conflict, governance and regulatory frameworks, the surveyor had a part to play, and likewise in financial and land management through land tax valuations.

The second theme was:

Building cost information as a tool in financial viability appraisals

The presentation was given by Dr Kit Weddle, Hon Secretary of CASLE’s Europe committee and Board Member of the Pacific Rim Council on Urban Development.

In his talk Dr Weddle set out building cost information as a fundamental starting point for the developer, general contractor and the specialist to understand the general tone of costs in a given market. He noted however that in an increasingly fluid and internationalised market that openness of data collection and the removal of harder to understand local customs in measurements and data are increasingly important. This is so as to assist the sustainable push toward globalisation of the profession and facilitate cross border cost comparisons.

As illustration of this he discussed a case study of a Japanese entrant into the European budget business hotel market – and their difficulties in basing clear commercial decisions on hard to consider data which is not directly relevant to their own rather unique business model.

In considering new trends that are entering the market place, he emphasised the need for data to be open to easier re-interpretation so as to assist and facilitate new construction models, stressing that these are where the foreign investors bringing new types of property development with them will find great need. These will likely be useful consulting instructions for surveyors and land economists in the future. Dr Weddle also continued by discussing newer views, especially from East Asia on the use of deposits, split equity treatment and Real Estate Investment Trusts. Japanese REITs have just been given approval for overseas investments.

In closing Dr. Weddle focused upon the profession and what Cyprus based professionals could be doing overseas, as well as with the inbound foreign direct investor (FDI). Specifically he encouraged the Cypriot professional to seek out and secure work overseas and to work ever closer with major international FDI entities, so perhaps expanding the footprint of the Cyprus professional further into the Middle East and North Africa.

Questions were received. These focused on the mechanics of new ways to treat deposit monies in the context of the current Japanese commercial property market.

The third theme was:

Professional Ethics and Technical Standards

Ethical behaviour has always been a hallmark of a professional. However, the speaker, Mr. Brian Waldy, the Secretary General of CASLE, dealt with the subject of ethics and professional standards in the context of the phenomenon of globalisation. This recent trend had transformed the market for the services of surveyors and land economists from a disparate collection of national or even parochial markets to a global market, where the clients expected and required uniform ethical standards around the world.

International bodies such as CASLE, the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) had considered how ethical standards should be promoted and enforced on a global basis, while at the same time respecting and accommodating the local laws and customs of the country concerned.

Mr. Waldy looked at several formulations of ‘core values’ and ‘ethical principles’ which aimed to provide a universal foundation for detailed codes of ethics and he considered how the ‘public interest’ should be observed in a professional’s behaviour. In the questions that followed a number of practical points were raised which formed the basis for a more detailed discussion in the afternoon session, with particular reference to the situation pertaining in Cyprus.

The workshop resulted in high-lighting many issues calling for further study, and it was apparent that a structured conference in Cyprus in 2007 would be well supported. Topics would include the economic impact of regeneration and leisure development, water supplies and aquaculture, finance, and valuation techniques and standards. Plans will be announced on the website in due course.

Special thanks are due to Koullis Talattinis and Varnavas Pashoulis for organising a workshop that was both stimulating and of practical relevance.

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3.5 Pacific Region

See advert for the conference on ‘Developing Sustainable Societies,’a collaborative event with:

Date: 29 October – 02 November 2007
Venue: Christchurch Convention Centre, New Zealand

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4. Back to Basics

Survey Review has published a number of articles in recent years, explaining the principles underlying survey techniques and electronic equipment to help clients and students. This material is now available in CD-ROM format, allowing easy printing of the articles, their loading to an Intranet, and their use with students, The CD also contains a range of other information, including the cumulative index of Survey Review (since 1931). The CD_ROM is available at a special price of £95 to educational institutions, in countries that are members of CASLE.

