FIG Working Week 2012 - Knowing to manage the territory,
protect the environment, evaluate the cultural heritage
Biggest FIG Working Week with lot of professional and social
highlights strengthens international co-operation and FIG's role
Rome, Italy, 6-10 May 2012
Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta playing the FIG fanfare at the opening
ceremony at the Parco della Musica.
The FIG Working Week Knowing
to manage the territory, protect the environment, evaluate the cultural
heritage and the
XXXV General Assembly was held in Rome, Italy from 6 to 10 May 2012.
The Working Week programme included also the meeting for the Presidents and
members of the CNGeGL Provinces. Consiglio
Nazionale Geometri e Geometri Laureati, CNGeGL, was at the same time the
local host of this year's Working Week. The main partner of the Working Week
including a full day workshop jointly organised by FIG and FAO and a visit
to FAO headquarters. A full day programme was also organised together with
the Global Land Tool Network, GLTN, in
co-operation with UN-HABITAT and GLTN professional partners and introducing
grass root organisations. CNGeGL organised a well received invited session
on Professional Women in Surveying. To the Working Week were attached some
special events: the
1st FIG Young Surveyors
Commission 5/ICG Workshop and
History Workshop organised by the
for History of Surveying and Measurement.
The FIG Working Week 2012 turned out to be the biggest FIG Working
Week ever if counted by number of
More than 1,500 participants from 96 countries attended. The
technical programme comprised of more than 100 technical sessions,
workshops and special forums. Total number of presented papers was almost
500. In total 750 abstracts were submitted to the conference. The Working
Week was held at the first class venue Rome Cavalieri hotel offering both
excellent facilities and outstanding view over the eternal city.
The social events starting from the opening concert to the FIG
Foundation Dinner and concert and the conference dinner at Villa Miani
surpassed any former event.
Geom. Fausto Savoldi, President of CNGeGL, making his welcome
address at the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony and the following concert were held at the cultural
centre of Rome Parco della Musica. This cultural complex includes
three auditoriums, museums, restaurants etc. and is designed by architect
Renzo Piano. FIG filled in the Giuseppe Sinopoli Hall where
more than 1,100 participants listened to the opening speeches and the
concert. At the opening in addition to presentations from FIG and CNGeGL
Presidents welcome greetings were brought by the representatives of the
Italian government and by the Mayor of Rome.
President CheeHai Teo
opening address stated that the "Profession is now firmly in the
continuum paradigm. We embraced the Continuum of Land Rights, we know we
must adopt a continuum of approaches, a continuum of technologies and
technological sophistication, a continuum of accuracies. We understand that
we have to progress beyond securing tenure rights for all into land
valuation and taxation, land development and construction and the land
market." He also stressed that "We need to move into the next
Paradigm where we are inclusive and innovative, where we will be required to
embrace Open Standards; Interoperability (of systems, institutional and
legislation); culture of collaboration and sharing; avoidance of
duplication; incorporation of volunteered information; developing enabling
platforms and delivering knowledge from information and data from different
scales, purposes and origins."
He also stated the importance of "global initiatives on managing all
information spatially, on voluntary guidelines on the Responsible Governance
of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forest, on spatially enabling governments
and societies, towards greater transparency and good governance, towards
whole-of-government effectiveness and efficiencies in citizen-centric
delivery systems, the usefulness of surveying (its science, is technologies,
its practices) in addressing the developmental and economical challenges of
the times is recognized." This was especially timely when the Voluntary
Guidelines were adopted in Rome by FAO the day after the Working Week was
The opening ceremony included a concert performed the Orchestra Roma
Sinfonietta conducted by Massimiliano Carlini. The concert
consisted of music from Astor Piazzolla and Nino Rota. The
orchestra played also the national anthem and the FIG fanfare arranged for
the sinfoniett. The well received concert was followed by a buffet dinner
allowing people to mingle at the start of the conference.
President CheeHai Teo making his opening address at the
Opening Ceremony - Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta on the back preparing
for FIG fanfare.
Welcome reception buffet dinner at the foyer of Parco della Musica.
The Working Week included three plenary sessions addressing the three
different aspect of the conference theme on bridging cultural gaps:
Knowledge to Manage; Knowledge to Protect; and Knowledge to Evaluate.
