The International Land Measurement Standard (ILMS) is an international principle-based standard for recording and reporting information and material relevant to land and property transfers.

Land is a vital and limited national resource. Yet in many countries there is currently a lack of transparency both in land rights and land interests. The lack of transparency often becomes more apparent during the land transfer process.

In many developing and developed countries, large tracts of land are held on an informal basis. This may result in people living with insecure tenure and the effects of opaque interests. This can make it extremely difficult to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that support good land administration. (The UN SDGs are included in Appendix A of ILMS.)

ILMS is a due diligence framework and standard for land and real property surveying that supports a sustainable future both for people and legal entities. ILMS is both a standard and a due diligence framework to enable evidence-based assessment of land and property and is designed to address the current lack of transparency in land rights and land interests. ILMS recognises gender equality and pro-poor issues when gathering field information on legitimate land ownership and is also deeply connected and complimentary to other globally relevant standard and frameworks in the land acquisition and transaction space.

These include other outputs such as LADM (Land Administration Domain Model), UNFAO voluntary guidelines (VGGT), UN GGIM land administration working group, OGC land administration model and the recently released UN FAO Due Diligence for lawyers working in land acquisition and transfer. There are many ‘actors’ within the land acquisition process and both the UNFAO and ILMS due diligence standards help to create a stable and transparent model for practice. ILMS is focussed on ‘on the ground’ land activities and so provides a critical land information link back to governance and legal due diligence frameworks.