Sound land administration and sustainable land management are indispensable for economic, social and environmental development. They are also vital for good governance.
The Working Party on Land Administration (WPLA) is an intergovernmental group of experts and policy officials from UNECE member countries. It works to improve land administration and management through activities based on cooperation and the exchange of experiences between all countries in the UNECE region.
It provides a venue for sharing knowledge and fostering discussion between Governments. Every two years, the WPLA meets to set policy and plan on UNECE's work on land management; its twelfth session was held in Geneva in 31 May - 1 June 2021. In between sessions, the WPLA Bureau works year-round to fulfil the mandates of the WPLA.
The WPLA focuses on strategies to develop better land administration, land management and land governance by:
Conducting in-depth research, including in-country land administration reviews upon requests from Governments, as part of the UNECE country profiles. The WPLA conducts thematic research across the UNECE region, in the past completing studies on countries' land administration systems, fraud in land administration institutions, comparisons of cadastral and registration fees and charges and costs for registration and transfer of real estate and mortgages for the UNECE region.
Given the increasing informal development, one focus of the WPLA is on the challenge of informal settlements. In 2009,the first study Self-Made Cities: In Search of Sustainable Solutions for Informal Settlements was published, followed by Formalizing the Informal: Challenges and Opportunities of Informal Settlements in South-East Europe (2015) jointly prepared with FIG. The most recent Guidelines for the Formalization of Informal Constructions (2019) continues the discussion.
Facilitating experience sharing and knowledge exchange. Through workshops hosted by UNECE member States, usually in cooperation with an international organization partner, the Working Party promotes international learning and cooperation.
Collecting and sharing data on land administration systems throughout the UNECE region.