In the first session "Knowledge to manage" included presentations
from Maurizio Gasparri, past Minister of Communications and Head of
PDL political party, Senate of the Italian Parliament. The professional
input from Italy was provided by Franco Maggio, Director, Agenzia del
Territorio who spoke about the
Italian Cadastre and the Real Estate Taxation. The third speaker was
given by Prof. Orhan Altan, President of ISPRS, who also
represented the FIG sister organisations. He spoke about the
Use of Geospatial Information at Present Day Disaster Management. This
was also one of the main sub-themes of the conference programme including as
special session about the recent earthquake in Japan and experiences from
New Zealand, Italy and Turkey.
The second plenary session "Knowledge to Protect" included a
presentation from the main partner FAO. Alexander Mueller, Assistant
Director General, Natural Resources Management and Environment Department,
FAO spoke about the
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land,
Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. These
guidelines were adopted by FAO immediately after the FIG Working Week 11 May
2012. Mr. Mueller thanked FIG for its contribution in preparing the
guidelines - one regional consultation was incorporated to FIG conference in
Vietnam - and challenged all professionals in the implementation process of
The other speakers at the second plenary were Norbert Lantschner,
Past Director, Clima Haus who discussed the
New Goal of Building Sustainable and Dr. Karl-Friedrich Thöne,
President of DVW addressing the surveyors in his speech
Meeting the Environmental Issues – A Challenge for Surveyors and Surveying
Associations. He also started the series in which the presidents of
major FIG member associations will be given platform to address the
The last plenary "Knowledge to Evaluate" included presentation from
Mario Resca, General Manager, Evaluation of the Cultural Heritage who in
Enhancement of Cultural Heritage through the Public Awareness spoke
about projects to increase visitors and awareness of Italian cultural
museums. Fabio Remondino from FBK, Italy made an excellent
presentation on using technology in 3D Surveying and Modelling Technologies
for the Digital Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The last speaker was
President of RICS
See Lian Ong (2011-2012) bringing an insight to BIM in his presentation
Preserving the Built Environment: Importance of Building Information
Alexander Mueller. Assistant Director General of FAO making
his keynote presentation on the newly approved voluntary guidelines.
Prof. Karl-Friedrich Thöne, President of DVW started the
presentations of member associations at the plenary sessions
challenging the FIG members to implement the environmental agenda.
The technical programme included more than 100 technical sessions, forums
and workshop. At the maximum there were 12 parallel sessions and during the
three conference days there were nine slots for presentations. The technical
sessions included normal papers, shorter flash presentations mainly on case
studies and about 40 peer reviewed papers that passed the double blind peer
The technical programme covered all FIG ten technical commissions. In
addition there were sessions organised by three task forces: FIG Africa Task
Force; Property and Housing; and Surveyors and the Climate Change. In
addition there were special sessions on preserving cultural heritage,
history of surveying and sessions for the FIG Young Surveyors Network. A
special session was dedicated to the recent earthquake in Japan. Following
the good feedback from Morocco a joint FIG/GIM Forum on Future of Land
Administration was organised for those interested in future trends in land
There were two special programmes within the Working Week programme.
Monday was dedicated to co-operation with FAO. The programme included three
sessions Implementing Land and Property Taxes (with Commission 9);
Partnerships to Implement the FAO Voluntary Guidelines (with Council and
Commission 7) and Academic Institutions and Opportunities to Implement the
FAO Voluntary Guidelines (with Commission 2). The focus was in the FAO
Voluntary Guidelines that now move to implementation phase. The programme
continued on Tuesday with the keynote presentation given by
Alexander Mueller and in the afternoon with a two session programme
(technical visit) at the FAO headquarters.
The second special block on Tuesday was organised together with the
Global Land Tool Network and UN-Habitat. The first session Role of
Grassroots Organizations in Addressing Land Administration Challenges was
organised in co-operation with grass root organisations including Slum
Dwellers International and Huairou Commission as well as International
Land Coalition. The second session Achieving the GLTN Agenda and the Role of
Land Professionals focussed on the GLTN agenda with keynote presentations by
Clarissa Augustinus and
Stig Enemark. The third session was on Land Tools: Emerging
Innovations and Solutions. The last session was a dialogue between
Land Professionals Cluster and GLTN.
