Sunday, December 22, 2013

Involving communities in project planning using Participatory 3D modelling (P3DM): the experience of Epi Island, Vanuatu

Senior students of Epi High School felt privileged when they were chosen to construct the model of Epi island using a modeling technique known as Participatory 3 Dimension Modelling (P3DM), as part of a key community consultation process by the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) project on the island of Epi. With the help of students, each community members were able to use tagging pins and colored paper strips to label current physical features on the island as well as map out future developments recommended by each area councils.

Land boundary is a critical challenge in Vanuatu. On Epi alone, such project implementation requires acquisition of land prior to any physical work being carried out. The use of Participatory 3-D modeling gave land owners and area council representative a physical overview of the roading issues. After recognizing the problems and the proposed solutions under the PACC Vanuatu project, the land owners and area council representatives agreed to give ' for free' their land and resources for PACC project implementation on Epi. Under the PACC project where the thematic area is Coastal Infrastructure, the road relocation project is aimed at building resilience and improving access for the people to the main service and commercial center on the island.

The current 72km road from South through West to the North of Epi is located along the coast. A physical feature evident along this road is the continuous erosion of the road due to either heavy downpour resulting in landslides along road sides, , running water drenching the road surface making it difficult to travel on, and ocean waves impact on the road sides, washing away the roads.

Following the successful outcome of the Participatory 3-D model consultation, the PACC team selected VARSU area to commence the road relocation project.The VARSU area council on North Epi is the first community to physically map out a new 10 km road in the interior of the island, with the objective of having climate proof roads that will not be washed away at the coast, and to have better and safe access to markets.


Sunday, December 08, 2013

L'an 2025 de la révolution @gricole

On rapporte qu'Albert Einstein aurait dit : « Je ne pense jamais au futur – il vient bien assez tôt. » Comme il avait raison !

Il ne fait aucun doute que le pouvoir transformatif des TIC nous fait vivre un développement exponentiel !

Tentez l'aventure et embarquez-vous pour l'an 2025 de la révolution @gricole.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Participatory mapping used to monitor illegal logging by the Baka in their ancestral forests

The Baka indigenous people in the forests of the Congo Basin have been using PDAs (personal digital assistants) with built-in global positioning systems (GPS) to collect data (such as sites of illegal logging and felled trees and forest sites of livelihood and cultural importance) in their ancestral forests. They then use this information to make interactive maps of their ancestral forests, to help lobby against illegal logging of the forest. These maps and the data collected can then be used by Cameroon's Ministry of Forests in the fight against illegal logging.

This video was produced by OKANI in April 2011.

Source: FPP

Friday, November 08, 2013

Year 2025 of the @gricultural Revolution

Albert Einstein is quoted having said: “I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.” How true he was!
There is no doubt that the transformative power of ICTs makes us live in exponential times !
Let’s give it a try, and jump to year 2025 of the @gricultural revolution.

The @gricultural Revolution

We increasingly hear about innovation taking place in Africa and other countries in the South.

ICTs appears to be in the driving seat. Do these testimonies reflect localised initiatives or are there any significant trends at national and continental level? Are we at the edge of a second agricultural revolution?

Let's see what the numbers are telling us ....

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Participatory 3-Dimensional Mapping (P3DM) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): A Field Manual for Practitioners - New manual released

There has been a recent impetus towards the use of Participatory 3-Dimensional Mapping (P3DM) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

This has created a demand for appropriate skills to conduct P3DM for DRR among practitioners, including staffs from community-based organizations, NGOs, local government offices and scientific organizations.

This manual aims, in response to such a need, to assist those practitioners in facilitating disaster risk assessment and in planning activities geared towards reducing that risk. It provides a comprehensive but flexible framework which includes 16 methodological steps and associated activities, suggested materials and potential outcomes and applications.

