Trinidad and Tobago nationals and their Caribbean counterparts converge for workshop.
SCARBOROUGH, 30 September, 2012. Sixth form students and their teachers from secondary schools across Tobago, members of civil society from Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean, along with representatives from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), and the University of the West Indies (UWI) have been merging their skills to construct a 3 dimensional (3D) model of Tobago. The 3D model being constructed will cover an area of approximately 1,152 km² and consist of a 1:10,000-scale version of the island and its waters up to a depth of -100 metres, says CANARI’s Senior Technical Officer, Neila Bobb-Prescott.
The process of building this model involves a varied mix of actively involved people and so it is termed participatory 3D modelling or P3DM. The P3DM of Tobago is taking place during a workshop held over the period September 28th to October 12th 2012 at the Blenheim Sheep Multiplication and Research Project station in Tobago.
|Kail Zingapan leads a session to explain the application of |
GIS technology to the model building exercise
The 2-week activity is based on a participatory approach which acknowledges the importance of traditional knowledge and builds on it in making decisions about how to cope with climate change, says Dr. Bheshem Ramlal of the UWI. He adds that the information generated in the mapping exercise can be used for advocacy and informing policy. The participatory approach focuses on learning by doing, exchange of knowledge and collegial data analysis and verification. Data storage and retrieval “must be done by local people or not at all” notes Geographic Information System (GIS) expert Ms. Kail Zingapan from the Philippines.
|Sorting through the kit of materials needed |
for the model construction
Jhon-Pierre of the Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive School and Jaidon Lalla of University of the West Indies Open Campus, both teenage students, are eager to begin construction of the model. They both agree that creating the 3D model of Tobago is an event of historical significance and would help them to appreciate the natural resources of the island. They also see the model being used as a means of helping all stakeholders shape future uses of the resources of Tobago.
The boys were selected by their peers to be interviewed here after the girls in the groups cheerfully chorus “men must rule again”. The boys' response -“yea, yea” - to this show of encouragement was not very enthusiastic, but they showed that they quite understood the significance of the project in which they were all engaged.
|Neila Bobb-Prescott from CANARI prepares |
for her presentation on facilitation
During one of CANARI’s training sessions, Neila introduced the trainees to key concepts in participatory approaches to natural resource management; she identified the role of stakeholders and the challenges and benefits of their involvement in the process.
Additionally, Bheshem, Kenn Mondiai of Partners with Melanesians (PwM), an NGO based in Papua New Guinea and Kail shared information on the development of the Participatory GIS (PGIS). “PGIS is a method used to compose peoples’ spatial knowledge of their landscape with the use of GIS tools”, said Kail.
|Enjoying the Tobago cuisine!|