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First Global Surveyors Day

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21st March, 2018 March 21st marks the first Global Surveyors Day to commemorate the work of surveyors around the world. As the inaugural Global Surveyors Day, this first edition of the Global Surveyors’ Day will be observed during the Land and Poverty Conference at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC.  This day will become an annual event for surveyors around the world. This date was a joint decision from the Council of European Geodetic Surveyors (CLGE), the US National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG).

During the event in Washington, a round table discussions were set up to facilitate interactions to analyse the different contributions of the surveying profession in today’s world.  This event attracts surveyors from around the world to deliberate over some key issues facing surveyors today and also the roles of surveyors in addressing modern issues the world is facing today. Presentations will be on:

  • Role of Surveyor in Implementing a Sustainable Fit- For-Purpose Land Administration
  • Reviewing of Surveying Standards
  • Professional Ethics and A Code of Conduct
  • New Ways for Training of Surveyors
  • Tomorrow’s Surveyors : Will New Data and Technologies Change the Demand for Surveyor Services

Surveying services in Tonga is still provided primarily by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources with only few private practitioners. The concentration of the surveying profession in Tonga is mainly around the survey and demarcation of land and boundary for registration deed and lease. As part of the Ministry’s Workplace Development Plan the Ministry is encouraging its young survey trainees to undertake studies overseas so that they may attain surveying degrees. The Ministry is most grateful to the New Zealand and Tongan Governments for enabling our younger generation to qualify in this profession.

Traditionally, surveying is a male dominated profession. The Ministry is proud to have welcomed to Ms Siotasia Malolo as the first female surveyor in Tonga. Siotasia follows closely in her father’s footstep, Mr Tevita Malolo former Surveyor General and Secretary for Ministry of Lands. Ms Malolo graduated with a Bachelor in Surveying in 2015 from UNITECH in PNG and return back to Tonga to pursue her surveying career. The Ministry also looks forward to the completion of studies by Ms Angela Paea, a student is currently on a Tongan government scholarship at the University of Otago undertaking a four-year Bachelor in Surveying.

The focus for in Tonga for this day is that surveyors play a vital role in addressing a wide range of services including land management, climate change and resilience, disaster management and structural and infrastructure development.  The main function of the Surveying Division of the Ministry are under the Cadastral Survey Unit which the surveying and demarcation of land for deed and lease registration purposes and the Geodetic Survey Services which focus on ensuring that all positions in Tonga are accurate both horizontal and vertical based on international geodetic reference frames. To have multi-purpose and fit for purpose surveying services, the surveying division is plans to set-up Engineering Survey Services and also a Hydrographic survey consolidate all the surveying needs in Tonga. Modern surveying technologies revolutionised how surveying is conducted, as it is no longer a field concentrated profession but has extended to processing, analysing, and storing and disseminating of spatial information.

For the surveying profession in Tonga, this day will boost the morale of the Tongan surveyors. It is intended to be observed annually by the Ministry. Not only that, the public here in Tonga will understand why surveyors and its roles are significant and appreciate the work they are doing.

Another milestone for the surveying profession is that the government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources will host the 4th Pacific Geospatial and Surveying Council (PGSC) Meeting on April 9th-12th 2018 and also the United Nation Global Geospatial Information Management (UNGGIM) workshop on Legal and Policy Framework for Geospatial Information 0n the April 10th-13th. 2018.

The Surveying Division of the Ministry is headed by Mr Fetu’u Vea and the Chief Surveyor is Mr Paula Lo’amanu.


For further Information please contact:

Mr. Viliami T. Folau (Chief Geodetic Surveyor, Survey and Geodesy Unit, Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources, NUKU’ALOFA). Mr. Folau serves the Ministry for 22 yrs. He holds a MA Urban Design, BA Land Use Planning & Real Estate and Diploma Geomatics.

Mobile 8429969

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