Thursday, December 25, 2014

Iligan City Participatory 3D Modelling

A participatory 3D mapping (P3DM) skillshare in Iligan City, Philippines. This is a component of the Greenpeace Climate Crisis Response Project.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Aljazeera reports on P3DM made and used in Samoa to adapt to climate change and mitigate disasters

Participatory 3D Model (P3DM) done by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) in Samoa in the framework of the GEF-Funded "Integration of climate change risk and resilience into forestry management in Samoa (ICCRIFS)" Project now in on Aljazeera news.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Top UN officials Helen Clark and Naoko Ishii praising outcome of P3DM activities in Samoa

During the SIDS Conference which took place in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014, Ms Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and Dr Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO & Chairperson are introduced to the Participatory 3D Model (P3DM) done by representatives from 14 villages in Lauli'i to Falevao area on Upolu Island, Western Samoa in the context of the GEF-Funded "Integration of climate change risk and resilience into forestry management in Samoa (ICCRIFS)" Project.

This short video captures some of their inspiring comments.

Credits for footage and still images: Paulo Amerika, MNRE, Samoa

Related article on the Samoa Observer Ltd.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nation-wide database based on content generated via Participatory 3D Models

SYDNEY, 19 November 2014. During the World Parks Congress session "A toolkit to support conservation by Indigenous Peoples and local communities: building capacity and sharing knowledge" organised by Colleen Corrigan from UNEP-WCMC, PAFID Executive Director Dave de Vera elaborated on the establishment of a country-wide database based on selected data sourced (FPIC obtained) from more than 150 1:5000 scale participatory 3D models (P3DM) realised by indigenous peoples in the Philippines.

The toolkit produced by United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and launched at the Congress includes 150 tools among which a range of participatory mapping methods including P3DM.  The toolkit is meant to build capacity and sharing knowledge for Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs).

It also includes a case study from Ethiopia which summarizes the outcome of a P3DM exercise facilitated by MELCA-Ethiopia with support provided by CTA.

The toolkit also recommends the "Training Kit on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication" published by CTA and IFAD in 2012

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mandingalbay Yidinji Traditional Owners mapped their lands in 3 dimensions - Don't miss their feedback at the World Park Congress in Sydney

Australian aboriginal Mandingalbay Yidinjii people have recently completed a P3DM exercise within the ancestral territories (traditional country) in Queensland.

They will showcase their work and replicate the population of one section of their 3D model during the World Parks Congress in Sydney They will do this at the WIN and Pacific Community Dialogue Pavilion (Pavilion 2) on 13-15 November. You should pass by and talk to them about their exciting experience.

On Monday, 17 November 8:30 – 12:00 they will officially present their achievements at the WIN & Pacific Community Dialogue Pavilion (Pavilion 2) during the session “Voices and choices: The risks and values of georeferencing traditional and local knowledge”. This session is organised by CTA with support provided by IUCN, UNDP, GEF-SGP and the WTMA.

More on this activity and related events at the Worls Parks Congress is found on this flyer.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Forthcoming P3DM-related activities at the 6th World Park Congress, Sydney 12-19 November 2014

Click to download the flyer
This is to update you about a series of events which will focus on Participatory GIS practice during the forthcoming IUCN World Park Congress. The events we are organising have a common denominator: Participatory 3D modelling (P3DM).

Below is a short description of the 3 events / activities:

Rolling activity (13-17 November),  at the WIN & Pacific Community Dialogue Pavilion (Pavilion #2)

Title: Participatory 3D modelling of the traditional country of the Mandingalbay Yidinji People, Queensland, Australia

Organisers: Wet Tropics Management Authority with support provided by IUCN, CTA and UNDP Equator Initiative with financial support provided by UNDP GEF-SGP

Starting on 13 November and for the duration of the conference, representatives from the aboriginal Mandingalbay Yidinji People will work on a 3D Model reproducing their ancestral territory within the Wet Tropics World Heritage site. The model will be at a 1:10,000 scale and include terrestrial and coastal components. It will be a replica of a larger model completed by a wider representation of the community in Queensland with support provided by the Wet Tropics Management Authority, IUCN and UNDP GEF-SGP. The population of the 3D model with data will occur during the conference within the WIN Communities Dialogue Pavilion. Support in the process will be offered by Partners with Melanesians. The completed model will be presented by Mandingalbay Yidinji People during the Side event “: The risks and values of geo-referencing traditional and local knowledge” which will take in the same pavilion on Monday 17 (see below).

Pavilion event; 17 November 8:30 – 12:00, WIN & Pacific Community Dialogue Pavilion (Pavilion #2)

Title: Voices and Choices: The risks and values of geo-referencing traditional and local knowledge

Organisers: CTA and IUCN

Note: Coffee, tea and cakes will be served to participants by mid-morning
This event focuses on Participatory 3 Dimensional Modelling (P3DM) a method within the Participatory GIS family which enables communities to geo-reference and spatially document their complex systems of traditional land/seascape knowledge. The method benefits from its integration with GIS, multimedia production, Web2.0 and social media and serves multiple purposes, including landscape planning, rights advocacy, inter-generational knowledge transmission, influencing policy-making and enhancing communities’ socio-environmental resilience.

At the onset of Participatory GIS (PGIS) practice, concerns were expressed that the nature of and access to GIS would simultaneously marginalize or empower different groups in society. The practice evolved along different lines and among diverse interest groups. Currently it embraces a blend of applications ranging from Internet-based spatial multimedia to field-based participatory methods with a modest GIS component. In this fast-evolving context, there is a seemingly unstoppable excitement about georeferencing human physical, biological and socio-cultural worlds and making the information publicly available. This embodies both potentials and risks, aspects which need to be taken into consideration by knowledge holders, technology intermediaries/facilitators and researchers.

A physical 1:10,000 scale 3D model completed by the Mandingalbay Yidinji People representing a portion of their ancestral territory within the Wet Tropics World Heritage site in Queensland, Australia will be showcased at the event. Representatives from the community will share their experience in going through the various phases of the process, how they dealt with sensitive data, and their plans on how best to make use of acquired skills, knowledge and completed products (the model and derived maps) in their future endeavours.

Coordinator: Giacomo Rambaldi (rambaldi[at]

Session within Stream 7; Tuesday 18 November 2014, 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Title: Knowledge management and technologies: Participatory 3D modelling in Protected Areas, landscapes and seascapes

Organisers: IPACC and CTA, in cooperation with Association des Femmes Peules Autochtones du Tchad, Minorités Pygmées du Gabon, and Yiaku People’s Association of Kenya, Melca Ethiopia and other indigenous peoples and local communities.