Cheques should be made payable to ‘Survey Review’ and sent to the CASLE Office, details as follows:

Contact:Susan Spedding (Mrs), Administrative Secretary
Survey Review/CASLE
c/o Faculty of the Built Environment
University of the West of England
Bristol BS16 1QY, UK
Tel/Fax: 0117 328 3036

Payment must accompany all orders

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5. Commonwealth News

From Valetta to Kampala

The Commonwealth Foundation will lead and sponsor a process of civil society participation that culminates with the Commonwealth Peoples’ Forum (CPF) on the eve of CHOGM 2007 in Uganda in November. CASLE as a member of BEPIC (The Built Environment Professions in the Commonwealth) is taking an active part in the planning stage as it did for Malta in 2005. The occasion will also serve as an opportunity for members in Uganda to stage a CASLE event preceding the Forum.

A series of national consultations and a pan Commonwealth e-consultation on the CHOGM theme will be sponsored by the Foundation. The outputs from these consultations will be synthesised and presented to the Committee of the Whole (CoW). This will aim to ensure that the CoW considers civil society concerns and that key messages are referred to in the development of the draft communiqué.

The CPF will comprise a mix of plenary sessions and thematic workshops:

It will open with a plenary session that will focus on a number of presentations and discussions on the CHOGM theme.

A series of concurrent workshops on key themes will then take place over a two day period. Those workshops will spend a proportion of their time focussed on the CHOGM theme.

After the thematic workshops the CPF will reconvene in plenary. Rapporteurs from each of the workshops will give substantive feedback to the plenary.

Each workshop will also appoint a representative to participate in a committee that will draft a communiqué for submission to CHOGM. This communiqué will address the specific CHOGM theme and will draw on the thematic workshops and other sources as needed. It will be submitted to Heads together with brief reports from each of the thematic workshops.

Each workshop will also appoint a spokesperson to take part in the proposed Roundtable with Foreign Ministers at the end of CHOGM.

Themes for the workshops are now being formulated, and topics under consideration by BEPIC include infrastructure, land tenure, settlement and re-settlement planning, global warming and transparency. If any CASLE member wishes to suggest other issues, please e-mail Susan Spedding by 16th October 2006. (

New Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General

Mr Ransford Smith, a senior public servant from Jamaica, has been appointed Deputy Secretary-General (Economic) of the Commonwealth. He will succeed Mr Winston Cox of Barbados, and becomes the first Jamaican to serve as a Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General

Mr Smith is currently Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the Office of the United Nations and its specialized agencies in Geneva, Rome and Vienna. He is also Ambassador of Jamaica to the World Trade Organisation, and serves as Ambassador to a number of European countries.

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon said “I am delighted to have Ransford Smith join our team at this time of growth and challenge in the Commonwealth’s economic trade and development work.

“Last year, Commonwealth Governments pledged to substantially increase their commitments to our aid programmes. They have also mandated the Secretariat to strengthen intra-Commonwealth trade and economic linkages, in order to influence the Doha Round of world trade negotiations. Mr Smith brings all the skills and talents required for this important and sensitive work.” Said Mr McKinnon.

Mr Smith is expected to assume office in July 2006

Message from Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon
World Health Day, 7 April 2006

World Health Day addresses facts and challenges: the fact that the Commonwealth is home to 30% of the world’s population yet 60% of its maternal deaths and HIV/AIDS cases is as great a challenge as it faces. Some of the Commonwealth’s 53 members, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have health indicators which are standing still or even going backwards. It is no coincidence that these countries also have health systems that are seriously under-resourced and under-staffed – a problem increasingly compounded by a workforce cut down by HIV/AIDS, and by doctors and nurses leaving to seek a better life abroad.

All over the world, there can be no health services without trained and motivated staff to deliver them. That’s why the theme of this World Health Day and of the 2006 World Health Report – ‘Human Resources for Health’ – is so critical and so timely.

Health is labour intensive. At 60% to 80%, the proportion of expenditure spent on staff is much higher in health that in most manufacturing industries, and in many service industries. The workforce is the most important but also the least predictable aspect of planning and managing health systems.

