Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Participatory 3D Modelling in Western Samoa triggers behavioural changes and climate change resilience

Since 2012 the local government together with local communities in Western Samoa have carried out a total of 19 participatory 3D modelling (P3DM) exercises in the context of agroforestry management, water management and tourism development.

A participatory research was conducted between February and April 2016 to explore the effectiveness and potential of P3DM in the region. The study was done by Barbara Dovarch, PhD candidate at the Department of Architecture Design and Urban Planning, University of Sassari, Italy, sociologist and independent researcher, in partnership with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and Samoa’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).

This participatory impact evaluation involved diverse members of local communities and MNRE technical staff. It focused particularly on the capacity of P3DM to generate deep-seated and long-lasting behavioural changes.

The results of the study demonstrates that P3DM contributes to natural resource management and climate change resilience and showed the transformative power of the process at various levels, such as community, NGO and governmental level.

Through the P3DM process, meaningful interactions between government representatives and community members resulted in greater collaboration and mutual learning. While government representatives have changed the way they approach local communities – from ‘teaching’ to ‘listening’ – communities have also changed their attitude towards land management and development.

Download the full report via: http://bit.ly/p3dm-ws

Monday, April 10, 2017

Participatory 3D modelling as a socially engaging approach in ecosystem service assessments among marginalized communities

Land use decision making in the Suriname Upper Suriname River area knows a history of dis-
empowerment and marginalization of the Saamaka communities inhabiting the area. Non-recognition of land rights is at the origin of this problem. This is aggravated by the increasing over-exploitation of timber resources by powerful stakeholders and the unfair distribution of timber benefits. This has left Saamakans marginalized, causing distrust and opposition among themselves and towards outsiders. Furthermore, as a result of deforestation, Saamakans face detrimental changes in the ecosystem services (ES) that support their traditional livelihoods, with important effects for their well-being.

This environment of distrust, opposition and marginalization makes it difficult to assess these concerns. Hence, an ES assessment approach that would generate salient ES knowledge while generating trust, communication among stakeholders and local capacity building was needed. In this paper we evaluate whether Participatory 3D modelling (P3DM) is an effective approach for ecosystem services assessments in such disabling environments. We evaluate this by using empirical data from an ES assessment in the Saamaka region using a P3DM approach. Results show the efficient identification and evaluation of 36 ES representing provisioning, cultural and regulating service categories with crops, fish, wild meat, timber and forest medicines identified as most important.

The authors of this paper found a decrease in the demand and supply of crops, fish and wild meat associated with ecosystem degradation, out-migration and changes in lifestyles. Further, the findings of the research show an increasing demand and decreasing supply for timber related to over-exploitation. The research provided evidence of the usefulness of P3DM to foster multi-functional landscape development among a range of communities.

In the paper the authors discuss the usefulness of the approach and the conditions needed for the P3DM process to address the needs of the local communities as well as the need for a broader P3DM implementation strategy beyond the engagement, screening, and diagnostic phases of ES assessments when the aim is to enhance ES outcomes for marginalized communities.

Download PDF version of the paper

Related posts:




Saturday, March 18, 2017

How Participatory 3D Modelling has contributed to women’s personal development in Madagascar

Rural women in Ampefy and Analavory are emerging from years of years of subordination and passivity, taking charge of their own development and overcoming numerous obstacles to their emancipation. Their key role in regional development is increasingly recognised by the administrative and traditional authorities, development partners and the local community. This article shows how participatory 3-D modelling helps women fulfil their potential.



Rural development agents on a field visit to see how silting has damaged rice fields in Atalata Vaovao, a fokontany (neighbourhood) in Ampefy commune in the Itasy region of mid-western Madagascar, wondered what could have driven a pregnant woman to walk over 8 km to join them at the site. When asked what had prompted her to carry a heavy bag for several hours under the blazing sun, enduring the long journey without a word of complaint, she pointed to the badly eroded slope opposite. “Look at the damage it’s done! This hill has silted up all our rice fields. And I’m not going to stand by quietly while nothing is done to deal with this monster!” That was their introduction to Jeannette Raharimalala, a founding member of Tolotra local development committee (KF), a 10-member association created to raise awareness of the need for social and economic development in the neighbourhood. Although Tolotra is open to men, two-thirds of its members are women – individuals whose dynamism has astonished the regional director of FAFAFI, an NGO that supports development committees. Praising their “fearless and increasingly bold and enterprising approach”, she noted that “they’ve been active for several years but have made huge progress since 2015, when they first became involved in the P3DM process.”

