News in 2022

FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals - Commission 1

August 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.

Commission Chair Winnie Shiu gives her Statement on the sustainable development goals in relation to Commission 1 - Professional Standards and Practice


Commission 1 focuses on professional practice, legal aspects and organisational structures; codes of ethics and applications; changes to society and ways of working and the corresponding impacts on professional practice; community perceptions and understanding about the surveying profession, in particular on gender issues.

SDGs in Commission 1

For UN SDG 5 on Gender Equality, Commission 1 set up the Women in Surveying working group for promoting women in surveying, addressing hidden bias towards women in surveying, tackling the lack of gender diversity and how best to promote women in the surveying industry and to discuss individual challenges and case studies in each country represented. The FIG women in surveying network to be set up hope to work towards improving communications for the group. The network is also proposing a 'Charter for Women', covering the issues relating to women including the World Bank ‘Stand for her land’ and the UN SDG No. 5 Gender Equality, the scope of which is to ensure that the FIG community reflects the values of diversity and inclusion.

To achieve the UN SDG No. 5 on Gender Equality, we hope to come up with the following statements for ‘Charter for Women’:

  • FIG promotes diversity and inclusion as a key value
  • FIG members must challenge unconscious bias by seeking out diverse views when making decisions or collaborating with colleagues
  • FIG commits to equal gender balance on speaking panels.

For UN SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, Commission 1 sees that stability is important for international relations, and stability of international boundaries is of utmost importance in peace keeping throughout the world. Stability of boundaries is crucial and a prerequisite for the achievement of the UN SDG No.16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Surveyors play a central role in the boundary making process and FIG has a special role regarding the methodology and standards for precise and sustainable boundaries to support global requirements.

What are inspiring examples of how FIG members and delegates have contributed to the achievement of the SDGs?

FIG Publication 59 International Boundary Making edited by Haim Srebro, which was produced through Commission 1 in 2013, Haim and his Working Group members Vincent Belgrave, Andrea Cantile, Donald Grant and William A. Robertson, who are all highly qualified experts and practitioners in ‘boundary marking’, published the FIG 76 International Boundary on Unstable Ground through Commission 1 in 2021.

After eFIGWW2021, Haim published two articles in GEOCONNEXION on ‘Surveyors: The Peace Makers’ and ‘Surveyors: The Boundary Setters’, following FIG Publication 59 on International Boundary Making and FIG Publication 76 on International Boundaries on Unstable Ground.

What can FIG do (more) to provide leadership and raise awareness on the SDG's?

The setting up of Women in Surveying Network is not limited to FIG families of members but also the communities will certainly help the raise the awareness of gender equality.

Commission 1 is planning to release a publication on maritime boundaries to further promote peace, justice and strong institutions. Border manifesto addresses the importance of boundaries and to the contribution of surveyors to peaceful living in the world. FIG should develop measures and help to enforce professional treatment of boundary issues and the importance of the contribution of FIG to UN-GGIM initiatives.

FIG shall continue to promote various SDGs via the ten Commissions, the SDG Task Force and the FIG Foundation shall continue to support the developing countries to work towards the UN SDGs by 2030.

Winnie Shiu and Paula Dijkstra
August 2022