In 2003, Commonwealth Health Ministers adopted a voluntary Commonwealth Code of Practice for the International recruitment of Health Workers. The Code is designed to protect the most vulnerable states from unmanaged migration, while also protecting the rights of the migrating health workers themselves. In turn, it has led to a number of bilateral agreements between Commonwealth countries – such as the UK with South Africa, and Canada with Jamaica – on health worker recruitment. Commonwealth countries have also developed measures – like housing allowances for doctors in Ghana, and top-ups to doctors’ salaries in Malawi – to retain health professionals and to attract back those who have left.

So ‘disaster’ is avoidable. The ideas are in place to preserve and to improve health services in developing countries. And as we strive to improve them, we pay particular tribute to the millions of dedicated health professionals, the women and men who struggle against overwhelming odds to make the right to healthcare a reality. In Mozambique, for example, there is one doctor for every 30,000 people; in the UK, one for every 600. Health professionals everywhere don’t only confront impossible workloads: they also risk their own health. Meanwhile, health professionals are front line workers in wars and natural disasters. Last year saw incredible responses from Commonwealth doctors and medical staff volunteering to help those afflicted by the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake.

There are scores of happier health stories: of polio, for instance, now almost extinct in India and Pakistan, leaving Nigeria as the last country in the Commonwealth with the disease, and hoping to be free of it by 2007. Or look at Zambia, where 65% of people subsist on a dollar a day, while the average trip to a clinic costs at least US$3. So it is extraordinarily good news that the US$4 Billion of debt relief that the country gained at the G8 Summit last July is now being used to offer free health care for people in rural areas. For millions of people on this World Health Day, the right to healthcare remains only a possibility. Our challenge is to make global healthcare a reality, even a safe assumption. We must make sure it happens.

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6. World Urban Forum III

World Urban Forum III, an international conference on urban sustainability sponsored by UN-HABITAT, took place in Vancouver, Canada, June 19-23, 2006. It was attended by 8,000 delegates representing more than 100 countries and organisations from every part of the world.

The main theme of urban sustainability was supported by three sub-themes: Social Inclusion and Cohesion, Partnership and Finance, and Urban Growth and the Environment. The extensive programme included plenary sessions, training workshops, networking events, round tables, and related cultural activities. The nine training workshops, each of three hours duration, were designed to impart professional skills to professional practitioners. A series of over 160 networking events provided participants with an informal atmosphere to build knowledge, strengthen partnerships and share ideas and best practices. Among these important sessions were the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) for the development of pro poor land tools, and a round table on Gendering Land Tools, a framework for delivering women's security of tenure.

At the Exhibition Centre a variety of government departments, NGOs and commercial firms showcased their activities and products. This attractive meeting place also offered facilities for ceremonies, lectures, informal gatherings and free internet access.

The well-organised WUF III, held in a most favourable location, must be regarded as successful and motivating. As Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said to the audience in his keynote address, the Forum "challenges you to learn and engage each other so that when you return home, you can use the ideas generated here and adapt them to the needs of your own cities and communities."

President Brian Coutts and associate member Dr Alec McEwen represented CASLE.

A full report can be downloaded from
Many of the topics identified for further action will be covered in CASLE’s “forthcoming events”

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7. Book Review

The States of a Nation:
The Politics and Surveys of the Australian State Borders

David Taylor

Available from the author at:
NSW Department of Lands
PO Box 143
NSW 2795. 2006

ISBN 0 646 45681 4. 352 pages
$45.00 AUD plus postage

A glance at the political map of mainland Australia shows the boundaries separating the individual states to consist almost entirely of meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude, thereby perhaps suggesting that this tidy if arbitrary arrangement arose from a simple division of the country into its constituent jurisdictions. In fact, the present territorial order represents an evolutionary development in which all the inter-state boundaries have undergone adjustment, to a greater or lesser extent, since their original creation.

David Taylor traces the history of British settlement in Australia, starting with the days when New South Wales occupied about half the continent from its eastern coast inland to the 135th meridian (a line shifted six degrees farther west in 1826). He describes how Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory were carved from that vast area, leaving the territory beyond it to become Western Australia. His accounts of the survey and demarcation of each inter-state boundary are especially interesting, not only for their technical detail but also for their emphasis on the dedication displayed by the early surveyors in undertaking their tasks under what were often adverse field conditions.