Background and summary: IPACC, African Biodiversity Network and other organisations have used Participatory 3 Dimensional Modelling (P3DM) to represent complex systems of indigenous landscape knowledge to themselves and decision-makers. P3DM, a geo-referenced and yet participatory system of knowledge representation serves multiple usages, including landscape planning, rights advocacy, inter-generational knowledge transmission and improving conservation.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) promotes skills transfer in P3DM for indigenous peoples and local communities in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific regions.
Oral knowledge of biological systems emerges through the methodology, associated with resource governance, rights and indigenous values. The tool provides a multi-use medium for negotiating land use, understanding customary use systems, education for sustainability, and empowering indigenous peoples as holders of expert knowledge in conservation and planning.
P3DM case studies describe a broad range of ecosystems and contexts. P3DM provides a valuable tool for intercultural understanding of diverse knowledge and land use systems relevant for Protected Areas.

Coordinators: Nigel Crawhall (nigel.tilcepa[at] and Giacomo Rambaldi (rambaldi[at]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The film “The enabling power of participatory 3D mapping among the Saramaccan People of Suriname” launched at CWA2014

Fifty years ago, some 5000 Saramaccan people of Suriname had to leave their traditional lands along the Suriname River due to the construction of a major dam. The wounds of this transmigration are still felt today. Meanwhile, the Saramaccans who live in the Upper Suriname River area face new challenges since their territorial rights are not yet officially recognized and road infrastructure to access the area is improving. Creating a 3D model of the area that tells the inside story of their traditions and land use can help them to overcome their sense of being misunderstood by decision-makers and rediscover their voice.

The 15 min video production “The enabling power of participatory 3D mapping among the Saramaccan People of Suriname” has been launched on October 9 at the 13th Caribbean Week of Agriculture in Paramaribo, Suriname. The launch occurred during the session “Maps as media in policy processes: Bringing the 3rd dimension to the negotiating table” in the presence of representatives from the Saramaccan community.

The launch was followed by reflections done by Saramaccan representatives Mr Godfried Adjako, one of the captains of the village of Kaajapati, and Ms Debora Linga who spent her infancy with her grandparents on their farm on the shores of the Brokopondo Reservoir and later on kept visiting them in Ginginston village along the banks of the Upper Suriname River.

Mr Godfried Adjako recalled that in the process of populating the 3D model the community, especially the youth, learned a lot from the elders. “The map now shows our life, the Earth we live on, the Earth we walk on, the Earth without which we cannot live.” “We can use the map to take decisions on where to locate future developments”, he added. Both men and women contributed to the map. “Women know a lot about the surrounding of the villages, while men who use to go hunting, know the most about far away areas.”

Mr Adjako stated that when developing the legend ahead of the mapping exercise, the community decided to omit sensitive and confidential information. Therefore the data contained in the model and currently being digitised by Tropenbos International Suriname (TBI) should be considered as publicly available.

The P3DM process has been a discovery journey for young Debora. “In the 60’s my grandparents had to resettle because their village had been submerged by the rising waters of the Brokopondo Reservoir. They resettled along the Upper Suriname River in a village called Ginginston where I grew up. I could not understand the reason why my grandfather kept on navigating a long way along the river to reach the shores of the lake where he was growing watermelon” she said. “I discovered the reason while chatting with an elder who explained to me that transmigrating families were welcome by Saramaccan villages uphill the lake, but were granted limited access to resources. In fact they were sort of borrowing the land from people who occupied it for generations. Thus they only had access to small farming areas. In Saramaccan this is how you feel: they were living on somebody else’s land.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Farmers and Indigenous Peoples in Palawan denounce controversial oil palm business

A web-press release by CALG (Coalition against Land Grabbing)

What development, for whom and what purposes, how and where, and with what implications? These are only some of the many questions raised by the people affected by oil palm development in Palawan's UNESCO declared Man and Biosphere Reserve, the most valuable ecological sanctuary in the entire Philippines.  

On 29 September, a delegation composed of farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ has handed over to Palawan Vice-Governor Dennis Socrates, a petition signed by more than 4,200 individuals calling for a moratorium on oil palm expansion province-wide.

The group belonging to the newly established Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG) said that, in addressing  rural poverty, the Government of Palawan should focus on concrete and sustainable plans to improve production on farmers’ land, rather than pushing for massive oil palm plantations.   As oil palm expansion continues unabated, the household economy of small farmers and indigenous peoples is now breaking apart.  “We are being strangled by huge debts with both Agumil Philippines, Inc (the major oil palm company) and the LandBank  (the key financer) and our land titles are being withhold by the bank  as a collateral” says Welly Mandi (CALG’s secretary).

“The expansion of oil palm plantations in Palawan is a blatant example of companies defying international law, state laws and the rights of communities through the connivance of unscrupulous and short-sighted government officials” says Marivic Bero (CALG’s Secretary General).  One can only speculate why the Government of Palawan remains passive while huge expanses of land, forest and fertile grounds of the “last Philippine Frontier” have been given  away for agribusinesses. But, at least, we know the official explanation: oil palms are only planted on ‘idle’ and ‘abandoned’ land to enhance the province’s economy while increasing job opportunities and transforming unused areas in productive plantations.

But are such lands really ‘idle’ and ‘abandoned’?  A recent study carried out by ALDAW (Ancestral Land/Domain Watch) with the support of the Non-Timber Forest-Exchange Programme  and the Broederlijk Delen, has clearly proven the contrary. The study argues that most of these so called 'idle' and 'unproductive' lands include areas that have been used since time immemorial by IPs societies.   “The removal of natural vegetation and of previous agricultural improvements by oil palm plantations is leading to the total collapse of traditional livelihoods, thus fostering communities’ impoverishment and increasing malnutrition” says Dr. Dario Novellino, an anthropologist of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity of the University of Kent (UK) who has lived in Palawan over a period of almost 30 years.
He sustains that what the Government has failed to consider is that most of the so called ‘idle’ and ‘underdeveloped’ lands include areas that are being utilized by the rural and indigenous populations for different purposes (gathering of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), medicinal plants, swidden cultivation, etc.  He believes that a direct relationship exists between oil palm expansion, the impoverishment of people’s diet, the progressive deterioration of traditional livelihood and the interruption of cultural transmission related to particular aspects of people’s local knowledge.

ALDAW - NTFP-EP supported reesearch  shows that the disappearance of useful plant species due to oil palm expansion is extremely alarming.  For instance, in one particular area of Barangay Iraan (Municipality of Rizal), local indigenous informants claim that, because of oil palm development, at least 145 species have completely disappeared from the areas where these were traditionally gathered.  The study also indicates that, in some oil palm impacted communities, the most common plant species used in basketry have dramatically declined. Overall, if massive land conversion for oil palm plantation will be allowed to continue, this may cause the additional exhaustion of plant material and fibers which are essential to sustain people’s cultural practices, artistic expressions and daily needs.
The research suggests that the depletion of useful wild palms is directly connected to land conversion into oil palm plantations.  Palms yield multiple types of products and provide both food and cash income.  Palawan indigenous communities exploit wild plants for their edible cabbages (the tender meristematic region found in the growing tip and enclosed by leaf bases). Calamus spp. and Daemonorops spp. yield very little, but Arenga spp. and Oncosperma spp. might provide buds up to two-three kilograms. Certain palms such as bätuq (Caryota mitis), bätbat (Arenga undulatifolia), busniq (Arenga brevipes),and nangäq have been traditionally exploited for their edible starch.  Dr. Novellino argues that palm food in Palawan may still play an important role in view of the dramatic changes that people is experiencing in their livelihood (e.g. increasing crops’ failure due to attack of pests and unpredictable weather patterns).  He suggests that “there are evidences that during various El Nino events, several Palawan communities have been able to counter famine and crop failures through increasing collection of starch from both wild and cultivated species”.  It may then be anticipated that the alarming decline of starch palms caused by oil palm expansion could further deprive entire Palawan communities from an important emergency food (palm starch), thus leaving them with no food options during periods of food shortage and crops failure.