Rural women overshadowed by men

Like their sisters in other regions of Madagascar, rural women in Atalata Vaovao are used to living in the shadow of their husbands and brothers. Men have jobs, go to the office and attend meetings, while women stay at home to look after the children, prepare meals, serve their menfolk and then retreat to the kitchen. Few women work in offices or lead organisations, and those who speak in public are frowned upon in rural Madagascar. The two main concerns for local people in this highly productive volcanic area are the land shortages and tenure issues left by the French colonial authorities, and the increasingly pressing problem of silting in their paddy fields. Recent efforts to grow out-of-season vegetables in these parcels have fizzled out and they now yield little more than weeds and stones. The community leader in Atalata, FĂ©lecitin Rakotoarimalalais, worries that “if nothing is done, my area alone stands to lose 30 hectares of rice fields in less than 10 years.” And if that wasn’t bad enough, Lake Itasy, which is the main source of income for many local people, is filling up with alluvium “so we have to travel further to catch increasingly small fish.” When the Liaison Office for Rural Training Institutions (BIMTT) introduced 3-D mapping exercises to help resolve potential conflicts in Itasy Region, the women of Atalata Vaovao were the first to turn their hand to the task despite the many constraints they face. Led by BIMTT technicians, supported by CTA and working alongside various representatives of the village, Ampefy town hall and development agencies, these women played an active role in a process that sharpened their already considerable appetite for development.

From personal development...

The 3-D model of Atalata Vaovao could not have been built without the local women, who played a key role in mobilizing community members of all ages behind the exercise. BIMTT technician Rajorosoana Razafimahatratra recalled how they acted as convenors and facilitators, “working in the corridors and leading with a quiet strength.” You’d hear them moving things along, galvanising everyone into action: “Come along now! Where’s so-and-so gone? See where they are! Can you remember what to do? You’re the only one who knows how to do it!”  Making 3-D models calls for the same kind of skills needed to organise the cooking, cleaning and laundry and get children off to school every day – and the women involved in this exercise proved much more enterprising, practical and pragmatic than the men in terms of their attention to detail, process, form, design, maintenance, getting the precise location of paths, springs and streams, updating information etc. Although the men were initially involved, it was the women who were really in charge and were best at making the model! The BIMTT technician also noted how “it improved their self-esteem and built mutual trust.” Women saw the invitation to join the model-making process as a form of recognition for their efforts. Aline Andriamampandry, secretary of the Mahiatrondro group, said that “being asked to participate means we can actually do something!” They were delighted to be able to express themselves, give an opinion, and above all be listened to. When the model was presented to the authorities and visitors (vazaha), they stood their ground like students defending their final thesis. Josephine Rasoanarilalaina, President of the Miavotra group admitted “I never thought I could do something like that!” Madagascan culture has always regarded making things as men’s work, but these women see things differently now and are determined to claim their rights. Some women from Ampefy have started land litigation procedures, while others are participating in regional elections in order to spread their ideas about development.

... to social development

Women’s personal development contributes to local social and economic development. Individual women and their groups are now recognised and consulted by their own and other communities. The communal authorities ask them about local development issues, and they act as an interface between development projects and beneficiaries. The manager of one drinking water project reported that “We use their groups whenever we need to do local awareness-raising exercises,” and said they have had a noticeable effect on community development. In the village of Mahiatrondro in the commune of Analavory, discussions sparked by the model have alerted people to the dangers of environmental degradation and are starting to have an impact on their way of thinking. Neighbourhood leader Justin Razafindrakoto reports that bushfires have halved and open defecation has been eradicated in the last two years. The 3-D model helped identify areas needing reforestation, and 1,000 saplings have been planted as part of an ongoing collaboration with the AgriSud project, which provides young plants. Having learned about the increasing scarcity of available land from the P3DM process, women have been quick to diversify their activities and started rearing livestock, fattening ducks, developing village granaries, producing and selling craftwork and acting as tourist guides. A local security service has also been set up and is now recognised by the regional court.

