Historical and cultural knowledge emerges along with awareness on environmental change
SCARBOROUGH, 06 October, 2012. Excitement is growing as the blank 3D model is populated with data. What is astonishing is that nobody uses satellite images or existing maps where to source information. All data comes from memory, and one added piece of information offers new cues to memory, hence everybody is discovering and learning by doing.
|A team from Golden Lane add their data to the model|
The residents of Tobago, the actual custodians of local and traditional knowledge are eager to put their stamp on the model. As the updating of the map legend continues, some of them are resolute in their view that present as well as past names of map features, like points, areas and lines must be included.
The participatory 3D model exercise is being facilitated by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) with financial and technical assistance from The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and the United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility - Small Grants Programme (UNDP GEF-SGP).
Historical perspectiveThe excitement of the participants echoes around the Island and the P3DM initiative is attracting keen interest from Tobagonians from all walks of life. Laura Williams of Golden Lane returns to the workshop with Lyris Walker and Veslin Alleyne in tow; they have information for the model.
|Gang Gang immortalised on the model!|
Lyris, Laura and Veslin are excited to see the point on the model which identifies Gang Gang Hill in Golden Lane. They tell of the legend that gave the hill its name: Gang Gang Sarah was a witch who flew from Africa to meet members of her family who were captured and brought to Tobago after being sold into slavery. In Tobago, Gang Gang Sarah met and married Long Tom. After her husband died, she attempted to fly back to Africa, but fell to her death from the top of the silk cotton tree which she had climbed to begin her journey. She could no longer take off because she had eaten salt and salt makes it impossible for witches to fly!
Tobago has a rich cultural history, but the legends are heard less frequently as the years go by. To preserve the island’s past, a Heritage festival is held annually to celebrate all aspects of the island’s history.
Climate change adaptationContributing to the participatory 3D model overwhelms Bryan Bain of Belle Garden. He understands the importance of the exercise because he has seen the effects of unsustainable harvesting practices and climate change in his community. He talks of crab catchers harvesting thousands of crabs weekly.
|A fisherman from Castara is oriented to |
the model by one of the trainees
Bryan also points to deforestation as a major problem in his area. This, he observes, has lead to the shortage of wildlife in the forest, among other things. He feels that the P3D model will make members of the community more aware of the damage they are causing. Increased awareness, he notes, should bring about enough change in people's attitudes and trigger changes in the way they act. He plans to build a P3D model of his village to enhance tourism.
Similarly, Goldberg Job, informant from Belle Garden, says people have to be encouraged to adapt to climate change by changing their lifestyles. He says people must be told to tie the roofs to their houses to prevent these from being blown away during adverse weather conditions. Additionally, he notes that fishermen should build bigger boats and invest in technology in order to continue fishing further afar from the coastline. He wonders whether architects are part of the P3D model-making. He is told that he is the architect, as well as the other informants.
The work on the participatory 3D model of Tobago continues apace. Another group of informants is expected on Sunday. If the trend continues, the same group of informants that came on Saturday and Friday will return to further contribute data on the model.
- Tobago P3DM - The missing islet
- Blank 3D model of Tobago accommodates first set of community inputs
- P3DM blank model of Tobago ready for accommodating community’s knowledge
- Participatory 3D Modelling in Tobago - key venues
- Caribbean nationals eager to develop P3DM in their countries: "P3DM a unique, totally new experience"
- Participatory 3D Modelling exercise kicks off with much gusto in Tobago
- ICTs for Climate Change Adaptation: Introduction of innovative technologies in the Caribbean
- Tobagonians will build a participatory 3D model of Tobago to plan for impacts of climate change and extreme climatic events
- Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM): five years after receiving the World Summit Award