Kadaster International supports Colombia in developing a new land administration system

On Monday 4th of December, Mathilde Molendijk and Christiaan van Lemmen from Cadastre International spoke at the Conference ´Cadastre for peace-building´, organized by the University of the Andes in Bogota.

They were invited to talk about one of the biggest challenges for Colombia after having signed the peace treaty with the Farc: The administration of property and land use rights as the first step to socio-economic development of rural Colombia. The Dutch Kadaster International is giving Colombia technical support to develop a new land administration system. 

Multipurpose cadastre

More than fifty years of conflict in Colombia have been fuelled by the lack of property rights in rural areas, where the majority of the municipalities does not have a cadastre. More than six million people have been displaced from their lands. Therefore, a key element to implementing the Colombian peace treaty will be the founding of a ‘multipurpose’ cadastre, allowing the formalisation and registration of land and property rights. 

“This will not only give legal security to land owners to do investments, but it will also provide income for the municipalities themselves,” says Javier Perez Burgos, director of the institute for Sustainable Territorial Development of the Colombian Ministry of Planning, and the first speaker of this conference. 

Tax incomes as a source of income

Important in this regard is that municipalities administer their own cadastre, which currently is being done mostly by the national land administration institution. “For many rural municipalities tax incomes from a cadastre is their only autonomous source of income. Our studies show that for every peso invested in their cadastre, a municipality will earn a revenue of 2,5 pesos. With that it is an important instrument to achieve prosperity in rural Colombia.” 

“Only 21% of the Colombian municipalities has a cadastre, making it difficult to implement the agrarian reforms from the peace treaty,” Perez Burgos continues. “The more rural, the poorer, in short. To escape from this poverty trap, it is essential to develop a cadastre as soon as possible. The Colombian government owns that to its people” 

Fit for purpose

But that´s not an easy task. “The current Colombian land administration system is time-consuming, rigid and expensive, and results in few property titles,” says Mathilde Molendijk in her presentation ´Legal security for everyone.´ 

Therefor the Dutch Kadaster International is supporting Colombia with a fast, simple and low-cost methodology for administering land: Fit For Purpose (FFP), allowing farmers to register the boundaries of their lands using a smartphone application. The goal of FFP is to map the whole country in no more than seven years. 

Molendijk: “Using the conventional method it may take a day to register a parcel, costing up to one thousand dollars. FFP allows a farmer to register two hectares in twenty minutes, for twenty euros.” 

Everybody will profit from a good land administration 

Another problem is the institutional fragmentation of the current land administration system, says Christiaan van Lemmen in his presentation about the implementation of the new cadastre. “The process now involves about 15 to 20 institutions. But that doesn’t serve the citizen, who needs an affordable, transparent service.” 

To conclude the panel discussion, organisator Salomón Kalmanovitz has a political question for the participants. “In Colombia there exists a strong opposition to rural reform. The rural elite, with a traditionally strong representation in congress, has little interest in guaranteeing land use and property right to small farmers. So far they have been able to stop any rural reform whatsoever. How do you think to establish a cadastre in this context of polarization?” 

Mathilde Molendijk: “I am aware of the huge inequality of land property in Colombia. Still I think everybody will profit from a good land administration in Colombia. So I can only hope it will be possible to convince also the opposition of the importance of this matter.” 

This article was written by Ynske Boersma

Fit-For-Purpose land administration subject on African conference

From November 8th – November 11th the ISK (Institution of Surveyors of Kenia) Regional Conference takes place in Nairobi, Kenia. During the conference Fit-For-Purpose land administration cases will be shared.

The ISK Regional Conference is an annual event organized by the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya. This year we co-host the event. The conference aims at bringing together professionals and stakeholders in the landed profession across the region as well as from the international community.

In Kenya, in Makueni county, we tested Fit-For-Purpose procedures for country implementation in close collaboration with ISK and the Government of Kenya. During the conference, this and other showcases will be shared. Showing the usability of the Fit-For-Purpose principles will help other African countries in exploring possible solutions for land conflicts

Dorine Burmanje, CEO Kadaster, the Netherlands, appointed as co-chair GGIM

UN-GGIM aims at playing a leading role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information.
Dorine Burmanje co chair GGIM

In the 7th session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) starting on the 2nd of August, Dorine Burmanje CEO of Kadaster, the Netherlands, was appointed co-chair. She was nominated by GGIM: Europe. Together with the already appointed co-chairs, mr Timothy Trainor (Americas) and mr Li Pengde (Asia/Pacific) she presides the session as well as shapes the direction of the GGIM initiative.