Surprisingly as it is,  oil palm expansion and massive land conversion in Palawan is taking place with no serious monitoring being done by the concerned authorities and in the absence of existing maps. This makes it is impossible to systematically determine the ownership, elevation, land classification, etc. of the areas in which oil palms are being planted. “Pushing for oil palm expansion, without a single map being produced, is an indication of the lack of commitment and concerns by both government agencies and oil palm companies” says Motalib Kemil, the Chairman of the newly established Palawan-based Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG). So far, oil palm plantation have covered an area of about 6,000 ha. across six Municipalities in Southern Palawan and their aim is to expand to a total target area ranging between 15,000 to 20,000 hectares.

Staring from 2010 ALDAW has  used geotagging technologies to determine the impact of deforestation caused by agribusiness enterprises such as Agumil, PPVOMI, Sant Andres and CAVDEAL, a road construction company which has recently included oil palm plantations in their business.  AGPI  is 75 percent Filipino-owned and 25 percent Malaysian and works hand in hand with its sister company, the Palawan Palm and Vegetable Oil Mills Inc. (PPVOMI) that is 60 percent Singaporean and 40 percent Filipino-owned.

ALDAW geo-referenced photographs have provided clear evidence of large forest clearing perpetrated by oil palm companies (see photo 5). On 23 January 2014, in the course of joint field visit carried by ALDAW and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) it has been ascertained that natural forest found within 19,21 ha of Alienable and Disposable Land and  within 2,69 ha of timberland has been clear cut, allegedly by Agumil in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of Bataraza.

GPS surveys carried out by CENRO itself  have further established that oil palm plantations have encroached on virgin forest found on Alienable and Disposable Land (94.2930 ha) and on Timberland (185.2398 ha) in the Municipalities of Quezon and Rizal. Forest conversion into oil palm plantations has also occurred in other municipalities.  Interestingly enough, Agumil Philippines Inc and its sister company PPVOMI have never received  ‘tree cutting permits’  from the DENR  and thus their operations have flagrantly violated the DENR forestry code and, in particular Executive Order no.23 (the nationwide ban on the cutting of trees in natural and residual forest).

“All of this has allowed to happen because widespread [...], lack of coordination between agencies of government, failure and incompetence of government officials to ensure laws compliance, lack of accountability and transparency of agribusiness enterprises” says Marivic Bero, CALG’s Secretary General.  It would appear that Agumil and other oil palm enterprises have  bypassed, with impunity, the Strategic Environment Plan (SEP), the very law which should ensured sustainable development and environmental protection in Palawan.  This law further mandates that no development project should take place unless the proponents secure the so called SEP clearance, being issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). Furthermore, according to a Memorandum of Agreement between PCSD and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) signed on December 29, 1994, the latter shall not issue an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) without the project promoter having secured a SEP clearance first.  However, as far as concerning oil palm development, evidence indicates that DENR did in fact issue several ECCs to PPVOMI  prior to SEP clearances.  The latter, instead, were never secured by PPVOMI except for a SEP clearance issued for its nursery and oil mill area (about 13 hectares only). Surprisingly, there are no SEP clearances released for the remaining thousands of hectares being converted into oil palm plantations. In so doing, the DENR has overstepped the bounds of the law that it mandates to uphold, placing Palawan’s natural and cultural heritage at great risk.

“A major problem we face” says John Mart Salunday (ALDAW activist) “is that oil palm development schemes have been highly supported by the provincial government.  As a result no government agency or department dares to openly contradict and challenge the decisions made at the level of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Government)”.  It must be pointed out that the Governor himself (a well-known supporter of agro-industry) is a member of the same family which logged Northern Palawan forest in the eighties and he is also chairing the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).  Clearly as it appears, the absence of a credible and committed political class in Palawan (and in the Philippines as a whole)  is one of the root causes of environmental destruction and of the ongoing socio-economic marginalization experienced by  indigenous peoples and the rural masses.

Oil palm development in the Philippines is bound to  become a major issue.  The country, in fact, aspire to become one of the key exporters of oil palm kernels and palm oil in Southeast Asia, after Malaysia and Indonesia. Indeed, this is not such a remote possibility, considering that, recently, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje has proposed the conversion of some 8 million hectares of ‘idle’, denuded and unproductive lands across the country into oil palm plantations.

The present trend suggests that more land conversion into oil palm plantations will lead to decreasing households food self-sufficiency and increasing malnutrition.  In this respect, Sofronio Espanola Municipality provides a clear example.  This Municipality has the highest percentage of land (over 45%) covered by oil palm plantations. Nevertheless it is a 4th class municipality and it is also one of the 100 poorest municipalities in the country. However, “if public-private partnership had been based on fairness and transparency, it could have play an important role in supporting our farmers in Palawan who have no capital to develop their land” says CALG’s secretary Welly Mande. Instead, local food  security is being sacrificed in the name of oil palm development.   “If the government is serious about ensuring the welfare of its constituents” adds Mande “ it should enhance the capability of small holding farmers to compete and produce enough food, rather than becoming indebted with the Agumil company and  Landbank”.

A cursory look at the so called Production Technical Marketing Agreement (PTMA) entered between farmers’ cooperatives and the Agumil shows the enormous  asymmetry of power between the former and the company.  For instance PTMA Section 1.14 recites that: If the cooperatives mismanage the operation they shall “…hand over the management to AGPI…".  A former cooperative chairman explains that 'mismanagement' must  be interpreted here as the inability of farmers to produce the required quantity of fresh fruit bunches per hectare, e.g. as the failure to meet  the company's own production expectations and projections. In short ‘underproduction’ and partial crop failure are regarded by Agumil as sufficient reasons for taking over the management of the land and for taking away from cooperatives all decision-making power.

When agri-business enterprises enter indigenous territories, local communities have no capacity to deal with such forces which are powerful and invasive.  Many indigenous communities, due to lack of background knowledge, tend to believe in the corporations’ promises of a prosperous future (e.g. free medical assistance, livelihood projects,  big and quick profits. etc) and they simply sign what they should never sign.  However, in recent months, indigenous peoples and farmers in Palawan have learned about the dark side of oil palm development (also with reference to Malaysia and Indonesia) through advocacy videos being shown to them by members of the Ancestral Land/Domain Watch (ALDAW).  “Thanks to the support of our partner, Rainforest Rescue, we have been able to travel for months from one community to the other sharing with people videos on the adverse impact of oil palm development”  says an  ALDAW activist, “the people we have mobilized have become aware of the risks, and we hope they will refrain from entering into future memorandum of agreements with oil palm firms”.