This is a publication of CAFOD, a member of CARITAS international. CAFOD is the official overseas development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Friday, August 30, 2013

At global land rights conference, combining participatory mapping tools with traditional knowledge emerges as powerful weapon to fight massive land grabs

SAMOSIR, NORTH SUMATRA (30 August 2013) - With governments, loggers, miners and palm oil producers poaching their lands with impunity, indigenous leaders from 17 countries gathered on a remote island in Sumatra this week to launch a global fight for their rights that will take advantage of powerful participatory mapping tools combined with indigenous knowledge to mark traditional boundaries.

“It’s amazing to see indigenous groups from all over the world coming here armed with hundreds of detailed maps they have created with things like handheld GPS devices and Internet mapping apps,” said Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, head of the Philippines-based Tebtebba, one of the co-organizers of the Global Conference on Community Participatory Mapping on Indigenous Peoples’ Territories, which took place on the edge of the largest volcanic lake in the world. “It’s a new and vivid way to illustrate how they and their ancestors have inhabited and worked these lands for thousands of years and have every right to assert their ownership.”

Indigenous groups from countries including Malaysia, Nepal, Panama, Mexico and Brazil, explained how they have adopted affordable, high-tech mapping technology to retrace the history of their land ownership and catalog their natural resources. Their hope is that detailed maps can help them fight the destruction of vast tracks of forests, peatlands and waterways—brazen incursions by government and industry that not only deprive indigenous peoples of their lands but also greatly accelerate the global loss of biodiversity and accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

For example, participants at the conference believe maps of this sort could help bolster the fight in Indonesia to stop the steady loss of traditional lands to palm oil production, logging and other industrial needs. Participants issued a declaration calling on the government of Indonesia to pass legislation, currently under consideration by the nation’s Parliament, which would provide new protections for the country’s 50 million indigenous peoples.

“We need to take advantage of new mapping tools to accelerate the process of mapping the more than 30 million hectares we have left to document—before they are swallowed up by plantations,” said Abdon Nababan, secretary general of Indonesia’s Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), which has helped communities across the country to map their customary forests as part of their efforts to defend their lands against development by palm oil and other industrial plantations and mining.

A recent report stated that the Indonesian government’s continued practice of granting national and international companies permission to convert millions of hectares of forests to palm oil and other plantations on lands that overlap with or abut indigenous territories often leads to the displacement of indigenous peoples—and a rash of sometimes-violent land disputes. The report on the state of large-scale agribusiness expansion in Southeast Asia by the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP), also noted that the country faced more than 280 land conflicts across the country in 2012.

“Lines on a map have always been a source of conflict, but they are becoming more and more contentious around the world today,” said Tauli-Corpuz. “In many cases, government and military maps don’t acknowledge the presence of indigenous territories, leaving these communities vulnerable to land rights violations and conflicts, as well as the loss of their sustainable livelihoods, the onset of poverty, environmental degradation, and the loss of cultural heritage. Indigenous peoples are creating maps to protect their customary lands.”

Sleek computer-generated Indonesian maps presented at the conference documented cases in which the government had handed over indigenous territories to developers. In the case of the Lusan community in Borneo, three different government agencies had handed a community’s land over to three different companies—a logging group, a mining operation and a palm oil plantation.

“Without maps, it is difficult for indigenous peoples to prove that they have occupied their ancestral lands for centuries,” said Giacomo Rambaldi, a senior program coordinator at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), who has helped indigenous peoples to develop maps for more than 15 years. “If you are able to document and map your use of the resources since time immemorial, you have a chance of asserting your rights over land and water.”

It Takes a Village

Unlike satellite images or traditional political maps, the maps presented at the conference document key cultural and social sites, such as burial grounds, caches of medicinal plants, hunting trails or groves of specific species of trees. Based on pre-existing maps, satellite images or coordinates generated by hand-held GPS devices, these computer-generated documents or models record knowledge passed down through generations and integrate input from the entire community—including women and youth.

Conference participants heard that indigenous communities have successfully used these maps to protect their lands from land grabs and to monitor the impact of external forces on their lands.

In Brazil, South America’s largest democracy, an Afro-Brazilian community used a map to stop Cyclone-4, a space company jointly owned by Brazil and Ukraine, from expanding into their lands to build rocket launchers. These maps refuted claims by the company that only 10 communities would be impacted by the development by showing that more than 100 communities would be displaced. Cyclone-4’s expansion was blocked—though the government continues its efforts to build the rocket launchers on indigenous territories.