UN-GGIM aims at playing a leading role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and to promote its use to address key global challenges. It provides a forum to liaise and coordinate among Member States, and between Member States and international organizations.

The story of a farmer who wanted to grow apples

This film shows the importance of land administration for a solid society. At least 70% of the world’s population is vulnerable to land conflicts.
Animation film land administration

Imagine, you are a Nepalese farmer who wants to start an apple orchard on the land that belonged to your grandfather. Enthusiastically, you start planting the first few trees. You go to the bank to apply for a loan. But then they tell you that you need a certificate to proof you own the land. Even though your parents and grandparents have always worked this land, it turns out the land registry does not have this certificate.

Obtaining a certificate turns out to be more difficult than you expected, you become desperate and your family’s future becomes more uncertain every day. Why is the government making this so hard? It must be possible to simplify all this?

For 70% of the world’s population, a story like this is reality. These people are being chased from the land they have been living on for generations and generations. They are victims of conflicts over land, sometimes even resulting in death. A good land administration is the basis for a solid society. Legal certainty – knowing what belongs to whom – is of great importance. But often, the procedures to achieve this are complicated and not transparent. 

Together with the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kadaster is working on methods and technologies to make this process easier, more affordable and faster. Our ambition is land rights for all within one generation.

This animation film shows why things must change (length of film: 5 minutes).

Paperless organization

New cooperation agreement signed with the Department of Land and Surveys Jordan.

The Kadaster in Jordan (Department of Land and Surveys; DLS) has the Prime Minister's assignment of being a paperless organization by 2020. This is not easy in a society where digital documents are not yet seen as reliable. In the end an efficient and transparent digital land administration system must be in place.

Digital land administration system

A first step towards this is to digitize all archives (both deeds and maps) and to integrate the files into the existing workflow. The Netherlands' Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster) helps DLS to develop a roadmap on how they can best handle this. Because of the experience in the Netherlands and in many other countries, DLS can learn a lot from both mistakes that were made and successes that were achieved. Eventually, a manual on how to handle this huge task ahead, will be the final product of this project.

In the presence of the Dutch and Swedish Ambassador, the agreement was signed by the Director General of DLS and Suzanne Valkman, Manager for the Asia and Middle East Region of Kadaster. 


Dream project in Jordan successfully concluded

The EU Twinning project 'Closing ceremony' took place on 23 May. 'A dreamproject'.

23 May the 'Closing Ceremony' of the EU Twinning project took place. The Dutch Ambassador congratulated the Jordanian Department of Land and Surveys (DLS), the lead partner Swedesurvey and Dutch Kadaster with all the achievements and fruitful spin-off. The EU Delegation named the project: a ‘dream project’ and wished they had more of these well-running projects!

Simplify procedures en enhance capacity of employees

During the project, efforts have been made to reduce discrepancies between the cadastral map and reality on the ground, representing building information in the cadastral system, simplifying procedures and enhancing the capacity of employees. 

Less interruptions

Also, physical adjustments have been made in one of DLS's main Land Registry Offices. For example, there is now a front office and a back office, which makes sure that registrars and notaries can now work without being constantly interrupted by customers who have questions. One of the registrars spoke the memorable words: "I feel like I’m in heaven! At last, I manage to concentrate and complete the difficult files”. 

Director generals of cadastre organisations Western Balkan visit Kadaster

Director generals of 5 Western Balkan countries visit Kadaster to gain insights and knowledge in order to improve access to geo information.

From 24th until 28th April, director generals of 5 Western Balkan countries came to the Netherlands for a study visit. Their ambition is to improve access to and harmonisation of geo information in their countries. Kadaster supports them in this ambition in the SPATIAL project. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Waarderingskamer (The Netherlands Council for Real Estate Assessment) and Kadaster illustrated the Dutch situation. During discussions, knowledge and experiences were shared and exchanged.