The knock-on effects of these experiences

The development committees in Ampefy and Analavory seem to be unstoppable! Their efforts are having knock-on effects in their own neighbourhood, and have spawned several sub-committees that are working on further community development initiatives. The neighbourhood chief was so impressed by the nine new groups (KF) that have been set up in the last two years that he incorporated them into the formal structure of his constituency, and their dynamism prompted the town hall to promulgate a communal order appointing KF members as Village Development Agents (VDAs). Their influence extends beyond their own commune to others in the district of Analavory, where their 3-D model was presented at the regional fair. Several other villages and communes in the district now intend to set up their own development committees, and these committees have become a focus for local development across the whole region of Itasy. The regional director of FAFAFI thinks the results speak for themselves. She believes that “personal development has a lasting impact on the individuals concerned and encourages sustainable community development,” and that “women are capable of doing incredible things with the right moral and technical support.”  At least one technician has been made available to work with women throughout the whole P3DM process, which is regarded as a very promising initiative by the Ministry for Population and Women’s Advancement. Its Director General, Kidja Marie Francine, has promised to support actions that help empower women.

Article written by Interview by Mamy Andriatiana for CTA

Friday, January 06, 2017

Opportunity for PGIS practitioners to map Batak ancestral lands and indigenous peoples’ and community conserved areas and territories (ICCAs) in Northern Palawan, the Philippines

The Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG) is a national coalition of indigenous peoples and local communities based in the province of Palawan (the Philippines). CALG is looking for young PGIS practitioners to help mapping Batak ancestral lands and ICCAs in northern Palawan. Specifically, they seek support for GPS-based resources inventories, geotagging of relevant locations (hunting grounds, upland farms, ritual sites, etc.).

One  aim of the project is to generate interactive maps that could serve to raise awareness on how the Batak of Palawan manage and perceive their cultural landscape. The interactive display of satellite imagery, enriched with location-based multimedia and other  layers of information, would also provide evidence of on-going threats to forest resources and Batak livelihood and cultural integrity.

Social cartography, emphasizing culturally distinct understanding of landscape, will be overlapped with geo-spatial maps.  The former will include the use of local place names, information on the actual and historical land uses, oral traditions, cosmovisions and testimonies linked to short video-clips syndicated from Google Video or You Tube, photographs (via Panoramio) and text.

CALG envisages that these maps would become the discursive patrimony of the Batak indigenous people and provide them with the necessary legal evidence to apply for Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs) and to have their ICCAs included in the ICCA Registry of the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

The project is on-going and it will end in June 2018.  Assistance for geotagging and mapping is particularly sought during the dry season (between February and May 2017), depending on the availability of PGIS practitioners.  Due to global climate changes, dry season is not necessarily confined to the period mentioned above, but could also extend up to June.

selected candidates will receive free food and lodging during the research, domestic travel costs will be reimbursed and a basic honorarium based on Philippine’s standards will be provided.

During the various stages of project implementation CALG and PGIS practitioners will closely collaborate with the Batak Federation (Bayaan it Batak kat Palawan – BBKP).

Those interested can approach the Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG) through this email address: calgpalawan@gmail.com

Most recent CALG geotagged reports 







Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Life on the move - Pastoral life and livestock cross-border trade in Northern Uganda through the lens of participatory mapping



Cross-border livestock trade in dryland eastern Africa significantly contributes to the enhancement of food security and generation of wealth. It supports the livelihoods of a wide range of actors including pastoralists, livestock traders and processors.

In this context the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) with finalcial and technical support provided by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), organised a P3DM workshop to identify key spatial characteristics of the livestock trading routes and marketing practices and bring the different stakeholders (including local authorities) around the same table, share information, discuss challenges and envisage mutually beneficial solutions.

