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.

[Rice] Farming with Data

The Dutch government contributes to the development of several value chains in Tanzania through different tools. One of these tools is the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) program, executed by the Netherlands Space Office.

This tool aims to strengthen agriculture value chains and improve food security in upcoming economies by using satellite data. By combining Dutch knowledge of high tech solutions and local expertise, the project partners and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs work together on a more sustainable future. In Tanzania, this approach is applied in the rice value chain in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

The project is a collaboration of Dutch & Tanzanian companies and NGO’s. Project partners are TechForce Innovations, Milan InnoVincY, Kilimo Trust, Kadaster, and AGRA. Combining expertise is key to the agricultural development strategy in Tanzania, building beneficial partnerships for different players to develop an entire value chain.

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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”. 

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. 


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.

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

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).

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.

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.