The eastern border of Western Australia, established in 1831 along 129º east longitude, might have been claimed as the longest meridional boundary in the world but for a subsequent small adjustment. A 1922 agreement made between the Commonwealth and the two neighbouring states adopted two points through which the boundary sections, drawn north and south respectively, intersect the parallel of 26º south latitude. As a result, a jog of about 127 metres occurs where the two lines join the parallel.

State of South Australia v. State of Victoria, an appeal case heard by the imperial Privy Council in 1914, confirms that an inter-state boundary that has been surveyed and marked by the joint action of the neighbouring governments continues to define the line even if it is later found to depart substantially from its theoretical position. It had been discovered in 1868 that the demarcation between the two states lay approximately 3.6 km west of the 141st meridian that formed their official common boundary. In rejecting South Australia's contention that the original demarcation in 1845-47 was merely provisional, Lord Moulton held that "the two Governments made with all care a sincere effort to represent as closely as was possible the theoretical boundary," that they had intended to fix the boundary on the ground and that in point of law it was so fixed. This judicial view is reflected in section 3 of the 1982 Queensland Boundaries Declaratory Act which says that each of the state's land boundaries defined by law as a parallel or a meridian is and has always been the boundary demarcated on the ground prior to the year 1900, notwithstanding any map or other document that purports to show the boundary elsewhere.

The bizarre case of R. v. Ward exemplifies the difficulty in interpreting the true location of a river boundary. In 1980 Ward shot and killed Reed who was fishing in the Murray River which separates Victoria from New South Wales. Reed's body was found with his feet in the water and the rest of him on dry land. The question was whether the crime occurred in Victoria or New South Wales, for each state imposed a different penalty at that time. An 1855 statute declared that New South Wales owned the "whole of the watercourse", an expression interpreted by the trial court as the actual stream of water. The High Court of Australia reversed that decision; it held that the top of the high south bank of the river, from which Ward fired his shot, forms the northern boundary of Victoria and that the victim met his death in New South Wales.

One might quibble that the inclusion of a chapter on the boundary between Papua New Guinea and Indonesian Irian Jaya does not accord with the book's subtitle, yet the history of that boundary is a fascinating study. Australia acquired control of the eastern part of New Guinea in two stages: first, by the transfer of the protectorate of British New Guinea (henceforth known as Papua) in 1906 and, second, by its assumption in 1914 of a League of Nations mandate over the former territory of German New Guinea. The boundary between the Australian portions of the island and the present Indonesia had been established for most of its length along the 141st meridian during the colonial era and that same line now forms the western border of the now-independent nation of Papua New Guinea.

Australia has seen no shortage of attempts to create new states within the Commonwealth, of which all but one have proved unsuccessful. The curious exception is the Hutt River Province, self-proclaimed as a principality in 1970 and consisting of almost 7500 ha situated in the interior of Western Australia about 600 km north of Perth. Since the state government declines to recognise the province it does not appear on official maps. Its many-sided exterior boundary is formed mainly by straight lines. Author Taylor does not say whether this boundary is surveyed, demarcated and maintained and, if so, how and by whom.

The States of a Nation is a well-researched, handsome publication for which David Taylor, a manager with the New South Wales Department of Lands, deserves much credit. The text is complemented by almost 100 photographs that portray politicians, administrators, surveyors and boundary marks, and by about 40 maps and boundary diagrams. This engaging, informative book provides a welcome addition to inter-jurisdictional boundary literature.

Alec McEwen

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8. Forthcoming Events

May 2 to 5 Livingstone, Zambia Joint Africa / Europe regional conference linked with AMREF, on 'Housing, Health and Social Infrastructure' (see article in section 3.1.2 for more details)
June Colombo, Sri Lanka Conference on the role of surveying profession in achieving growth and sustainable livelihoods (see article in section 3.2.3 for more details)
September Cyprus Regional Conference (details to be announced)
October 28 to November 2 Christchurch, New Zealand CASLE 11th. General Assembly and Management Board / ASEAN Flag / NZIS 5th Trans Tasman Conference
November Kampala, Uganda Pre CHOGM workshops

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