FIG Peer Review Journal


Representing Carbon Property Rights (4224)

Kate Fairlie and Spike Boydell (Australia)
Ms. Kate Fairlie
PhD Candidate
University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123
Corresponding author Ms. Kate Fairlie (email: kate.fairlie[at], tel.: + 61 435287146)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2010-01-14
Received 2009-11-19 / Accepted 2010-01-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2010 in Sydney, Australia and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2010
ISBN 978-87-90907-87-7 ISSN 2308-3441


Carbon has been ‘unbundled’. In order to enable market mechanisms to efficiently reduce international carbon emissions and fulfil Kyoto Protocol obligations, rights in carbon have been separated from the bundle of rights that represent real property. In this respect, rights in carbon follow rights in water and biota as emerging property rights that must be managed, measured and represented visually. Yet claiming carbon rights as distinct from rights in land, biota and water does not preclude the necessity of managing all land system rights as interdependent entities. We suggest that key to managing land and rights holistically, is an adequate representation of the relationships and interdependencies between land elements, rights and stakeholders. Existing methods, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), fail to display systems holistically and furthermore comprise only visual elements and limited interactivity that compromise understanding and uptake by amateur users. In addressing the above, this paper will first explore areas of contested meaning significant to the unbundling of rights in real property and the management of land at the system level. These areas comprise land and property, representation and visualisation, and property rights themselves. We will then introduce the key requirements and base design of our proposed virtual representation of complex real property rights.
Keywords: Geoinformation/GI; GIM; GSDI; Cartography; e-Governance; Digital cadastre; Cadastre; Land management; Spatial planning; rights; visualisation; carbon; natural resource management