Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tobagonians hand over the Participatory 3D model to the Tobago House of Assembly

Participatory 3D Model referred to as “visual conversation” tool

1:10,000 scale participatory 3D model of
Tobago produced by Tobagonians in the
 two-week workshop held at
Blenheim, Tobago
SCARBOROUGH, 12 October 2012. Tobagonians, today, handed over the participatory 3D model of Tobago to the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA’s) Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment, the Honorable Gary Melville.  The hand-over ceremony, which took place at the auditorium of the Tobago Hospitality and Training Institute at Mount St. George (close to where the model was built at Blenheim), was attended by students, informants, trainees from across the Caribbean, THA officials and facilitators from the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Partners with Melanesians (PwM) - the NGO deployed by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) to provide technical inputs into the manufacture of the model and delivery of P3DM / PGIS training.  Officials from CTA and United Nations Development Programme - Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (UNDP GEF-SGP) attended the ceremony; these two organizations provided technical and financial support to the P3DM and Participatory Video (PV) processes.

The ceremony marked the end of a 14-day workshop which was hosted by CANARI and the UWI in conjunction with the THA to pilot the building of the P3DM in the Caribbean.  The workshop, which was coordinated by CANARI’s, Senior Technical Officer and Manager of Forest, Livelihoods and Governance Programme, Mrs. Neila Bobb-Prescott, was held to train facilitators from around the Caribbean, in the use of participatory processes for communicating information relating to climate change and its impact on communities.  Part of the training also included using PV to evaluate the effectiveness of the P3DM process.

On October 11, CANARI’s Executive Director, Ms Nicole Leotaud, facilitated a session with stakeholders from Tobago to prepare a summary of the impacts of climate change in Tobago, outline how climate change is affecting them and the steps they are taking to adapt to these impacts.

On October 12, the stakeholders of Tobago presented the summary to the THA and called on the THA to use the information on the model to design policies to lessen the impact of climate change on their livelihood activities and the island of Tobago as a whole.

Anthony Cordner shares the  Tobago 'story' of
climate change during the handover ceremony at the
Tobago Hospitality and Training Institute
When listing the effects of climate change Tobagonians highlighted the following: decreased and erratic rainfall, dead areas of coral reefs, blurred dry and wet seasons, less fishes in the sea and increased coastal erosion.  Additionally, the group of stakeholders also spoke of the prevalence of bush fires on the island.

Fisherfolk reported that they have adapted to the changes by sailing further offshore to fish.  Some farmers indicated that they had switched from farming to fishing and others reported that they were digging wells closer to rivers to water their crops.  Laura Williams of the group Anse Fromager from the village of Golden Lane called on the THA to partner with communities to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Clement Bobb, President of the Tobago Cocoa Farmers
Association refers to the 3D model as
a “visual conversation tool"
Another informant, Clement Bobb, President of the Tobago Cocoa Farmers Association, told the audience that it was only through the workshop that he learnt that members of the association are noting springs drying up and are moving to alternative locations.  Mr. Bobb also said it was the sharing of information by all, including trainees from around the Caribbean, which led him to deem the 3D model a means for “visual conversation”.

Meantime, in receiving the model, Secretary for Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment, the Honorable Gary Melville expressed the THA and Executive Council’s “deepest appreciation” for the efforts of facilitators, funding agencies and all others who had a hand in creating the “visual conversation” tool.

The Secretary promised to increase the use of the participatory approach to deal with climate change.  He said the model was an example of the level of output that could be achieved when many organizations and people join forces for a common purpose.

Hon. Gary Melville, Neila Bobb Prescott from CANARI
and Lamon Rurren from CTA admiring
the completed 3D model 
Meantime, in an interview conducted after the ceremony, Mr. Lamon Rutten, Manager of Policy, Market and ICT at CTA, said he was happy with the level of enthusiasm displayed at the ceremony from all the participants and found the results coming out of the workshop “amazing”, since he knew the amount of effort that had gone into producing the model.  He pointed out that the use of conventional tools to gather information would have taken much longer and may not have yielded the same results. He also pointed to the sense of urgency, that Tobagonians expressed in their presentation, to do something to mitigate the impacts of climate change.  He expressed his hope that the same level of urgency stated by citizens would be felt by the politicians. Mr. Rutten manager thanked CANARI for the “tremendous” work done in facilitating the workshop and noted that without CANARI, the CTA would not have been able to achieve its goal of working within the Caribbean.

In addressing the ceremony, Giacomo Rambaldi, Senior Programme Coordinator at the CTA said he, like everyone else, was pleased with the model and glad to witness what had taken place.  Mr. Rambaldi, who has extensive experience in creating participatory 3D models, attended the last two days of the workshop.

Likewise, Sasha Jattansingh, Programme Assistant of the UNDP GEF Small Grants programme, said she appreciated the great work undertaken by CANARI, UWI, THA and participants in the workshop.
By and large, the ceremony was well represented by members from all the sectors that had taken part in the workshop.  Everyone who participated – students, informants and trainee facilitators – were awarded certificates.
Facilitators, trainees and informants pose with
Bheshem Ramlal (UWI)  and Giacomo Rambaldi (CTA)
after the handover ceremony 
Note: The following organizations were represented at the training and /or closing ceremony


  • Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); 
  • Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology (CIMH)

Dominican Republic: 

  • Consorcio Ambiental Dominicano (CAD)


  • Caribbean Association for Youth Development (CAYD); 
  • Woburn Community


  • Groupe de Action Francophone pour l'Environnement (GAFE)


St. Lucia: 

  • Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 

Trinidad and Tobago: 

  • Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI)
  • Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI); 
  • Institute of Marine Affairs Trinidad and Tobago (IMA); 
  • Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross Society
  • Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM); 
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE), Tobago

US Virgin Islands: 

  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Greater Caribbean: 

  • Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME), IOCARIBE - UNESCO

Papua New Guinea

  • Partners with Melanesians (PwM)


  • Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
  • The UNDO GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP)

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