Home Land Administration Aerial imagery to counter squatting and land misuse

Aerial imagery to counter squatting and land misuse

Trinidad and Tobago: Aerial imagery is now being used in the battle against squatting and land misuse, with the near-completion of a State-commissioned aerial mapping exercise of Trinidad and Tobago.

Land and Marine Resources Minister Jairam Seemungal has warned would-be squatters to beware that the new maps — which will be dated 31 May, 2014 — will show in close-up detail any activities aimed at illegally occupying or degrading State lands, including protected lands.

The recent aerial exercise was commissioned by the ministry through its Surveys and Mapping Division (formerly lands and surveys) and was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The contract for the exercise was awarded through the Central Tenders Board to UK firm BLOM Aerofilms, which then hired French firm IMAO, to carry out the survey.

The exercise has been under way for close to a month and is almost complete. The images acquired will also provide topographic information. No such survey has been conducted since 1994, Seemungal said, and the newest maps will give authorities a database with which to work when processing squatters who claim to have been established on State lands for long periods of time.

In addition, officials have told media that the elevation models will provide the information needed to design settlement layouts. Other agencies too will benefit from the datasets produced from planning of development and infrastructure like roads, and in the development of flood-mitigation plans. The imagery and elevation data will be available to all public agencies for use in enabling the services they are required to provide.

The Minister added that the data will also form the fundamental datasets upon which the proposed National Spatial Data Infrastructure will be established. The new imagery would also assist in disaster-management planning and in assessing the quantity and quality of State lands.

Source: Trinidad Express