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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary Demarcation & Maintenance

Professional Training Workshop,

2-4 July 2018, Durham, UK

Delimitation of a boundary in a treaty is a crucial first step in boundary-making, but on its own delimitation is of limited value. For borderland populations, boundaries rarely have much meaning until they are identifiable on the ground - and it is arguable that it is only when a boundary has been physically demarcated that it can begin to function effectively.

Many of the world's international boundaries have never been made visible on the ground, and many of those that have been demarcated have subsequently become invisible due to inefficient maintenance regimes. Led by a hugely experienced team of tutors and combining classroom sessions and practical exercises, this unique workshop will assist policymakers and practitioners in developing strategies for the effective demarcation and maintenance of international boundaries in different physical and human landscapes.

The cost of the workshop will be £2,520 (£2,100 + UK VAT of 20%) per participant. This includes 3 nights of accommodation and meals for the duration of the workshop.

Online booking form

Workshop Flyer


Mr Daniel Fortin, Canadian Section of International Boundary Commission

Mr Alastair Macdonald, Ordnance Survey (retired)

Mr Peter Merrett, Merrett Survey Ltd

Mr Roman Meyer, GIZ

Professor Martin Pratt, Bordermap Consulting


Monday 2 July

1) Principles of boundary demarcation and maintenance

  • The purpose and value of boundary demarcation
  • The changing nature of boundary-making
  • Demarcation options in different physical and human landscapes
  • The importance of field research
  • Key challenges in boundary demarcation and maintenance

2) Maps and imagery in boundary demarcation and maintenance

  • The use and abuse of maps, aerial photographs and satellite imagery
  • Maps and imagery as tools for boundary research and recovery
  • Working with imprecise mapping

3) Practical exercise

Participants wil seek to use maps and imagery in support of a range of demarcation-related tasks

4) Lessons from boundary demarcation and reaffirmation in Africa

Tuesday 3 July

5) Practical considerations in boundary survey work

  • Practical field work: planning, survey control stations, building monuments, access, safety and security
  • Using and understanding coordinate systems and GPS
  • Airbourne lidar surveys for boundary work

6) International boundary commissions

  • Types of commission
  • Mandate and rules proceedure
  • Resolving disputes
  • Communicating with the public

7) Practical exercises

Working in teams, participants will undetake a field-based survey of a fictional border landscape in preparation for boundary demarcation

Wednesday 4 July

8) Case study: Demarcation and maintenance of the Canada-USA boundary

9) Developing good practice in boundary demarcation and maintenance

  • Demarcating river, swamp and lake boundaries
  • Positional accuracy requirements
  • Boundary visibility requirements
  • Maximising flexibility
  • Involving borderland communities in demarcation and maintenance

Administrative information


The cost of the workshop will be £2,520 (£2,100 + VAT) per participant.

Fees for all participants are subject to Value Added Tax at 20%. We regret that payment can only be accepted in £ sterling. However, we are able to accept payment by major credit and debit cards. Full payment must be received prior to the workshop to guarantee the booking.

In addition to tuition and all course materials, the fee covers the following:

  • Accommodation with breakfast in a single en-suite room for the nights of 1-3 July 2018
  • Evening dinner on 1-3 July
  • Lunch and refreshment breaks on 2-4 July


To reserve a place on the workshop, please contact Liz Buxton or use the online booking form

The deadline for payment of all places on the workshop is Monday 18 June 2018.


Workshop accommodation will be based at Collingwood College, which is part of Durham University. Teaching will take place in the Durham University Law Schoool


Teaching and workshop materials will be in English. We regret that we are unable to provide translation or interpretation services.


Cancellations must be received in writing not later than Monday 18 June 2018, and will be subject to a £150 cancellation fee unless a substitute participant is offered. After this date the full registration fee will apply. Substitutions for registered participants may be made at any time, but we would appreciate prior notification.

Programme changes

IBRU reserves the right to modify the programme as necessary, without notice to participants.

Travel to Durham

Full details of the venue, plus maps and travel information will be sent to all participants following registration. Online maps and travel information can be found here.