The participatory mapping activity took place in Amudat in August 2016 and focused on the Achorichori Micro-catchment in Karamoja which includes Achorichor, Loroo, Amudat and Moruita Parishes. The area falls within the belt of livestock migratory movement, farmlands, cross-border livestock trade, grazing lands and water points. The mapped area covers approximately 546 sq. km.

The mapping exercise helped identify and locate wet and dry season grazing areas, farmland, forests and patchy pastures. Point items include schools, functional and non-functional boreholes, heath facilities, market places, maize mills, police posts but also churches, shrines and small gardens. Community representatives located on the 3D map all features they consider as important to the ir livelihoods. Their feedback about the mapping process are captured in the film.

Other participating organisations included:

ERMIS Africa, Kenya (P3DM facilitation)
ESIPPS International, Uganda (GIS support)
Vision Care Foundation (VCF), Uganda (community mobilizing)

French version of the film:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Global Drone Regulations Database Launched

Geneva, 15 December 2016 – FSD and partners announce the launch of a new repository of global drone regulations. The database includes summaries of national laws of more than 100 countries with the aim to help better inform drone pilots and stakeholders. In the ongoing effort to document the rapidly changing regulatory landscape, CTA, the New America Foundation, the Humanitarian UAV Network, senseFly, Parrot, FSD and EU Humanitarian Aid have joined forces to make this resource available. Volunteers are encouraged to help further improve its contents by signing up and suggesting edits.

The database can be accessed at www.droneregulations.info.
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For information contact: Denise Soesilo, RPAS Project Manager FSD space@fsd.ch or +41 22 907 3603

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Matura national Park Participatory 3D Model (P3DM) – A Participant’s Experience

As we continue to feature the Matura Participatory 3D Model building exercise, it is important to understand the merit of this initiative to community members. Ms. Evana Douglas hails from the Matelot to Matura region, and represents the Sky-Eco Organisation. Evana participated in this project and shares her knowledge gained from this experience.

Having participated in this P3DM model building exercise, how would you describe your experience overall?
In a single word, the exercise was informative. Community projects do not normally take on a participatory approach and are often specific to a particular community (e.g. Toco, Grande Riviere, Matura, etc.).
Knowledge holders contributing data to the 3D model

This particular exercise incorporated all communities from Matura to Matelot and afforded the opportunity for networking with technocrats and neighbouring communities. It was also fun and euphoric working with different people from different backgrounds towards a single goal.

What are some of the key lessons learnt from being part of this P3DM exercise?
There were many lessons learnt during this exercise, the most important in my opinion, is the awareness and appreciation for the Matura to Matelot environment (not just the ESA but the surrounding neighbourhood as well) that resulted from being a part of the development of the model. Personally, I have also developed a sense of ownership for the natural resources of the region and the model itself, as I was able to identify key areas on the model that I am both familiar with and dependent on. Some areas and activities were even eye opening.

What value do you see coming out of this model?
The model can be used in almost all areas of development. Because the area has a mixture of coastal and terrestrial culture, the impacts of this interface are critical and can be illustrated with the model. As such, it is a tool for all levels of education and expertise and should be made mandatory in national spatial development initiatives; for example the proposed Highway and Seaport infrastructure. Of course there is significant room for improvement as the Matura National Park (MNP) in isolation doesn't actually reflect the implications to the communities and other areas that are not included in the MNP. As a result, there is potential for incorporating the entire coastal zone (from ridge to reef) to reflect the extent of area, its development potential and the impacts on all areas of the watershed. There is also potential for economic and cultural development using the model as residents are able to identify places of interest and potential for sustainable activities.

Do you think other communities or protected areas such as Matura should use the P3DM tool?
Application in other areas; whether protected or not, should be made mandatory. Modeling is the basis for understanding the environment and impacts of human based activities on the environment; to which our livelihoods depend. In most cases, various forms of 2D modelling are applied using complex programs like GIS and RS. These often lack information or are just too complex for residents; especially those from rural communities. The 3D model however is a literal miniature replication of the area and can be understood at all levels of education and expertise; making it quite an effective to in spatial development and management of our natural resources (not just the MNP).


SourceSunday Guardian, 28 august 2016