In Panama, which loses one percent of its tropical forests each year, members of the Guna community created a map—in the Guna language—to determine if the expansion of croplands had damaged sacred sites located in the rainforest surrounding their community. The map also served to show younger generations where these sites are located.

In Indonesia, the village of Pandumaan produced hand-drawn maps to scale, based on GPS data, to show that a pulp and paper company encroaching on their lands had razed the forests they rely on for myrrh—a fragrant resin that they sell for a living and use in spiritual rituals.

In Malaysia, which, along with Indonesia, is a leader in palm oil production, communities have used maps to win 25 of the 250 land disputes brought in front of the courts since 2001. The government continues to appeal the 25 cases that it lost in an attempt to regain the lands from indigenous peoples.

40 Million Hectares by 2020

Indonesia’s 2,200 indigenous communities, spread out across the country’s 18,307 islands, are the most prolific indigenous map-makers, the conference revealed. These mapping efforts have added urgency, since the country’s Constitutional Court decided in May that a line in the country’s 1999 Forestry Law, which states that customary forests are state forests, is not constitutional. To take advantage of this decision, which would first have to be implemented in national and local law, experts from the conference said it’s crucial for indigenous peoples to put these forests on paper.

AMAN’s Abdon Nababan said that he hopes to help map all 40 million hectares of land by 2020, and he called on the national Parliament to speed up the adoption of the Law on the Recognition and Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The body is currently reviewing a draft of the law.

“Without Indigenous Peoples, There Would Be No Forests”

“Mapping not only empowers indigenous communities with evidence that they can use to assert their land rights, it also provides communities with the ability to catalog the natural resources sheltered in their territories,” said Tauli-Corpuz, the head of Tebtebba. “These maps successfully demonstrate what we already know: that indigenous peoples are the best custodians of their forests and lands.”

A study by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) finds that biodiversity thrives in indigenous territories where communities are free to engage in hunting and other sustainable uses of natural resources—as opposed to state-held protected areas that ban such activities.

The National Coalition of Indigenous Peoples (KASAPI) in the Philippines arrived at the same conclusion. The project, which inventoried the resources in indigenous communities across the country, concluded from evidence gathered on the ground and from village elders—who recalled which species of plants have disappeared since their youth—that forests and lands owned and managed by indigenous peoples have stronger biodiversity than those that are under government control.

According to conference participants, maps that document a territory’s biodiversity provide indigenous communities and national governments alike with “baseline” knowledge about the health of their natural resources, enabling them to monitor changes to natural resources, such as the restoration—or degradation—of forests over time. Participants added that maps like these can show the impacts of climate change—and aid in the tracking of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Vu Thi Hien of the Centre of Research and Development in Upland Areas (CERDA), taught members of the Thai Nguyen community in Vietnam how to map in order to support an international climate change effort to reduce climate change through the protection and preservation of forests, known as REDD+. She said that local authorities were so impressed with the professionalism and accuracy of the maps that they adopted the maps for their own use.

“If the community is not empowered to assert their rights, they can only go so far, even with strong laws supporting land rights,” Tauli-Corpuz said.


About Tebtebba
Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education) is an indigenous peoples’ organization born out of the need for heightened advocacy to have the rights of indigenous peoples respected, protected and fulfilled worldwide. It also advocates and works on the elaboration and operationalization of indigenous peoples’ sustainable, self-determined development.

About AMAN
AMAN’s mission is to pursue sovereignty, prosperity and dignity of indigenous peoples.  Established on 17 March 1999, its members consist of 2,240 indigenous communities in Indonesia.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beneath the Surface ~ Mapping Union Island - A P3DM exercise, 2013

Here is the story of a participatory mapping exercise done on Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.

The second of such exercise to be done in the Caribbean under the theme "working with people and nature to find solutions to climate change".

The film gives a glimpse into the, happiness, trials and tribulations of the local people as they participate in a unique participatory mapping process led by Sustainable Grenadines Inc.(SusGren), a local NGO, with support provided by TNC and CTA.