For more information:

ALDAW Network and the Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG)

Friday, October 03, 2014

Case study on the use of P3DM to facilitate effective contribution of civil society in the Caribbean islands in planning for action on climate change

This case study documents CANARI’s experience in
piloting the use of P3DM in the Caribbean and identifies
lessons learnt and recommendations on how it can be used to strengthen the capacity of CSOs in the islands of the
Caribbean to play a larger and more effective role in
biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
The case study was written as part of the CANARI project
Consolidating the role of civil society in biodiversity
conservation in the Caribbean islands, funded by the John
D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Citation: Bobb-Prescott, N. 2014. Case study on the use of participatory three dimensional modelling to facilitate effective contribution of civil society in the Caribbean islands in planning for action on climate change. CANARI Technical Report 401, Laventille.

Related video production: She becomes more beautiful: Capturing the essence of Tobago Island for a better tomorrow

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Les forêts des Saramaca : les cours d'eau au coeur d'un exercice de modélisation participative en trois dimensions le long du Haut Suriname

JAW JAW, SURINAME, le 6 septembre 2014. Depuis Atjoni (Suriname), il faut 40 minutes en pirogue à moteur pour atteindre Jaw Jaw, village parsemé sur les rives du puissant fleuve Suriname. Environ 17 000 Afro-Surinamais, membres de la tribu des Saramaca, vivent dans cette région. Leurs moyens de subsistance sont la culture itinérante, la pêche, la chasse, la récolte de produits sylvicoles, les services de transport fluvial, les programmes d'emploi du secteur public et les aides envoyées par des proches.

Pendant 10 jours, une centaine de représentants de 14 villages (totalisant environ 5 000 habitants) situés le long du fleuve Suriname, en aval du village de Lespansi, ont participé à l'assemblage d'une impressionnante maquette, à l'échelle 1:15 000, d'une zone couvrant environ 2 160 km2. Des jeunes (principalement des filles) du village de Jaw Jaw ont assemblé la maquette vierge d'après les conseils de représentants de Tropenbos International Suriname et du Centre technique de coopération agricole et rurale (CTA). Des hommes et des femmes saramaca de tous les âges ont complété cette maquette avec 38 types de repères qu'ils estiment utiles à leur orientation, leur subsistance et leur culture.

Avec l'autorisation libre, préalable et éclairée des représentants des villages, les ensembles de données ont été archivés sous forme de photographies numériques haute résolution, qui seront importées dans un environnement SIG de confiance par Tropenbos.

Lors de l'ajout des repères à la maquette, il est apparu qu'en l'absence de caractéristiques géographiques visibles comme des collines ou des montagnes (la zone est relativement plate), les Saramaca utilisent les cours d'eaux pour s'orienter sur la carte. C'est pourquoi ils ont commencé par obtenir un consensus sur l'emplacement et le nom de tous les cours d'eaux des zones concernées. Ils ont ainsi identifié cinq types de cours d'eau, qu'ils distinguent selon leur largeur, leur caractère navigable et leur accessibilité saisonnière par bateau.

Le samedi 6 septembre 2014, des représentants des villages ont présenté leur travail à des représentants d'agences gouvernementales (le Ministère du développement régional, le Ministère de l'agriculture, de l'élevage et de la chasse, la Commission sur l'exploitation aurifère au Suriname [OGS] et la Fondation pour la gestion et le contrôle de la production des forêts [SBB]), du CTA, de la Fondation pour le développement de l'arrière-pays (FOB), d'organisations non gouvernementales (WWF-Guianas, Tropenbos International Suriname, Amazon Conservation Team [ACT], l'Association des chefs de villages indigènes du Suriname [VIDS]), d'organisations locales (Wan Mama Pikin et l'Association des autorités saramaca [VSG]), du secteur privé (les propriétaires de gîtes du Haut Suriname [LBS]) ainsi que des médias nationaux (DWT et Surinaamse Televisie Stichting [STVS]).

Les représentants des villages ont présenté la maquette et expliqué le processus de définition, d'affinement et d'actualisation de sa légende, tout en décrivant les débats animés qui ont conduit à l'installation des repères sur la maquette vierge. Non sans fierté, ils ont indiqué que le modèle sera exposé dans l'un des villages facilement accessible depuis l'extérieur, afin de faciliter les processus de négotiation et de planification. Aux yeux des villageois, la maquette est désormais un outil qui leur permettra de planifier leur propre développement et favorisera les interactions avec les promoteurs, les investisseurs et les décideurs.

M. Erwin Fonkel, chef du village de Jaw Jaw, a rappelé un point essentiel lors de l'entretien qu'il a accordé à STVS TV : « Cet exercice de cartographie me semble essentiel : par le passé, nous nous étions essayés à la cartographie mais en omettant de nombreuses informations. Nous avons élaboré nous-mêmes cette maquette, et avons davantage fait entendre notre voix lors de la définition de son contenu. Auparavant, les cartes omettaient de nombreux lieux primordiaux, des rivières, des lieux où trouver des ressources et générer des revenus. »

Le programme de paysagisme productif de Tropenbos International Suriname et la Stratégie de renforcement des compétences pour la planification de l'aménagement territorial au Suriname de WWF Guianas utilisera la maquette pour impliquer les parties prenantes dans l'élaboration de scénarios d'aménagement territorial et procéder à des évaluations participatives des services écologiques. Comme l'avaient prévu plusieurs chefs locaux, la maquette, désormais confiée au peuple saramaca, sera utilisée pour formuler des propositions d'investissements en matière d'infrastructures locales et de développement durable, par exemple pour des raccordements électriques et du tourisme vert.

Remarque : cette activité s'est déroulée dans le cadre du projet « Modéliser les compromis entre les scénarios d'aménagement territorial et les services écologiques dans la région du Haut Suriname ». La composante participative de la cartographie avait pour vocation d'autonomiser les villages afin de faire entendre leur voix et leur donner un rôle actif, autant dans la gestion de leurs terres et de leurs ressources naturelles que dans les processus de prise de décision dont ils dépendent.

Read the English version

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Saramakan’s forests: watercourses at the core of a Participatory 3D Modelling exercise along the Upper Suriname River

JAW JAW, SURINAME, 6 September 2014. From Atjoni, Suriname, it takes 40 minutes by motorised longboat to reach Jaw Jaw, a village sprinkled along the shores of the mighty upper Suriname River. This area is home to approximately 17,000 Afro-Surinamese people belonging to the Saramakan tribe. These people survive on shifting cultivation, fishing, hunting, harvesting of timber and non-timber forests products, boat transport services, government employment and remittances from outside the area.

