Monday, September 05, 2011

The Manus MOSAIC - Participatory 3D modeling for climate change adaptation across Manus Province, Papua New Guinea

At the Manus Province Climate Change Seminar ‘Manus Way Forward’, October 2010, over 70 participants presented and shared experiences, expertise and ideas on how to adapt to climate change impacts. As part of the recommendations, representatives from the Provincial Government suggested using Participatory 3D modeling (P3DM) as a tool to help convene stakeholders and discuss province-wide responses to climate change impacts that would support and build on local efforts and scale-up impacts and opportunities.

In particular, the tool was proposed as a way to initiate discussion on a protected area network for Manus, the Manus ‘MOSAIC’. The exercise would be an initial step in outlining the spatial coverage of key ecosystem services, such as watersheds, reefs and mangroves, and representing and discussing opportunities for strengthened management of these areas under a future of climate change, and in the context of social and economic development for the province. The opportunity to involve local stakeholders from all LLG jurisdictions in this process will help develop a roadmap for the development of a Manus ‘MOSAIC’ protected area network.

Participatory 3D modelling

Participatory 3D modelling (P3DM) is a fully collaborative exercise that combines community mapping with open discussions on land-use and land-use planning scenarios.  It combines geographic precision with local, individual spatial knowledge and ‘mind-maps’ of locality and familiar settings.  During a P3DM exercise, all participants contribute to make a physical, hands-on wood-and paper model, to scale, of their community, island or area. This is typically made on a large table in the centre of a meeting hall, school or other public place. Once the model is made, then people become ‘resource persons’ and informants, and everyone will contribute to placing features and places onto the model. Key informants, such as elders and experienced fishermen or foresters, will offer their view of past events, of boundaries, of key localities and times for certain activities, and these can be discussed, and learned, by all participants.

Below is the video produced during the Solomon Islands event in February 2011.

In this way, the model is more than just a map, it is a representation of spatial knowledge of the participants, and a source of discussion and interpretation around key issues.

Proposed area of Manus to be represented by the P3DM exercise (Map by Nate Peterson, TNC)
Although one key objective of this exercise is to plan for protection and restoration of key natural features, and to plan for possible climatic changes, other issues that are important to the province and the participating communities can be discussed in the same context. Furthermore, the model and the information can be used again, and again, for collaborative discussions and planning on key development issues. Digital GIS can be extracted from the model, and vice-versa, to aid and inform future discussions.  In this way, scientific information can be easily communicated and integrated with local knowledge and understanding.

Activity overview

The P3DM exercise will take place over a two-week period, from Monday 29th August to Friday 9th September. The first week will be dedicated to constructing the blank relief model, working closely with the local high-schools schools in Lorengau to allow students the opportunity to have a hands-on lesson in geography. It will also allow those participants interested in training / learning how to carry out a P3DM the opportunity to get involved.

The second week will concentrate on making the blank model come alive. Participants from all areas of Manus, and with all technical and local backgrounds, will discuss and add information to the model, including point data (features such as houses, schools, waterfalls, caves etc), line data (roads, streams, rivers, tracks, paths, boundaries, fences, cables, runways etc) and area data (polygons, such as mangroves, forest concession areas, reef flats, beaches, airports etc). Local knowledge on boundaries and features from participants from each part of Manus will contribute to an overall local picture of the province. Official and technical data can also be cross-referenced with local understanding, and represented on the model.

Towards the end of the second week, a facilitated discussion will focus on key issues, including ecosystem services and existing and proposed protected areas; current and proposed development activities (mining, forest concessions, urban and commercial expansion); and information related to predicted climate change impacts.

Future discussions on the proposed Manus MOSAIC protected area network can build on this initial analysis and use the 3D model for further participatory mapping.

General objectives of the Manus MOSAIC P3DM:

The P3DM exercise will enable all participants:
  • To learn and understand Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in an open, hands-on and accessible way
  • To participate in spatial planning for their own area as well as for the whole province
  • To identify planned developments and trends in land-use change, and assessing the impacts of these changes on key ecosystem services
  • To open a discussion on climate change impacts and how to integrate adaptation into spatial planning at local and provincial scales
  • To discuss management and protection measures for key ecosystem services in the context of scaling-up beyond local efforts to ensure the best network of connectivity in conservation and adaptation efforts for the whole province
Author: James Hardcastle, The Nature Conservancy
Source: Eldis Communities | blog

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