The film also speaks to the local people’s ideas of sustainable development and livelihood opportunities for them and their families.

It also highlights the changes the local community has experienced over the years in their environment and how they have already started to adapt. It certainly takes you in the life of a Unionite and their small island....

midst the challenges of a degrading marine and coastal environment, development pressure from tourism and climate change local people through the mapping process came together with one voice to develop a plan of action for their island future.

Language versions: English | Spanish | French | Portuguese (coming soon)

The film has been produced with funding provided by CTA. Director: Jess Phillimore

Friday, August 09, 2013

Modelagem 3D participativa: Princípios e aplicações de orientação, edição 2010

A modelagem tridimensional participativa (MP3D) é um método de mapeamento participativo que integra conhecimento geográfico nativo com dados sobre elevação do terreno e a profundidade do mar para produzir modelos 3D autônomos, em escala e georreferenciados. Essencialmente com base em memórias, o uso e a cobertura da terram, além de outras características, são descritos no modelo por informantes usando alfinetes para pontos, fios para linhas e tintas para polígonos. Finalmente, uma grade em escala e georreferenciada é aplicada para facilitar a extração ou importação de dados. Os dados descritos no modelo são extraídos, digitalizados e plotados. Após a conclusão do exercício de mapeamento, o modelo permanece com a Comunidade.

A Modelagem Participativa (MP3D) foi concebida como um método para aproximar o potencial do SIG das comunidades rurais e para ultrapassar o fosso que existe entre as tecnologias de informação geográfica e as capacidades encontradas nas comunidades marginalizadas e isoladas, que frequentemente dependem dos recursos naturais.

Este manual se destina a ajudar os ativistas, pesquisadores e praticantes da Aprendizagem e Ação Participativa (AAP) e do SIG a conduzirem a força do SIG até o nível mais básico por meio do uso da MP3D. Ele fornece orientações práticas sobre como organizar e implementar um exercício de MP3D. Além disso, inclui percepções sobre a aprendizagem de adultos e da cognição geográfica, sobre a história dos modelos em relevo e sobre a utilização do método em todo o mundo.

Em 5 de novembro de 2007, Modelagem Tridimensional Participativa (MP3D) foi agraciada com o Prêmio Cúpula Mundial de 2007, na categoria de e-cultura. A MP3D foi considerada como sendo um dos 40 exemplos de boas práticas de qualidade e de conteúdo no mundo.

Por Giacomo Rambaldi
Publicado por: Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), julho 2010

Português | English | Francaise | Espanol | Amharic

Monday, August 05, 2013

The Future of PGIS: Learning from Practice? Symposium held at ITC-University of Twente, Netherlands on 26 June 2013

On Wednesday 26 June, 2013 the research group “People, Land and Urban Systems (PLUS)” of the University of Twente organized a full day international meeting on the topic of Participatory Mapping and Participatory GIS (PGIS/PPGIS). The day consisted in a public symposium entitled “PGIS: a toolbox transformed to a practice”, and an Expert meeting to discuss: “PGIS – what next? Preserving the practice in the Geoweb”.

The purpose of the symposium was to reflect on the milestones that PGIS has passed in the last decade bringing it from a mere collection of tools toward a pervasive practice. The expert meeting has been organised to discuss future directions, opportunities and threats for PGIS particularly in light of the growing importance of the Geoweb in spatial information collection and dissemination.

Below are the presentations delivered during the syposium:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Speaking of Home - The Story of the Mount Elgon Ogiek Peoples

The Ogiek peoples live on the slopes of Mount Elgon in Kenya. This documentary shows the Ogiek's relationship to their homeland and to the world.

As indigenous peoples without official minority status in Kenya, the Ogiek have gone through evictions from their native land for decades. Time after another they have returned to their land to continue living in the forest.

The documentary is the Ogiek's story, in their own words, of their hopes before the 2013 Kenyan elections. It was filmed in Chepkitale, Mt. Elgon in 2012 during a mapping workshop.

