Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Prés de nos ancêtres. Cartographie participative au Gabon

En 2002, Son Excellence, El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, président de la République du Gabon, a crée avec un décret treize parcs nationaux. Les parcs ont été conçus pour représenter différents biomes et les enclaves importantes de la biodiversité dans ce pays du Bassin du Congo.

Cette vidéo, réalisée en 2010, raconte l'expérience des villageois Babongo et Mitsogho qui ont construit une maquette en trois dimensions de leur territoire qui comprend le parc national de Waka dans le massif du Chaillu, la Province de Ngounié. Waka est censé avoir la plus forte densité des primats de la Terre entière, dans une foret Équatoriale montagneuse menace par des concessions forestières. Ce territoire, principalement dans la commune d'Ikobey, abrite également la communauté Babongo, un peuple «Pygmées» de chasseurs-cueilleurs autochtones et leurs voisins, les Mitsogho, un peuple chasseurs-agricoles.

La cartographie participative en 3 dimensions donnait une occasion pour les peuples autochtones et locales a s'engager avec le gouvernement au sujet de leurs droits, la bonne gouvernance et la prise de décision par rapport a l'aire protégée, en utilisant leurs propres langues et la connaissance intime du milieu culturel et naturel. Avec l'appui des ONG nationales et internationales et les organisations des peuples autochtones a travers le bassin du Congo, les villageois Babongo et les Mitsogho ont pu utiliser la carte comme une plate-forme pour parler aux autorités locales et provinciales au sujet de leurs préoccupations et de présenter une vision de la participation et la gouvernance démocratique. La vidéo est un témoignage au défi de la conservation de la biodiversité et le maintien de la diversité culturelle locale, protégées gouvernance zones et les moyens de subsistance. Le projet a été soutenu par MINAPYGA, Brainforest Gabon, Rainforest Royaume-Uni, le CTA et IPACC avec la coopération de la Wildlife Conservation Society (Gabon) et l'Agence nationale des Parcs Nationaux de la République du Gabon.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Free, Prior and Informed Consent in REDD+

The principle that indigenous peoples and local communities have a right to give or withhold their Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) to developments affecting their resources is not new. However, experience using FPIC in REDD+ implementation is still limited in the Asia-Pacific region. Using relevant examples from a range of locations and sectors, this manual provides a basis for developing country-specific guidance on employing FPIC in REDD+ processes. This new report has been published by The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). The report is, according to the Introduction, “targeted at people concerned with the design and implementation of REDD+ projects or programs.”

RECOFTC and GIZ’s report can be downloaded here: “Free, Prior, and Informed Consent in REDD+: Principles and Approaches for Policy and Project Development” (1.4 MB)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Close to our Ancestors: Gabon forest peoples map their land

Close to our Ancestors: Gabon forest peoples map their land.

In 2002, El Hajj Omar Bongo Ondimba, then President of the Republic of Gabon, signed into existence thirteen National Parks. The Parks were designed to represent different biomes and important biodiversity enclaves in this Congo Basin country.

This video, made in 2010, documents the experience of Babongo and Mitsogho villagers building a three dimensional model of their home territory which includes the Waka National Park in the Chaillu Massif, Ngounié Province. Waka NP is purported to have the highest primate density of any place on Earth, in an isolated mountainous equatorial rainforest threatened by foreign logging concessions. This territory, mostly in Ikobey District, is also home to Babongo "Pygmies", an indigenous hunter-gatherer people and their neighbours, the hunting-farming Mitsogho people.

The Participatory 3 Dimensional Mapping (P3DM) exercise provides an opportunity for indigenous and local people to engage with government about their rights, good governance and decision making in relation to the Protected Area, using their own languages and intimate knowledge of cultural and natural landscape. With the support of national and international NGOs and indigenous peoples' organisations from across the Congo Basin, the Babongo and Mitsogho villagers were able to use the map as a platform to speak to local and Provincial government about their concerns and to present a vision of participation and democratic governance. The video speaks to the challenge of conserving biodiversity and sustaining local cultural diversity, Protected Areas governance and livelihoods. The project was supported by MINAPYGA, Brainforest Gabon, Rainforest UK, CTA and IPACC with the cooperation of Wildlife Conservation Society (Gabon) and the Agence National des Parcs Nationaux of the Republic of Gabon.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Seeking Spatial Justice (Globalization and Community)

In Seeking Spatial Justice, Soja argues that justice has a geography and that the equitable distribution of resources, services, and access is a basic human right. Building on current concerns in critical geography and the new spatial consciousness, Soja interweaves theory and practice, offering new ways of understanding and changing the unjust geographies in which we live.