Extensive programme

The programme of the study visit contained several presentations from Kadaster on f.i. registration of deeds, land surveying, key registers, but also about IT and the role as service provider. In The Hague, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained their strategy for the Balkan region and the Waarderingskamer elaborated on the process of real estate valuation in the Netherlands. After having the opportunity to experience the Dutch tradition of King’s Day, the programme continued on Friday with a demonstration of the registration and surveying processes at the Kadaster office in Amsterdam. In conclusion, main topics and priorities for the further execution of the SPATIAL project were determined. 
One of the directors indicated that understanding of the differences and similarities between the cadastre organisations helped to view the work from a different perspective. Another director indicated that "Kadaster's knowledge can help monitor our processes and thus prevent mistakes."

Background SPATIAL project

The study visit is part of the SPATIAL project that Kadaster executes in Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo*. SPATIAL stands for Strengthen Professional Access To Information About Land. The project is part of the MATRA-programme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through this programme, the Netherlands supports countries of the Southeast Europe with their EU accession prospects.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

SPATIAL project for the Western Balkan region

In March the first missions of a new project in the Western Balkan took place. The project purpose is to Strengthen Professional Access To Information About Land (SPATIAL) in the Balkan region. Kadaster experts will support their colleagues in the Western Balkan region.
Team of Kadaster meeting with Management Team AREC

The countries involved have the ambition to improve the access and harmonisation of geospatial information. They expressed the need for efficient policy and decision making processes with reliable authoritative geospatial information. Society in general will benefit from the transparent access to information. This contributes to a stable and sustainable relation between the citizens and the government.

The Project is part of the MATRA programme run by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within the programme the Netherlands supports countries of Southeast Europe with their EU accession prospects. 

Detailed work plans for Macedonia and Serbia

In Macedonia, Kadaster works together with the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre (AREC) on the following topics:

•    Increase the number of spatial datasets and usage of the national geoportal in Macedonia
•    Support the implementation of the Address Register
•    Develop new workflows to update and automise the production of the topographic map
•    Increase professional use of geospatial information for property transaction and valuation

In Serbia, Kadaster works together with the Republic Geodetic Authority (RGA) on the following topics:

•    Updating of the Framework on NSDI for Serbia at technical, legal, institutional and financial level
•    Increase capacity for conducting spatial and statistical data analysis and to develop models for mass valuation of property
•    Increase understanding of Key Registries 
•    Increase understanding of the Open Data concept
•    Strengthen institutional and organisational capacity on the role as service provider
•    Increase understanding on the concepts of 3D Cadastre

In March a detailed work plan for AREC and RGA was delivered and presented. The first activities will take place in April and May of this year.

SPATIAL for the region

The regional component starts in April. The director generals from the National Mapping and Cadastre Agencies from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia will visit the Netherlands.  

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Contributing to land rights for peace in Colombia

Securing land rights is among the top priorities of the Colombian Government. Kadaster is honoured to contribute and provide expertise.
minister Koenders in Colombia

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Koenders visited one of the FARC demobilisation zones in Meta in Colombia on Friday March 3. He expressed the continuous support of the Dutch Government to the peace process. Securing land rights is among the top priorities of the Colombian Government. Kadaster is honoured to contribute and provide expertise.

The Dutch-Colombian collaboration will focus on fast and effective land administration for the implementation of the peace agreements. It involves the process of handing out titles to landowners who live in areas where the Government has been absent for decades because of the internal war. Speeding up this process is essential to maintain public confidence in the peace process.


Memorandum of Understanding with the National Land Agency

Last December, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Colombian National Land Agency (Agencia Nacional de Tierras), the Dutch Government and Kadaster. The first action is implementing a participatory ‘Fit-For-Purpose’ methodology in a municipality in the department of Meta, together with all agencies involved and the local population. Fit-For-Purpose means registering land in a fast and affordable way, producing results that fit the purpose and quality needed. The pilots will deliver land titles for farmers as an important condition for development of rural areas affected by the armed conflict.

Participatory approach

The farmers themselves do much of the work: with a special app on smartphones they walk along the borders of their land to demarcate their plot. These demarcations will be shown on a digital map. When farmers of the community mutually agree on the map they have made (and there are no conflicts), this can be formalised and titles will be awarded. If there are conflicts, these conflicts will be mapped to know exactly where they are situated, as a basis for efficient conflict resolution.