Through developing a map of their land, the Ogiek not only strengthen their cultural identity, but can show that the land said to belong to someone else, is rightfully theirs.

Credits: The film has been produced by SHALIN Suomi ry and has been featured at the Helsinki African Film Festival

Monday, June 10, 2013

"A contemporary guide to cultural mapping: An ASEAN-Australia perspective" now available!

The cultural mapping process may focus on the past, the present and also the future. Cultural mapping can be used to monitor change in material culture as well as intangible cultural heritage. A cultural map may be created as an end in itself or provide an input into other endeavours.

Many methods and technologies are used to create cultural maps; some are simple and ephemeral such as drawing in the sand. Others use the latest technologies to locate cultural phenomenon spatially using geographic information systems. Whatever methods are used to map culture or cultural products, the map most often takes a physical form (a list, matrix, chart, diagram, design, website, sound recording, video, drawing, painting, textile, sculpture or model) where information is gathered, arranged and presented physically or virtually. In this context the authors use the term map as a mental model and mapping as mental model making as they explore the body of knowledge associated with this expanding field.

The Guide is available free of charge due to the generous support of The Australian National University, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The National Museum of Australia and The ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta. It is hoped the Guide will be available online in July/August 2013.

Artlab Australia is co-managing the distribution of hard copies of the Guide. There is a limited print run so if you want a copy we recommend that you place an order immediately. A payment is required to cover the costs of packaging and postage. Postal charges vary enormously depending on destination. To order, please email:

For general information about the Guide please contact the authors:

Ian Cook:
Ken Taylor:

Saturday, June 08, 2013

አሳታፊ ሶሰት አምሳያ ቀረጻ፡ መርሆችና አተገባበር (እ.ኤ.አ የ2010 እትም)

አሳታፊ ሶስት አምሳያ ቀረጻ ማለት የአገሬውን ያአካባቢ እውቀት ከዘመናዊ የአካባቢ እውቀት ጋር በማገናኘት ራሳቸውን ችለው የሚቆሙ፣ የተመጠኑና በጂኦግራፊያዊ አቆጣጠር የተስተካከሉ ሞዴሎችን ለመስራት የሚያስችል አሳታፊ የካርታ አሠራር ነው። በአጭሩ በአገሬው የማስታወስ ችሎታ ላይ በመመስረት ፣ የአካባቢ አጠቃቀምና አሰፋፈር እንዲሁም ሌሎች ገጽታዎችን በመረጃ አቅራቢዎች አማካኝነት ሞዴሉ ላይ የተለያዩ መርፌዎችን ለነጥቦች ማመላከቻ፣ ገመዶችን መስመር ለማመላከቻ እና ቀለማቶችን ለስፋት ላላቸው ስፍራዎች ማመላክቻ መጠቀም ማለት ነው። ከዚህም በኋላ መጠኑ የተስተካከለና በጂኦግራፊያዊ አቆጣጠር የተቀመረ ሠንጠረዥ በመጠቀም ከላይ የተጠቀሰው መረጃ ለመለየትና ለማዟዟር በሚያመች መልኩ ይቀመጣል። በተራው ይህ ተለይቶ የወጣው መረጃ ይነጠልና በኮምፒዩተር ለማንበብ አመቺ እንዲሆንና ለመጠናዊ አገማመት አመቺ እንዲሆን ተደርጎ ይቀመጣል። በዚህ መልኩ የተጠናቀቀው ሞዴል በዛው በአገሬው ዘንድ ተቀማጭ ይደረግል።
አሳታፊ ሶስት አምሳያ ቀረጻ የተጸነሰው ዘመናዊውን ጂ.አይ.ኤስ. ቴክኖሎጂ በገጠር ለሚኖሩ ሕዝቦች በሚስማማ መልኩ በማቅረብ በዘመናዊ የጂ.አይ.ኤስ ቴክኖሎጂና በተፈጥሮ ሃብት ላይ ኑሯቸውን መሰረት ባደረጉና የገጠር ኅብረተሰቦች መካከል ያለውን የአቅም ልዩነት ለማጥበበ ነው።
የዚህ ማስተማሪያ ዓላማም ለጂ.አይ.ኤስና አሳታፊ ማስተማሪያ መንገዶች ተመራማሪዎችና ባለሙያዎች ጂ.አይ.ኤስን ባለሙያ ላልሆኑና ታች ላሉ ህብረተሰቦች አሳታፊ ሶስት አምሳያ ቀረጻን በመጠቀም ማዳራስ እንዲችሉ ነው። አንድ አሳታፊ የሶስት አምሳያ ቀረጻ ዝግጅትን ከመጀመሪያ እስክ መጨረሻ ለማዘጋጀት የሚያስችል ምክሮችን ደረጃ በደረጃ ያስቀምጣል። በተጨማሪም ይህንን የማስተማሪያ ዘዴ ከዚህ በፊት በተጠቀሙ ከዓለም ዙሪያ በተውጣጡ ባለሙያዎች አዋቂዎችን ስለማስተማርና ይህንን አሳታፊ መንገድ ስለመጠቀም የሰጡትን አስተያየት ያካትታል።
እ.ኤ.አ. ኅዳር 5 ቀን 2007 ዓ.ም.፣ አሳታፊ የሶስት አምሳያ ቀረጻ የአለም ጉባዔ ሽልማትን  በኤሌክትሮኒክ- ባህል ደረጃ አግኝቷል። በሌላም በኩል አሳታፊ ሶስት አምሳያ ቀረጻ በአለም ከሚገኙ ተመሳሳይ መንገዶች ከምርጥ አርባዎቹ ውስጥ ተካቷል።

