The Norwegian Mapping Authority will supervise and monitor the project in close co-operation with the State Agency of Land Resources of Ukraine (SALR), who will be the sole owner of the project results and deliveries.
Ukraine started privatization of land after getting independence in 1991. However, for many years the general approach to land and property issues was not satisfactory. Since 2011, with a new head of SALR, land issues became a key priority of the Government. On 1 January 2013 the new laws on registration of property rights were adopted and a new national property registration system was launched. Land related information collected in digital form and stored centrally has become publicly available on the Internet - more than 2,5 million users have already visited it. The time for registration of land rights has been significantly reduced.
Transparency and public access to land information helps fight corruption, re-establish trust in public authorities, improves the attractiveness of domestic and foreign investments, and "unlock dead capital" by facilitating the use of property as collateral for loans. However, massive mistakes have been made during the first 20 years of land reform in Ukraine.
A major problem is the quality in surveying of parcel boundaries. The reasons are absence of geodetic reference points, use of old instruments and measurement tools, as well as technical mistakes, all leading to incorrect property maps. This is causing land disputes and problems with property registration and land transactions, as well as to land use planning, to improvements to infrastructure, to construction and to sustainable land management. Introducing modern satellite based technology will help overcoming the problems.
To get satisfactory accuracy a network of ground control "reference stations" must be established to improve the signals coming from satellites. Increasingly, precise satellite positioning is used in agriculture and construction. The majority of European countries have established such networks. Establishing a similar network for Ukraine is important and beneficial to many sectors and users, and for integrating Ukraine in the European geodetic network.
Ukraine has a territory of 603000 sq. km. of which as much as 2/3, or 430 million hectares, are arable. There are in total 50 million land parcels in Ukraine, and the number of parcels exceeds the population of the country. Efficient use of land and of the agricultural resources is of outmost importance to the economy. Lack of good property maps is an impediment to this.
Sustainable Land Management and security of tenure are key issues for social and economic development of Ukraine. A newly established fully automated Cadastre and Property Registration System has been launched in Ukraine in 2013. The next step is the establishment of National Spatial Data Infrastructure in line with the European requirements (Inspire directive). Up-to-date geographic information is needed for this. Establishing the service for use of satellite based surveying methods is a priority issue for the Government of Ukraine.
The project aimed at improving the surveying and mapping of parcel boundaries by facilitating modern, satellite based surveying throughout the country, in line with the situation in most European countries. The satellite based method for accurate positioning is increasingly used in other applications, such as road construction, mining and agriculture. To achieve this it was necessary to establish a network of terrestrial reference stations to improve signals coming from the satellites. The positioning accuracy is then brought down to few centimeters, rather than 5 - 10 meters if using signals directly from the satellites only.
SALR developed a proposal where the whole country is covered with a network of over 170 reference stations, evenly distributed over the entire territory. For financial reasons, Ukraine has not yet been able to establish the network, and depends therefore still on old and expensive surveying methods.
It was proposed to start the establishment of the Ukrainian Position Determination System network (UAPOS) with 90 reference stations, prioritizing areas with the most intensive development and active land market, and with a central control facility at the SALR premises in Kiev. The network will provide centimeter accuracy in real time.