Saramaka Peoples populating the 3D model
with recollections from memory
Over a 10-day period some 100 representatives from 14 villages (representing a population of approximately 5,000 people) bordering the Suriname River downstream of the village of Lespansi worked together to assemble a stunning 1:15,000 scale three-dimensional (3D) physical map of an area covering approximately 2,160 km2. Youngsters (mainly girls) from Jaw Jaw village assembled the blank model under the guidance of representatives from Tropenbos International Suriname and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA). Saramakan adults (men and women), including elders, populated the model with 38 types of feature they consider relevant for their orientation, livelihoods and culture.

The village representatives populated the map with features they consider as relevant for their orientation, livelihoods and culture. The final map legend account for a total of 38 features depicted as points (21), lines (9) and polygons (8). With free prior and informed consent obtained from community representatives, the datasets were captured using high-resolution digital photography and will be digitised and imported into a GIS environment held in trust by Tropenbos.

In the process of populating the 3D model with information, it appeared that – in the absence of outstanding landmarks like hills or mountains  (the mapped area is relatively flat) – the Saramaka used water courses to orient themselves on the map. Hence, they first had to discuss and reach general consensus on the location and names of all watercourses in the areas they were concerned with. This led them to identify five types of watercourses, differentiated according to width, navigability and seasonal accessibility by boat.

Participants in the closing ceremony
On Saturday, 6 September 2014, representatives of the local communities presented their work to representatives of government agencies (the Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, the Commission on Ordering of the Gold Mining Sector in Suriname [OGS] and the Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control [SBB]), CTA, the Foundation for Development of the Hinterlands (FOB) and non-governmental organisations (WWF-GuianasTropenbos International Suriname, Amazon Conservation Team [ACT], the Association of Indigenous Village Chiefs in Suriname [VIDS]), community-based organisations (Wan Mama Pikin and The Association of Saramaka Authorities [VSG]), the private sector (Lodgeholders upper Suriname River [LBS]) and the national media (DWT and Surinaamse Televisie Stichting [STVS]).

The local community representatives presented the 3D map and explained the process that led to the formulation of the map legend and its fine-tuning and updating and described the animated discussions that led to the population of the blank model. Proudly, they stated that the model will be hosted within one of their villages that is easily accessible to outsiders to facilitate negotiations and planning processes. The villagers now consider the 3D model as a tool for planning their own development and interacting with developers, investors and policy makers.

The head of Jaw Jaw village, Mr Erwin Fonkel, made a key point in his interview with STVS TV: “I find this mapping exercise very important, because in the past we did some mapping but failed to include a lot of information. Now we have elaborated the map ourselves and we had a stronger voice on defining its content. In maps produced in the past several important locations, creeks and places where you can find resources and generate income, were not included.

The Productive Landscape Programme of Tropenbos International Suriname and the Capacity Building Strategy for Land Use Planning in Suriname of WWF Guianas will use the 3D model to involve stakeholders in elaborating land-use scenarios and conducting participatory assessments of ecosystem services. As anticipated by several local captains, the 3D model, now under the custodianship of the Saramaka people, will be used to elaborate proposals for investments in local infrastructure and sustainable development such as electrification and ecotourism.

View of the Upper Suriname River at Jaw Jaw

Jaw Jaw village around the community meeting point where the
3D model was manufactured
Note: This activity took place in the context of the project “Modelling trade-offs between land-use scenarios and ecosystem services in the upper Suriname River area”. The CTA-funded participatory mapping component  was conceived to empower local communities to have a voice and play an active role in managing their land and natural resources and decision-making processes that affect these.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Participatory 3D mapping for DRR in Jelapan, Sindumartani, Sleman, Indonesia

As the most active volcano in Indonesia, Merapi Volcano has been threatened the life of people surrounding its slope either by primary hazard in form of pyroclastic flow and secondary hazard in form of debris flow. Therefore, disaster risk reduction (DRR) effort become an important thing to be done in the area. Integrating different stakeholders is one of the most pressing contemporary needs for enhancing disaster risk reduction. The participation of such a large range of actors in DRR allows for the integration of local and scientific knowledge as well as top-down and bottom-up actions.
Methods that used for this research is participatory three dimensional mapping (P3DM). P3DM provided a tool of dialogue between local people, scientists and local government. All stakeholders were able to contribute their knowledge on the same tool. P3DM is credible to both locals, who build the map and plot most of the information and to scientists and government representatives who can easily overlap their own data and plans. In the process, NGO/academic partners served as facilitators and moderators. Such a dialogue resulted in concerted actions including both bottom-up and top-down measures to enhance disaster risk reduction.

Results showed that from the three dimensional (3D) map, participants which consist of local community and representative of local government, could identify all aspects which needed to enhance disaster risk reduction in the study area. Those aspects are affected area, distribution of vulnerable group which consist of children, old people, people with disability, and pregnant woman, also meeting point for each neighborhood system and evacuation route which can be used to evacuate when the pyroclastic and debris flow from Merapi volcano reach the area. Those aspects were displayed in the 3D maps using clear symbol and legend which are depicted in push-pins (points), yarns (lines), and paint (polygons).

Read full paper: on ScienceDirect

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: my PGIS learning journey – Participatory data extraction and digitization (blog post 5)

Photo credit: Melvin Purzuelo
On July 15, we had another PGIS orientation session. I had the privilege to be a part of the first participatory data extraction and digitisation process which occurred in Barangay Sua. The huge amount of information displayed on the model and therefore the amount of data to be digitised required the REBUILD Project management to allocate additional staff to oversee the digitising work. At least three local government officials from the Municipality of San Dionisio and two leading staff of the REBUILD Project attended the session. The training conducted by Green Forum-Western Visayas focused on the use of QGIS for digitising the data extracted from the 3D model of Barangay Sua. In the course of the digitising process, I realized that most data depicted on the 3D model represent infrastructure and habitats that were destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda. Although no longer present, these were located by the villagers in order to conduct a proper vulnerability assessment. They considered that visualising a complete data-set of the pre-typhoon situation and comparing it with the present conditions would enable them to gain a better understanding of possible courses of action. As an example, they cited the introduction of storm resistant infrastructures and the design of evacuation plans which would reduce risks related to natural calamities.

A total of six P3DM exercises were conducted by the REBUILD Project. It is worth mentioning that in addition to facilitating PGIS processes, the REBUILD Project staff implements livelihood projects.

Related posts by Wilfred Don Dorovoqa :

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: My PGIS learning journey ... 
  • Blog post 5: Participatory data extraction and digitization
  • Blog post 4: QGIS introduction and P3DM in action
  • Blog post 3: Preparations and challenging encounters 
  • Blog post 2: My expectations
  • Blog post 1: How it all started

Monday, July 14, 2014

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: my PGIS learning journey – QGIS introduction and P3DM in action (blog post 4)

On July 14, I was introduced to the free and open source software (FOSS), QGIS (QuantumGIS) to be used in the PGIS process. The REBUILD Project deploys two facilitators stationed at the San Dionosio office to implement the disaster rehabilitation program and livelihood strategy. Given these circumstances, I had the opportunity to work with the QGIS software for one day. Yet, Melvin was really helpful in teaching me the QGIS essentials and introducing me to a range of FOSS GIS software applications which are available on the web. In the end, my learning process of QGIS was much easier than expected. 

