RMIT University has become a key academic partner in a United Nations network aimed at reducing poverty through land reform.
The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) was developed by UN-Habitat as an alliance of global, regional and national partners contributing to poverty alleviation through land reform, improved land management and security of land tenure.
RMIT has joined 25 academic institutions in the GLTN and is one of only three partners from the southern hemisphere.
In addition to assisting with his study, Land Tenure Scoping Study of the Asia Pacific Region, Dr Mitchell said the partnership would lead to opportunities for the School to engage in funded research and collaboration with UN-Habitat and other partners.
"As a partner we will work with GLTN to achieve its goals of developing and implementing land tools to help alleviate poverty and implement the post-Millennium Development Goals agenda," he said.
"The success of this application was possible because of the School's prior engagement with GLTN partners such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO), the World Bank, UN-Habitat and the International Federation of Surveyors."
Dr Mitchell said the partnership was strategically important for the School as it will enhance existing ties with the University of Twente in the Netherlands through research collaboration and double-badged PhDs.
"Professor Jaap Zevenbergen from the University of Twente is the leader of the academic cluster of GLTN partners, and the partnership will help build on the relationship between our universities," Dr Mitchell said.
Dr Mitchell and his colleague, Associate Professor Don Grant, were directly involved with the application for partnership.
However Dr Mitchell believes there is potential to include many other researchers from the School on future projects.
"All partners have recently been invited to submit proposals for a project that involves land tenure issues and requires expertise in the area of statistics," he said.
"The Centre for Risk and Community Safety will be the main research group involved in this proposal and it will potentially provide research opportunities for other researchers within our School."
RMIT has a strong commitment to urban and land issues, with particular focus on sustainable cities, and it has been the ongoing research and instruction in the School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences which has enabled the University to become a part of this important global alliance.
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