After tracing the evolution of spatial justice and the closely related notion of the right to the city in the influential work of Henri Lefebvre, David Harvey, and others, he demonstrates how these ideas are now being applied through a series of case studies in Los Angeles, the city at the forefront of this movement.

Soja focuses on such innovative labor–community coalitions as Justice for Janitors, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and the Right to the City Alliance; on struggles for rent control and environmental justice; and on the role that faculty and students in the UCLA Department of Urban Planning have played in both developing the theory of spatial justice and putting it into practice.

Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (March 26, 2010)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mapping for Change: The experience of farmers in rural Oromiya, Ethiopia

This 16 min film documents a participatory mapping experience of Ethiopian farmers in the Oromiya Region. Over a period of 12 days close to 140 people contributed to the construction of a 3-dimensional map covering – at a 1:10,000-scale - a total area of 672 sq km.

In a relatively degraded environment where soil fertility plummeted after the clearance of the natural forest and food security is at stake, residents of four woredas (Welmera, Ejere, Adea berga and Mulo) convene in the village of Telecho to map their own land.
Challenged by an unchartered process they successfully complete it, and while populating the map, they compare their past and present ecosystems and identify the root causes of their problems. They finally propose with their own solutions.

The experience marked their life …

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A handbook for the Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas Registry

Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) are managed areas that are voluntarily conserved by local or indigenous communities for conservation and cultural purposes.

This handbook is intended as a guide for those who wish to learn about ICCAs and the newly developed ICCA Registry tool, which aims to develop awareness, recognition and documented values of ICCAs through a community-supported database, maps and an interactive, multimedia website.  Communities who govern and manage ICCAs will find this handbook particularly helpful to understand how they can contribute to and benefit from the Registry if they wish.  This handbook adheres to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and supports the application of bio-cultural community protocols in maintaining the integrity of community knowledge and resources.

English version [Download]
Spanish version [Download]

Friday, April 01, 2011

The Role of participatory cultural mapping in promoting intercultural dialogue: We are not hyenas; a reflection paper

Cultural mapping involves the representation of landscapes in two or three dimensions from the perspectives of indigenous and local peoples. It is potentially an important tool for UNESCO in its efforts to help Member States and civil society to create platforms for intercultural dialogue, and increase awareness of cultural diversity as a resource for peace building, good governance, fighting poverty, adaptation to climate change and maintaining sustainable management and use of natural resources.

Cultural mapping, if applied wisely, can help to reach the objectives set out in the UNESCO “Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity" (2001) and related recent conventions : the “Convention of the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage” (2003) and the “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (2005). Cultural mapping is furthermore relevant to the World Heritage Convention which dates back to 1972, but has undergone major changes since then, expanding the notion of a cultural site and promoting stronger involvement of populations living on the sites.

The aim of this paper entitled "The Role of participatory cultural mapping in promoting intercultural dialogue: We are not hyenas" is to critically consider how cultural mapping can become a good practice of intercultural dialogue and successfully further the aims of the Universal Declaration and the related conventions.

The paper is meant to assist indigenous and local peoples to consider their options and aspirations, to help civil servants and policy makers evaluate how mapping can be a useful tool in cultural policy and inventory work, and for those who are making maps to reflect on their practices.

Source: Nigel Crawhall, 2010, UNESCO

Building critical awareness of cultural mapping: a workshop facilitation guide

This Facilitation Guide is part of UNESCO's efforts to raise awareness of the opportunities and risks of cultural mapping, which is increasingly used in development work, including by UNESCO, Cultural mapping, if applied respectfully, can be an effective tool for exploring the spatial and territorial aspects of a community's cultural resources and for making the link between memory, imagination, land and maps.

The Guide builds on the experience of a pilot workshop entitled "Cultural Mapping and its Possible Uses for Indigenous/Local Communities" organized by the Division for Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue at UNESCO, Paris, from 15 to 16 November 2006. It was held within the framework of the indigenous fellowship programme1 and brought together visiting fellows staff from across UNESCO Sectors and interested members of the public, including anthropologists and human rights activists. The workshop explored the opportunities and risks of cultural mapping in protecting and promoting the rights, cultures and aspirations of indigenous and local communities in the larger context of sustainable development.

This Guide aims to go beyond the circle of people who benefited from the workshop and reach out to others who wish to reflect upon and engage in the practice of cultural mapping both critically and constructively. It addresses two types of audiences: (i) representatives of indigenous/local communities involved in protecting and promoting their rights, cultures and aspirations, and (ii) individuals and groups with responsibility in programming and planning for sustainable development.

UNESCO, CLT.2009/WS/14