Later in the day, we went to a local fishing village to work with a non-indigenous community in Sua, a Barangay (administrative unit within a municipality) located along the San Dionisio coastline. Here, we conducted a community consultation meeting. While discussing the project with the community, the importance of collaboration and participation was evident. Last June 2014, the community worked together to construct a 3D map of their location. The 3D map was overlaid with a transparent plastic sheet, where information layers were depicted by locals. From the conversations I had, the map clearly indicates an effective medium for participatory discussions. It was nice to see a couple of local Barangay councillors and their secretary, partake in the consultation process with the REBUILD Project and Green Forum-Western Visayas staff. The active participation of the Barangay officials clearly demonstrated that the local government is aware and committed to address the damages caused by the super typhoon Yolanda. The facilitating team, however, pushed for a more direct cross-disciplinary and multi-sectoral participation from those higher up in the government. Furthermore, it was recalled that while constructing the 3D model, the residents of Barangay Sua managed to outline their administrative boundary and to come to an agreement about it with the neighbouring Barangay Tiabas.

Photo credit: Melvin Purzuelo
I was struck by the ease and dynamic use of the 3D model. It did not become redundant or obsolete, even if it had been completed a month earlier. On the contrary, it gained even more relevance as a reliable repository of geo-referenced data generated by and for the community. The enthusiastic reaction demonstrated by the local women to the consultation process was really inspiring. They shared their views and opinions with respect to the need to formulate a Disaster Risk Reduction Plan which could fit well with the Community Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Both plans will be appraised by the Barangay community. The villagers themselves attest that the model will be revisited at regular intervals based on their information needs or at the request of external agencies. From my perspective, the 3D model is a true representation of the communities’ spatial knowledge concerning the entire locality and the livelihoods of the residents. The 3D model enables residents to effectively respond to emerging / changing situations.

In observing the consultation process, I was reminded that strategic decisions must offer some degree of flexibility to avoid becoming irreversible when implemented. Therefore the decision making process should be based on quality data, adequate resources and sufficient time allocation. In my opinion, the P3DM process undertaken by this community met these requirements. During the consultation I noted that the model was constantly referred to when analysing and identifying the risks inherent to their current and future livelihoods and security. The model encourages the planning and distribution of future activities in collaboration with the facilitators.

Photo credit: Melvin Purzuelo
The instances of the consultation process that are so vivid in my memory are those linked to residents showing grief and despair when sharing their stories. They explicitly used the model to describe the impact of super typhoon Yolanda and recall the life-threatening ordeal they experienced. The typhoon caused devastation, loss of property and lives and internal displacement. It severely affected to the habitats essential to the community subsistence, and in general, the existence of a once prideful fishing community. In response to such terrible consequences, the facilitating team from the REBUILD Project used the model to revive some hope in the midst of community’s despair. By autonomously analysing their situation, its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, residents were able to plan a concrete way forward leading to regain to a 'normal' way of life.

Related posts by Wilfred Don Dorovoqa :

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: My PGIS learning journey ... 
  • Blog post 5: Participatory data extraction and digitization
  • Blog post 4: QGIS introduction and P3DM in action
  • Blog post 3: Preparations and challenging encounters ()
  • Blog post 2: My expectations
  • Blog post 1: How it all started

Saturday, July 12, 2014

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: my PGIS learning journey – Preparations and challenging encounters (blog post 3)

On July 11, I arrived in the Philippines, after a series of flights.

View Don's Journey in a larger map

I was welcomed at the Iloilo Airport by Melvin Purzuelo coordinator of the Green Forum-Western Visayas (my local mentor) and driven to my accommodation. I was briefed on the following day about the upcoming activities. On July 13, we went to the REBUILD Project Implementation Centre in San Dionisio. However we had to adjust our travel plans due to ensure travellers safety in an area which has been affected by super typhoon Yolanda. Recent past has witnessed a couple of incidents along the San Dionisio and Estancia Highway, involving armed robberies that included loss of lives. The locals believe that displaced people affected by the super typhoon Yolanda who are dispossessed and resort to illegal activities to sustain their living. We therefore were advised to be vigilant at all times and take the necessary precautions while travelling within the devastated area. Yet, the PGIS activities were maintained as planned.

While working with Melvin, I took the opportunity for preparing the base map for organising a similar 3D modelling exercise to the one back home in Solomon Islands. We discovered that the topographic maps of Solomon Islands are the work of the US air force, the same as in the Philippines. Considering that these maps were made decades ago, we realised that we had to improve them to be suitable for use in a P3DM process. I am exploring possibilities for establishing a long term partnership between our organisation in Solomon Islands and Melvin’s NGO in terms of PGIS activities.

Related posts by Wilfred Don Dorovoqa :

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: My PGIS learning journey ... 
  • Blog post 5: Participatory data extraction and digitization
  • Blog post 4: QGIS introduction and P3DM in action
  • Blog post 3: Preparations and challenging encounters 
  • Blog post 2: My expectations
  • Blog post 1: How it all started

Friday, July 11, 2014

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: my PGIS learning journey - My expectations (blog post 2)

What I expect to gain from the Philippines P3DM / PGIS process

My overall expectations for attending the Philippines PGIS are vast. However, I shall limit the list to the following:
  1. Gain practical knowledge and skills on how to facilitate and organise stakeholders into a participatory process and to know when and how to hand over the spatial information generating process to the concerned groups.
  2. Acquire practical skills on how to select and procure appropriate inputs for the manufacture of a physical 3D map.
  3. Gain hands on experience in the process of capturing and digitizing data displayed on the model and their processing for desired outcomes.
  4. Discover appropriate approaches to assess, manage spatial data and strategise on how to use them to help concerned communities achieve their objectives 
  5. Learn how to present the output to external agencies for various purposes including, e.g. policy making, disaster recovery, land use planning, land-based conflict management, climate change adaptation.
  6. Acquire facilitator skills – maintain a collaborative, neutral presence (not too dictatorial) when populating spatial information on the model map
  7. Align, impact and measure the outcome of a P3DM on the intended scenario.
  8. Improve and advance my capacity on the use of Web 2.0 and Social Media. 
During my participation, I believe that my theoretical knowledge on the subject will be enriched by practical experience and best serve an eventual replication of the P3DM process in Solomon Islands.

Follow the learning journey of Wilfred Don Dorovoqa, a member of the Padezaka tribe in Solomon Islands. 

Supported by CTA, Wilfred Don has embarked in a journey which will bring him from Sasamuqa Village to Estancia in the Philippines where he will participate in a participatory mapping exercise. Green Forum – Western Visayas, Inc. (GF-WV) in partnership with Aksyon Klima Pilipinas and the Rebuild Project is facilitating the implementation of a  Participatory 3-Dimensional Modelling (P3DM) process in an area which was severely affected by Supertyphoon Haiyan in November  2013. GF-WV is using the P3DM as an ICT tool for allowing communities to analyse their vulnerabilities and assist them in planning for reconstruction.