European Trust fund and Dutch co-financing

The pilots are executed in the context of the programme ‘Strengthening of integrated intervention mechanisms in marginalised rural territories in Colombia’, the first programme financed by the EU trust Fund. The Dutch Government co-finances the work of Kadaster in Colombia. 

Macedonia and the Netherlands sign agreement for cooperation

The Macedonian AREC and the Dutch Kadaster signed a cooperation agreement to work on improvement on land administration.
Macedonia and the Netherlands sign agreement for cooperation

On February 26th the Macedonian Agency for Real Estate and Cadastre (AREC) and the Dutch Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency (Kadaster) signed a cooperation agreement to work on improvement on land administration.

Strengthening institutional and organisational capacity

The two institutions have been collaborating for over 10 years in multiple projects on different topics. The renewal of the cooperation agreement aims at strengthening the institutional and organisational capacity. The focus will be on the exchange of best practices in innovative areas like 3D Cadastre, automatic generalisation of topographic maps and the operational implementation of the national geoportal. On a strategic level, AREC and Kadaster will also discuss how to best address the opportunities and challenges of both organisations.

International experience

AREC and Kadaster perform similar responsibilities for the development and maintenance of efficient land administration, including the responsibilities for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure. Both organisations recognise the need to provide reliable land information services to society for the development of Macedonia.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Skopje, Macedonia, encourages the cooperation between the two organisations.

Important step for professional reliable spatial data in Macedonia

Kadaster and Agency for Real Estate Cadastre (AREC) drafted a new strategy for National Spatial Data Infrastructure in Macedonia.
First project of Kadaster and AREC in Macedonia completed.

Last week the first project under the cooperation agreement between the Macedonian Agency for Real Estate Cadastre (AREC) and Kadaster was completed. In the past 5 months colleagues from Macedonia and the Netherlands worked together to draft a new strategy for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Macedonia. 

Meeting the needs of private and public sector and citizens

According to the director of AREC, Slavce Trpeski, the updated strategy will facilitate access, sharing, use and distribution of standardized spatial data and services in an efficient, effective and coordinated manner. “The aim is to meet the needs of private and public sector and citizens, thereby contributing to economic growth and sustainable development of the country.”

Recommendations for production of topographical maps

Also a strategy report written by AREC and Kadaster was delivered with recommendations to improve the production procedures of the topographic map. The strategy report is based on the lessons learned after a visit to Kadaster in October and the input from users during a workshop in Macedonia in November. In the workshop participants could explore different tools and technologies to update and automate the production of the topographical map. 

Cooperation agreement

In February 2016 AREC and Kadaster signed a cooperation agreement to work on improvement on land administration. This first project was launched with support of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). More about the cooperation agreement

Can you solve our spatial problems? Play Move a lot!

Now available in the app-stores! Move a Lot is a puzzle game in which you re-parcel land within a certain time, solving spatial problems.
High five game figures sheep and farmer

Kadaster has launched the game Move a Lot. Move a Lot is a puzzle game in which you re-parcel land within a certain time, solving spatial problems.

The central question of Move a Lot is: How do we best manage the little space we have in the Netherlands? While playing through the game you will encounter a wide range of topics such as: agriculture, infrastructure, real estate, water, energy and nature.

The strength of area development

The game is part of our program ‘The strength of area development’. This year we look at the fact that we have been playing a role in improving land use for a 100 years. We use this as an opportunity to engage our partners in talks about the future of land development. We also want to show how the Netherlands is developing spatially and raise awareness.


Take a look at our trailer

You can download Move a Lot in the Apple app store and Google Play store.

Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration - Guiding Principles for Country Implementation

GLTN and Kadaster publish the ‘Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration - Guiding Principles for Country Implementation’

We are pleased to share with you a new publication, Fit-For-Purpose Land Administration - Guiding Principles for Country Implementation, published by UN-Habitat/Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and Kadaster.
This publication is primarily designed to allow a range of stakeholders in developing countries to understand the overall Fit-For-Purpose approach to land administration and to recognise the benefits of adopting this approach.

The idea behind ‘Fit for purpose’ is that land administration should be designed to meet the needs of people and the environment. It also should identify the way land is occupied and used within a relatively short time and at relatively low costs.
Authors of the Guide are Stig Enemark, Robin McLaren and Christiaan Lemmen.

Download the Guide at the GLTN website.