Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Matura national Park Participatory 3D Model (P3DM) – A Participant’s Experience

As we continue to feature the Matura Participatory 3D Model building exercise, it is important to understand the merit of this initiative to community members. Ms. Evana Douglas hails from the Matelot to Matura region, and represents the Sky-Eco Organisation. Evana participated in this project and shares her knowledge gained from this experience.

Having participated in this P3DM model building exercise, how would you describe your experience overall?
In a single word, the exercise was informative. Community projects do not normally take on a participatory approach and are often specific to a particular community (e.g. Toco, Grande Riviere, Matura, etc.).
Knowledge holders contributing data to the 3D model

This particular exercise incorporated all communities from Matura to Matelot and afforded the opportunity for networking with technocrats and neighbouring communities. It was also fun and euphoric working with different people from different backgrounds towards a single goal.

What are some of the key lessons learnt from being part of this P3DM exercise?
There were many lessons learnt during this exercise, the most important in my opinion, is the awareness and appreciation for the Matura to Matelot environment (not just the ESA but the surrounding neighbourhood as well) that resulted from being a part of the development of the model. Personally, I have also developed a sense of ownership for the natural resources of the region and the model itself, as I was able to identify key areas on the model that I am both familiar with and dependent on. Some areas and activities were even eye opening.

What value do you see coming out of this model?
The model can be used in almost all areas of development. Because the area has a mixture of coastal and terrestrial culture, the impacts of this interface are critical and can be illustrated with the model. As such, it is a tool for all levels of education and expertise and should be made mandatory in national spatial development initiatives; for example the proposed Highway and Seaport infrastructure. Of course there is significant room for improvement as the Matura National Park (MNP) in isolation doesn't actually reflect the implications to the communities and other areas that are not included in the MNP. As a result, there is potential for incorporating the entire coastal zone (from ridge to reef) to reflect the extent of area, its development potential and the impacts on all areas of the watershed. There is also potential for economic and cultural development using the model as residents are able to identify places of interest and potential for sustainable activities.

Do you think other communities or protected areas such as Matura should use the P3DM tool?
Application in other areas; whether protected or not, should be made mandatory. Modeling is the basis for understanding the environment and impacts of human based activities on the environment; to which our livelihoods depend. In most cases, various forms of 2D modelling are applied using complex programs like GIS and RS. These often lack information or are just too complex for residents; especially those from rural communities. The 3D model however is a literal miniature replication of the area and can be understood at all levels of education and expertise; making it quite an effective to in spatial development and management of our natural resources (not just the MNP).

SourceSunday Guardian, 28 august 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Drone governance: study of policies, laws and regulations governing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in ACP countries

The use of UAVs or drones in the management of crops, livestock, fisheries, forests and other natural resource-based activities represents a new technological frontier and opens up a range of exciting opportunities. However, the use of UAVs is a recent phenomenon and interested users and national civil aviation authorities are facing challenges linked to their use within their skies. To realise the full potential of the technology while ensuring the safety and privacy of citizens, two things are necessary: enabling regulatory regimes and increasing awareness of the rules and regulations surrounding civil use of UAVs.

Although the European Commission recently supported the establishment of an online repository of information concerning regulations issued by all European countries, there is no similar comprehensive database on existing and forthcoming policies, laws and regulations governing the use of UAVs in ACP countries. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), an international organisation funded mainly by the European Union and operating in 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries wishes to facilitate the responsible use of UAVs and related software applications to improve the effective management of crops, fishing grounds and other resource-based activities.

To that end, this study assessed the existence or absence of policies, rules and regulations governing the use of UAVs in all 79 ACP countries. The results are quite telling: as of April 2016, 73% of ACP countries did not have any rules or regulations in place; 19% had some regulations in place; and 8% were in the process of formulating them. CTA hopes that this database will help to increase awareness of the rules and regulations surrounding UAV use, promote their responsible use and help to fully realise their potential in the management of crops, fisheries and other resources.

The report is available as a download on CTA's online publications' portal.

Data gathered in the course of the study have been published on a site hosted by The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) and is accessible on this wiki which allows online collaboration.