Related posts by Wilfred Don Dorovoqa :

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: My PGIS learning journey ... 
  • Blog post 5: Participatory data extraction and digitization
  • Blog post 4: QGIS introduction and P3DM in action
  • Blog post 3: Preparations and challenging encounters
  • Blog post 2: My expectations
  • Blog post 1: How it all started

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: my PGIS learning journey - How it all started (blog post 1)

My name is Wilfred Don Dorovoqa. I am a member of the Padezaka tribe in Solomon Islands. I am about to embark on a challenging learning journey and I thought it would be interesting to document and share it with people having similar interests and aspirations.

This is my first blogpost. More will follow.

I left Sasamuqa Village (S 7°02’18.49” E 156°45’54.33”) in the early hours of June 16, 2014 by OBM boat and arrived at Gizo (S 8°06’12.99” E 156°50’27.80”) that same day, a three to four hour journey by boat.  From there, I took a passenger boat for a two day journey to Honiara (S 9°25’52.13” E 159°57’33.57”), where I am today waiting for the trip to the Philippines.

How it all started: Embarking on the P3DM / PGIS learning journey

In 2009 I came across the concept of P3DM on the Internet, while I was searching customizable mapping resources for local spatial data entry that derived from non-technical / non-machine readable formats. I was captivated by the distinct nature and approach of the P3DM process, taking into account that at that time I was already familiar with the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) concept. I assisted in a contracted PRA activity that aimed to identify and further develop livelihood measures for a localized World Wildlife Fund (WWF) conservation project based on four indigenous land owning groups of Choiseul Island, Solomon Islands, where I was holding a position as secretary for one of the groups. The conservation efforts were funded by the European Union , and led by the Ministry of Forestry in Solomon Islands.

Simultaneously, the Padezaka tribe, pursued its land based conservation initiative under a separate NGO in Solomon Islands called ‘Live and Learn’. The Padezaka tribe was eventually very fortunate to become a selected recipient of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – Small Grants Programme funds coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office based in Honiara, the capital city of Solomon Islands. As a member of the Padezaka tribe, I have very strong land and blood ties with the local community, and have been heavily involved in most of their conservation activities. The network of local protected areas attempts to conserve 17 percent of the highest priority terrestrial ecosystem of the Choiseul Island in adherence to the convention on biodiversity to which Solomon Islands is a signatory.

My search for mapping resources on the web was motivated by the fact that three conservation land units were under WWF conservation initiatives, including the Padezaka tribal land. Here, the conservation land units were all situated in the same segment of a significant freshwater system, locally known as the Kolobangara River. Major logging activities authorised by government, occurred further upstream while  government-endorsed WWF conservation initiatives were concentrated downstream. Indeed, upstream deforestation posed a significant threat to the livelihoods of local communities. It was a counteractive measure to monitor and moderate critical changes to the natural environment. Currently, all stakeholders involved need to come to an agreement to implement an alternative measure. One possible alternative is to produce a collaborative map with detailed land use that covers the entire watershed of the Kolobangara River.

Given this, my research eventually landed me on the front steps of the local provincial planning advisor’s house, an expatriate from New Zealand working for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Solomon Islands Office. The planning advisor assisted the Choiseul government in provincial-wide planning, project implementation and monitoring. He was very helpful and promised to update me on any available opportunities that need expert assistance for a future P3DM exercise comprising the concerned land area. In anticipation, the Padezaka Tribe submitted a budget under the GEF-Small Grants Programme fund for a P3DM project in the Padezaka bio-diversity protected sites; to generate a well defined land use plan, consult, invite and include the contiguous land owning tribes for broad holistic land-based planning activities. This of course, will work if there is an environment conducive to collaborative planning that can systematically and coherently tackle the issue of the endangered watershed areas by creating a sectoral land and resource management plan in advance. We estimated that the availability of the P3DM opportunity would coincide with the disbursement and implementation of the external fund.

Our desire for P3DM does not materialise the Padezaka Conservation Project funds. These included GEF-Small Grants Programme funds that were mismanaged by the implementing NGO, which ceased to be operational whilst subjected to that same timeframe. WWF also closed its doors to the other four local land groups, perhaps due to the lapse of the funding contract. However, the Choiseul provincial advisor was true to his word and invited me to attend a P3DM introductory workshop in May 2012. It was jointly organized by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), TNC and UNDP held in the Capital of the Solomon Islands. During this organised workshop, I repeatedly called on our provincial leaders in attendance to convene an extensive P3DM of the whole Island of Choiseul but was adhered not to.

Fundamentally, this is the dominant culture in PGIS practices found in some areas of the Southern hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, I believe the public is more proactive in using PGIS to enhance, empower and improve their way of life. At the very structure of our society there is a lack of proactive dimensions needed to engender a collaborative planning process that measures collective growth. This weakness is inherent to those tribes whose land comprises the noted watershed area. Furthermore, the National River Act was very ineffective in dealing with large scale natural resource extractions, because it had no clear provisions for specific social and natural environment safeguards. However, I am also fully aware of the fact that some methodologies and techniques incorporated into the PRA approach have limitations for discovering effective solutions in the midst of the large scale emergence of this environmental threat.

Related posts by Wilfred Don Dorovoqa :

From Solomon Islands to the Philippines: My PGIS learning journey ... 
  • Blog post 5: Participatory data extraction and digitization
  • Blog post 4: QGIS introduction and P3DM in action
  • Blog post 3: Preparations and challenging encounters ()
  • Blog post 2: My expectations
  • Blog post 1: How it all started

Thursday, July 10, 2014

She becomes more beautiful: Capturing the essence of Tobago Island for a better tomorrow

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), the University of the West Indies (UWI), the Tobago House of Assembly, Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment (DAME) and the Partners with Melanesians (PwM) facilitated the building of a Participatory 3D Model (P3DM) of Tobago Island from 28th September to 12th October 2012.

The model was used as a tool to incorporate and recognize local and traditional knowledge and values into decision making about climate change adaptation.

A training of trainers in facilitating participatory approaches, with participants drawn from the Caribbean Region, was executed concurrently with the building of the P3D model of Tobago. Participants in the Training of Trainers used participatory video to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of P3DM.

The project was funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (UNDP GEF SGP).

Friday, May 23, 2014

A three-way dialogue on climate change

The peasant, the decision-maker, the researcher and Participatory 3d Modelling

In the numerous bus stations in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, all passengers, arriving from other parts of the country, with their bag of worries, know where to find a sympathetic ear. Aladji Ibrahim’s steps lead him to Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, the coordinator of AFPAT, an organisation which defends the rights of Bororos pastoralists. This is the start of a story of people, animals, space and human rights with, at centre stage, an outstanding “character”: a three-dimensional model. This tool, displayed within an administrative office in Baïbokoum, almost 600 km from N’Djamena, is proving to be an unexpected medium for promoting the dialogue between peasants, local authorities, scientists and national public authorities, all concerned about climate change, reducing conflicts between faming and herding communities, territorial development, the promotion of human rights, ...