Download the Amharic version of the P3DM handbook (New!)
English version | French version | Spanish version 
Portuguese version: forthcoming!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Community mapping video documentary

This video documents community mapping activities in Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand.

In memory of Perween Rahman (1957-13 March 2013), a Pakistani social activist, director of the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute. She was murdered on 13 March 2013.

Read more
Pakistan mourns murdered aid worker Perween Rahman (BBC)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Traditionally Occupied Lands in Brazil

For several decades, social groups that were once “invisible” in Brazil have formed movements based on collective identities closely tied to natural resources use in specific territories. Their mobilization is a response to illegal land speculation, rural violence, and resource degradation associated with the expansion of agro-business, mining, and other activities that threaten many of the natural resources and collective-use territories upon which these groups have long inhabited. In spite of changes in Brazilian legislation that facilitate the recognition of land use based on collective identities – the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988 recognizes the rights of quilombolas, indigenous people, and other “traditional” populations – many groups throughout the country continue to struggle to obtain formal recognition of their lands and the resources they depend upon for survival.

Based on more than thirty years of research focusing on social movement mobilization and land issues throughout Brazil, Alfredo Wagner Berno de Almeida’s book Traditionally Occupied Lands in Brazil analyses the relationship between the rise of social movements based on collective identities and the “traditionally occupied lands” that many of these groups are struggling to defend, maintain, and recover.

As a point of departure for understanding resource conflict, this text presents a detailed analysis of the divergence between the official land use and property rights legislation in Brazil and the land use and cultural practices of various social groups struggling to maintain their “traditionally occupied lands” and associated cultural practices. By comparing and contrasting how natural resources are used, owned, and appropriated in Brazil, this book provides a unique vision of the connections between shared identities, social movement formation, land use practices, and natural resource conflict.

Author: Alfredo Wagner Berno de Almeida
ISBN: 978-85-7883-149-3
Publisher: PGSCA-UFAM, Manaus, 2011

Oil palm expansion in the Philippines: geo-tagged evidences of an imminent tragedy

By ALDAW Network (Ancestral Land/Domain Watch): Between June and August 2009, an ALDAW mission travelled to the Municipalities of Brooke’s Point and Sofronio Española (Province of Palawan) to carry out field reconnaissance and audio-visual documentation on the social and ecological impact of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) plantations.  The mission’s primary task focused on two major objectives: 1) gathering data through interviews, ocular inspection and participatory geographic information systems methodologies; 2) providing communities with detailed information on the ecological and social impact of oil palm plantations, to allow them to make informed decisions while confronting oil palm companies, state laws and bureaucracy.

