Symposium reveals power of land consolidation for sustainable development

“No Pokémon in Apeldoorn, but there are enough treasures to be found”. That was the opening statement of Dorine Burmanje, chair of Kadaster, during the Symposium on Land Consolidation and Land readjustment for Sustainable Development.
Symposium reveals power of land consolidation for sustainable development

Over 200 people from 52 countries participated in this three-day event in Apeldoorn, hometown of Kadaster. 


The symposium was organised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, Landnet and the International Federation of Surveyors and Kadaster, with support from the Global Land Tool Network/UN Habitat and the World Bank. 

Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals 

In several parallel sessions and workshops from the World Bank and GLTN, experts from all over the world present their state of the art practices and findings in both rural and urban settings. This global perspective contributed to a fruitful exchange of knowledge and ideas on how land consolidation and readjustment can contribute among others to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. For instance, regarding global issues such as urbanisation and climate change.

‘Sleeping beauty’

Both land consolidation and land readjustment are essentially about the exchange of land rights among land owners and land users. These instruments have been adapted according to the context – which may be economic, social, environmental, or a combination. The potential within this field of expertise to design sustainable and resilient landscapes is enormous. However, the instruments are not always familiar to politicians and other stakeholders. Professor Rachelle Alterman (Technion, Israel) referred to land consolidation and land readjustment as the ‘sleeping beauty’ among the spatial planning instruments; well-appointed but sometimes little used. 

100 years of Dutch expertise

In the Netherlands, the first land consolidation project was executed 100 years ago. A milestone to celebrate. At that time land consolidation focused on a single purpose, namely to improve agriculture by counteracting land fragmentation. Today’s practice of land consolidation focuses on a comprehensive, multi-purpose approach for a sustainable development. 


The symposium was concluded with a statement of the participants: the ‘Apeldoorn declaration on  land consolidation and land readjustment’. No one-size-fits-all-solutions to land consolidation and land readjustment exist. The application should be adapted to the situational context, following a participatory and inclusive approach. Furthermore, we acknowledge that a comprehensive approach in land consolidation and land readjustment favours a sustainable development in the way that it benefits the people, planet and economic profit. 

Read more about the symposium