Three-way dialogue on climate change

This documentary completes a trilogy of films, produced in phases.

November 2011: IPACC and AFPAT co-organised, with the support of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), a workshop on pastoralism, traditional knowledge, meteorology and the development of policies for adapting to climate change. Climate governance was the focus of the debates, with around the table indigenous herders from South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Niger, meteorologists, ministers and representatives of international organisations. This workshop culminated in the so-called N’djamena Declaration , which emphasised the urgent need to involve vulnerable groups in the development of policies to mitigate climate change. It recommended the use of participatory approaches and visualisation tools to represent the available space at community level.

Climate Governance: A matter of survival for nomadic pastoralists

July–August 2012. The Baïbokoum workshop on Participatory three-Dimensional Modelling (P3DM), with as its theme the prevention and management of conflicts between farming and herding communities, implemented the N’djamena recommendations. The combination of the knowledge of indigenous communities and the skills of experienced facilitators resulted in the production of a physical three-dimensional model depicting in detail an area of 720 sq km at a 1:10,000 scale.

Dangers in the bush, map of good faith

One year on, what has become of the model, the result of the multi-stakeholder dialogue? The third documentary answers this question. It narrates the journey undertaken by Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim to Baïbokoum. At her destination, she meets pastoralists and edgy authorities. They would like to popularise the model with farmers, traditional community leaders and in local development programmes. But they lack the necessary technical and financial resources. Their cry from the heart is conveyed to N’Djamena by the tireless advocate of the cause of Bororos herdsman: Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim.

PGIS Tutorials by SEI, York, UK

These online video guides and slides provide practical information and examples on designing, planning, undertaking and then analysing community maps using GIS techniques. The video guides describe in detail the steps needed to prepare for community consultations using maps, examples of collection methods and then detailed information on how convert participatory maps into digital spatial databases. Finally there are example slide resources on how you can use community mapping and PGIS to improve environmental decision making outcomes.

Dialogue à trois sur le changement climatique

Le Paysan, Le Décideur, Le Chercheur Et La Cartographie Participative En Trois Dimensions 

Dans les nombreuses gares routières de Ndjaména, la capitale du Tchad, chaque voyageur, venu de l’intérieur du pays avec son balluchon de soucis, sait où trouver une oreille attentive. Les pas de Aladji Ibrahim le conduisent chez Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, la coordonnatrice d’AFPAT, une organisation de défense des droits des éleveurs peul bororos. Ainsi commence une histoire d’hommes, d’animaux, d’espace et de droits humains avec au centre un étrange personnage : une maquette en trois dimensions. Cet outil, trônant dans un local administratif à Baïbokoum, à près de 600 km de Ndjaména, se révèle un moyen inattendu pour favoriser le dialogue entre paysans, autorités locales, hommes de science et pouvoirs publics nationaux, tous préoccupés par le changement climatique, la diminution des conflits agriculteurs éleveurs, l’aménagement du territoire, la promotion des droits humains…

Dialogue à trois sur le changement climatique.

Ce documentaire boucle une trilogie de films, réalisés en trois temps.

Novembre 2011 :  IPACC et AFPAT co organisent, avec le soutien du Centre de coopération technique et agricole, le CTA, un atelier sur le pastoralisme, la connaissance traditionnelle, la météorologie et l’élaboration de politiques d’adaptation au changement climatique. La gouvernance climatique est au cœur des débats, avec autour de la table, des éleveurs autochtones d’Afrique du sud, du Kenya, de Namibie, du Niger et des météorologues, des ministres ainsi que des représentants d’organisations internationales. Il en ressort une déclaration dite de Ndjaména, qui acte l’urgence d’impliquer les couches vulnérables dans l’élaboration des politiques d’atténuation du changement climatique. L’utilisation d’approches participatives et d’outils de représentation de l’espace utilisables à l’échelle communautaire est recommandée.

Brousse de tous les dangers, carte de tous les espoirs.

Juillet – août 2012. L’atelier de Baïbokoum sur la cartographie participative en trois dimensions, avec comme thématique la prévention et la gestion des conflits agriculteurs et éleveurs, matérialise la recommandation de Ndjaména. La combinaison des savoirs des communautés autochtones et les compétences des facilitateurs expérimentés à aboutie à la réalisation d’une maquette en trois dimensions représentant en détail une superficie de 720 km2 à l’échelle de 1 : 10, 000.

Gouvernance climatique: Une question de survie pour les éleveurs nomades.

Un an après que devient la maquette, fruit de ce dialogue multi acteurs ? Le troisième documentaire (Le Paysan, Le Décideur, Le Chercheur Et La Cartographie Participative En Trois Dimensions) répond à cette question. Il raconte le voyage qu’entreprend Hindou Oumaraou Ibrahim à Baïbokoum. Sur place, elle découvre des éleveurs, des autorités à cran. Ils voudraient vulgariser la maquette auprès des agriculteurs, de la chefferie traditionnelle et dans les programmes locaux de développement. Mais ils sont démunis techniquement et financièrement. Leur cri du cœur remonte à Ndjaména, porté par l’infatigable avocate de la cause des éleveurs Peul bororos : Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles used for participatory mapping in Haiti

Since 2010, the free and collaborative OpenStreetMap mapping community has been growing in Haiti. Backed up by the global OSM community and using innovative tools like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), it keeps improving in order to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Participatory mapping is a powerful tool to enhance the communities' resilience facing natural disasters, but also to engage an dynamic for the local development of the territory.

The project carried by COSMHA with the support of CartONG and OSM-Fr endeavor to remain extremely concrete while at the same time rising above the issues to help objectivize decision-making. It induces change from and with the local communities.

A Guide to using Community Mapping and Participatory-GIS recently released

This guide, developed by John Forrester and Steve Cinderby from the University of York, UK, provides practical guidance aimed at lay users, community groups and students on whether community mapping and participatory geographic information systems are appropriate methods for the development issue you are investigating. The guide then talks you through the practical steps of designing, running and assessing community information collected using maps. The options, benefits and skills needed for of further analysis of the maps using PGIS are also discussed. Finally, alternative methods that could also be useful for community groups are also considered with links to other information sources.

The Guide to using Community Mapping and Participatory-GIS has been prepared as part of the Managing Borderlands project and funded by the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme of the Economic & Social and Natural Environment Research Councils

Monday, May 05, 2014

Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) for bottom-up decision-making in Vanuatu

In April 2013 a community consultation and a participatory planning process took place on the Island of Epi in Vanuatu. Residents assembled and populated with a rich set of data a 1:20000 scale physical 3D model of the island and its surrounding coastal waters.

This video documents how participants took ownership of the process and made informed decisions on how to address climate change challenges.

The activity has been carried out and the video produced in the framework of the GEF-UNDP-SPREP-supported Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project.

Source: click here.

Read more:

__________ 2013. Vanuatu PACC Finalizes Project Scope on Epi Island using Participatory 3D Modelling. Newsletter No. 1, Vol 1. Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project

The P3DM process and other cases are documented in this video collection on Vimeo and on this web site.