Successive ALDAW field appraisals in oil palm impacted areas took place between July 2010 and early 2013, and included the Municipalities of Aborlan, Rizal and Quezon. During ALDAW field research, GPS coordinates were obtained through the use of a professional device connected to the camera’s hot shoe.  

The geotagged images have been loaded into a geo-aware application and displayed on satellite Google map. The actual ‘matching’ of GPS data to photographs has revealed that, in specific locations, oil palm plantations are expanding at the expenses of primary and secondary forest and are competing with pre-existing cultivations (coconut groves, fruit tress, wet-rice, etc).

The conversion of productive paddy land and forest into oil palm plantations is particularly evident in the Municipality of Quezon .

Oil palm plantations have also expanded in areas used by indigenous people for the cultivation of local varieties of upland rice, root crops and fruit trees.  Furthermore, the fencing of large areas of oil palm plantations makes it difficult for local communities to reach their upland fields and forest.

Geottaged evidences have also revealed the exact location of commonly used NTFPs, such as buri palms (Corypa elata) and bamboos that are being destroyed through massive land clearing by oil palm companies.

Moreover, geocoded photos have provided indications on the location of rivers and freshwater sources that are being incorporated into oil palm plantations and that are likely to become polluted through the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

These freshwater sources provide potable water for local communities and some of them are essential for the maintenance of community-based dams.

Initial steps are now being taken to establish collaborative exchanges between the oil palm impacted indigenous communities of Palawan and those of Mindanao which are facing a similar fate.  These exchanges and cross-visits will include training courses on geotagging and participatory videos done by indigenous peoples (ALDAW staff) to other indigenous groups such as the Higaonon of Bukidnon.  In addition to this, during such cross-visits, common advocacy strategies to resist oil palm expansion nationwide will be identified.

In response to recent research findings, see Palawan Oil Palm Geotagged Report 2013 (Part 1 and Part 2)

ALDAW has launched two major campaign initiatives:
  • Petition 1 (covers Palawan and Mindanao, addressed to the National Government) 
  • Petition 2 (covers Palawan specifically, addressed towards the Provincial Government, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
Oil palm expansion on indigenous land both in Palawan and Mindanao should be stopped with haste, before its adverse socio-ecological impact becomes irreversible. Please, give your contribution by signing the above petitions.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Local voices in climate change adaptation - Union Island, Caribbean - Trailer

As a follow-up to the introduction of Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) in the Caribbean which took place in Tobago in October 2012, the NGO SusGren replicated the process in Union Island (St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Caribbean) in the context of the "At Waters Edge: Coastal Resilience in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (AWE)" project.

Project implementation has been supported by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA).

Here is a short trailer on the video production which will be launched at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in October 2013.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Who Counts? The Power of Participatory Statistics

Local people can generate their own numbers – and the statistics that result are powerful for themselves and can influence policy. Since the early 1990s there has been a quiet tide of innovation in generating statistics using participatory methods. Development practitioners are supporting and facilitating participatory statistics from community-level planning right up to sector and national-level policy processes. Statistics are being generated in the design, monitoring and evaluation, and impact assessment of development interventions. Through chapters describing policy, programme and project research, Who Counts? provides impetus for a step change in the adoption and main-streaming of participatory statistics within international development practice.

The challenge laid down is to foster institutional change on the back of the methodological breakthroughs and philosophical commitment described in this book. The prize is a win–win outcome in which statistics are a part of an empowering process for local people and part of a real-time information flow for those aid agencies and government departments willing to generate statistics in new ways. Essential reading for researchers and students of international development as well as policy-makers, managers and practitioners in development agencies.

'This is a timely compilation of ground-breaking work which adds up to a powerful agenda for transformation. This book shows how we can quantify the qualitative, build the active agency of excluded groups and generate participatory statistics that have greater rigour and legitimacy than most conventional statistics.’ David Archer, Head of Programmes, ActionAid

Who Counts?
Edited by Jeremy Holland with an Afterword by Robert Chambers
Practical Action Publishing