The special forums for Director Generals of national mapping and cadastre
organisations and for FIG academic members and corporate members are already
a standard part of the programme.
The plenary sessions were well attended and at each session there were
350-600 participants listening. There was simultaneous interpretation
between English and Italian provided in the plenary sessions and at two
technical session rooms which made it easier for the Italian participants to
follow the presentations and discussion.
A set of technical visits were offered to allow participants to visit
local surveying and other institutions. all these tours were fully booked.
All papers are available in the conference proceedings. Out of the almost
750 offered papers 500 were accepted to the programme.
Special attention in the technical programme was given to the FAO
Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure - here
the session chaired by Babette Wehrman, FAO.
The other remarkable feature was the attendance of young surveyors -
here the youngest participant at a a technical session.
The three platinum sponsors of Working Week 2012 were
Trimble that have been the major conference partners all all FIG
conferences in the current period. The third platinum sponsor was CNGeGL
that largely sponsored the opening ceremony and dinners as well as
accommodation at the conference hotel. Esri and Trimble were also the main
sponsors of the FIG Young Surveyors Conference and the IAG/FIG Commission
5/ICG Seminar that were also sponsored by Cassa Geometri and CNGeGL.
At the exhibition in FIG 2012 there were 20 exhibitors occupying 25
booths available. The exhibition filler the foyer area outside the technical
session rooms allowing excellent flow of clients to the show over the three
days that the exhibition continued. An interesting part of the exhibition
was the display of the old instruments from the Cavaliere family - also
described in a special book.
A set of technical visits were offered to allow participants to visit
local surveying and other institutions. all these tours were fully booked.
Exhibition was well attended - the big hit was Stig Enemark
signing his book at the Esri booth, that was one of the two platinum
sponsors of the Working Week.
The second international Platinum sponsor was Trimble that also
sponsored the FIG Foundation Dinner and together with Esri the Young
The welcome reception was this time organised as part of the opening
ceremony at Parco della Musica. The concert performed by Orchestra Roma
Sinfonietta was followed by the dinner buffet at the foyers of the Giuseppe
The FIG Foundation Dinner at the Rome Cavalieri hotel was a grand dinner
with two music groups. During the dinner the participants were entertained
by Bandiera Gialla (Yellow Flag) that played Italian favourites from 1960s
and 70s with great success inviting some participants to join the karaoke.
The highlight of the evening was the concert by Albano Carrisi and
his band. Al Bano performed both his own hits and international
standards ending to a duet with Maria Scicolone.
The conference dinner was held at the Villa Miani a venue offering a
panorama view over St. Peter's and Rome. The festive dinner concluded with a
surprise - fireworks. A splendid way to conclude the week.
The additional events included traditional Commission dinners. The week
ended with the farewell reception at the hotel being at the same time
welcome reception for FIG 2013. The reception was hosted by the Nigerian
delegation that will also be the host of
FIG Working Week 2013 in Abuja 6-10
The FIG Foundation Dinner was attended by more than 500 participants
who were able to listen to Al Bano and his band,
Bandiera Gialla and more improvised presentations from the CNGeGL
The conference dinner at Villa Miani offered an outstanding view
over St. Peter's and excellent dinner in sophisticated environment.
The General Assembly and its decisions are described in a
The Working Week ended with a closing ceremony after the second General
Assembly. In his
summary presentation President Teo concluded that "there is no doubt
that surveyors are critical to the future society of both developed and
At the closing ceremony President Teo acknowledged for the successful
Working Week the local organising committee, especially President Fausto
Savoldi, Chair of the LOC, Congress Director
Enrico Rispoli, Secretary General of CNGeGL and Maria Scorza,
Conference Coordinator of FIG 2012 who carried out a big part of the
logistics with FIG. Special thanks were also recorded to the CNGeGL office,
the group of Italian young professionals and the local management that all
made the conference memorable.
The next FIG Working Week will be the FIG Working Week 2013 in Abuja,
Nigeria, 6-10 May 2013 and the 8th FIG Regional Conference already 26-29
November 2012 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
More to Read:
Links to documents and reports of the FIG Working Week 2012
and the XXXV General Assembly in Rome, Italy: