How to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls? How to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable? How to take urgent action to combat climate and its impacts? Solutions for these United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UN SDSs) were presented and discussed at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference from the 20th to 24th of March in Washington DC.

Land Administration & Sustainable Development Goals

The main focus on presentations was on land administration and how to link land management and land rights to enhance urban and rural development, gender equity, disaster resilience and mitigation of climate change. In many countries citizens lack rights to their land because ownership to a land parcel has not been officially registered and mapped. Especially women’s possibilities to survive in poverty and take care of their children are bad in countries where women have no rights to own and inherit land. Word Bank and developed countries support developing countries in land governance and provide funding for surveying and mapping projects and development of land information systems. Overall, modern geospatial technologies and geospatial data play key roles in reaching the SDGs.

World Bank Land and Poverty Urbanisation presentation

Several presentations discussed how National Spatial Data Infrastructures (NSDI) can support the sustainable development in developing countries. NSDIs provide essential geospatial information for planning and decision making to address social, environmental and economic issues. However, land-related information that NSDIs provide are not utilized as much as should. Therefore, World Bank and FAO are working together in order to create a diagnostic tool that includes relevant indicators for the maturity assessment of an NSDI. The maturity assessment shows the strengths and areas that should be further developed. Based on the assessment investments could be targeted on areas that best enhance the use of land-related information. As the topic of the conference “Towards an Evidence-Based Approach” points out World Bank is moving towards outcome-based financial support.

World Bank and what Finland can offer?

The World Bank offered a great place for the conference and possibility to meet and discuss with people from 100 countries around the world.  Spatineo together with other actors of Team Finland: FinPro, Tekes, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, National Land Survey of Finland and nine other private companies presented innovative, state-of-the-art and easy-to-use solutions to deliver relevant information for land and urbanization. Quality of digital services, 3D city modelling and virtual reality, digitalization of built environment processes, mapping of biomass resources, and citizens’ empowerment and how their can participate in decision making interested conference participants and led to many successful business negotiations already during the conference.

Spatineo presenting at Team Finland booth

-Jaana Mäkelä