News in 2022

FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals -
Young Surveyors Network

May 2022

FIG Task Force on FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals together with the ten Commissions have worked on their role on the sustainable development goals relevant for their Commission.

Chair of the Young Surveyors Network Kwabena Asiama gives his Statement on the sustainable development goals in relation to the Young Surveyors Network


Kwabena Asiama, chair of the Young Surveyors Network and lecturer at the Leibniz University of Hannover with a focus on Land Administration shares which SDGs are most relevant for him and his how he makes it a conscious effort to include it in his daily work:  

As a network of FIG, the YSN’s main aim is to ensure the involvement of young surveyors in the activities of FIG and also outside FIG, as well as ensuring the future of our profession. This is translated into the work of the network. The core SDG with which the network works, is the SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote life-long learning opportunities (Quality Education). Other SDGs that directly apply to the work of the network include SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Settlements.  Reducing Inequalities also have a tangential link to my work. 

The YSN in various ways continues to contribute to the aforementioned SDGs. Furthering our goal of ensuring the future of our profession, the YSN has also partnered with the FIG African Regional Network (ARN), and the Australian Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) to pilot the FIG Mentoring Programme in the African Region, using the intellectual property of SSSI. It is envisaged that the lessons from this pilot will allow us to roll out a wider mentoring programme for young surveyors.

In relation to SDG 4, the Network, is contributing to the report on “Enhancing Surveying Education through Effective Blended Learning”. This is a joint FIG Commission 2 and FIG Young Surveyors Network Working Group that is looking at the way students learn and study in the context of blended learning. Working group 2.3 will contribute to the final Commission 2 report Enhancing Surveying Education through Effective Blended Learning through considering the different approaches leaners have in the context of blended learning. The aim of this working group is to explore the learning and studying approaches used by surveying students globally and to better understand how these approaches differ across regions, age, religion and gender.

The Network further contributes to SDG 6, with the Mapping the Plastic project led by FIG Commission 4 on hydrography. Working Group 4.3, a joint Commission 4 and Young Surveyors Network undertaking, is FIG’s response to this overwhelming plastics problem. Our objective is to enable the accurate mapping of plastic waste within waterways and provide regulators with reliable spatial information with which to identify unsustainable waste disposal practices, infrastructure shortcomings and inform robust land use controls with the goal of eradicating the dumping plastic waste into rivers.

The network further contributes to the SDGs 1, 5, and 11, through the Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme (VCSP). The VCSP is a three-path volunteer programme, in-person, e-volunteering, and knowledge portal paths, which allows young surveyors the ability to volunteer flexibly in presence, or remotely. Led by a vibrant and motivated group of young surveyors from across the globe, the programme partners with bodies within FIG and outside it to achieve its goals. “Working with the SDGs is a default position of the VCSP. It is an innate goal of the, given the main vision is to achieve “land rights for all” and contribute to the fight against environmental crisis”, says the core team of the programme. The core SDGs that the programme works with are the SDG 1 (No poverty), and SDG 5 (Gender Equality) with the work extending to contribution to the SDGs 2 (No Hunger) through partnerships for food and agriculture for development, to the SDG 4 (Quality Education) through the Wisdom Workshops, as well as the practical experience gained by young surveyors on deployment. With regards to SDGs 5 and 10, this is an aspect that requires a conscious effort to apply. This is included in my daily work, by making sure research undertaken looks at all aspects of the society, especially the marginalized groups, as well as highlighting such Global Challenges in relation to local problems when teaching.

Also Kwabena reflects on how FIG and its members and delegates have contributed to the achievement of the SDGs.  

With one of underlying factor towards the SDGs is partnerships. The initiatives undertaken by the Young Surveyors Network have been possible through the support of our various partners.
FIG has inspired me with their effort to support the establishment of the FIG YSN Volunteer Community Surveyor Programme (VCSP). Young Surveyors have now the opportunity to volunteer their time towards meeting almost each of the geospatial related SDGs.  As a federation, FIG has garnered a lot of respect throughout the geospatial world. The Federation therefore sits in a position to further bridge different countries, cultures, and surveying disciplines to create a stage for co-operation towards meeting the Agenda 2030.

Read more about the Young Surveyors Network here

Kwabena Asiama and Paula Dijkstra
May 2022