Friday, January 06, 2017

Opportunity for PGIS practitioners to map Batak ancestral lands and indigenous peoples’ and community conserved areas and territories (ICCAs) in Northern Palawan, the Philippines

The Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG) is a national coalition of indigenous peoples and local communities based in the province of Palawan (the Philippines). CALG is looking for young PGIS practitioners to help mapping Batak ancestral lands and ICCAs in northern Palawan. Specifically, they seek support for GPS-based resources inventories, geotagging of relevant locations (hunting grounds, upland farms, ritual sites, etc.).

One  aim of the project is to generate interactive maps that could serve to raise awareness on how the Batak of Palawan manage and perceive their cultural landscape. The interactive display of satellite imagery, enriched with location-based multimedia and other  layers of information, would also provide evidence of on-going threats to forest resources and Batak livelihood and cultural integrity.

Social cartography, emphasizing culturally distinct understanding of landscape, will be overlapped with geo-spatial maps.  The former will include the use of local place names, information on the actual and historical land uses, oral traditions, cosmovisions and testimonies linked to short video-clips syndicated from Google Video or You Tube, photographs (via Panoramio) and text.

CALG envisages that these maps would become the discursive patrimony of the Batak indigenous people and provide them with the necessary legal evidence to apply for Certificates of Ancestral Land Titles (CALTs) and to have their ICCAs included in the ICCA Registry of the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

The project is on-going and it will end in June 2018.  Assistance for geotagging and mapping is particularly sought during the dry season (between February and May 2017), depending on the availability of PGIS practitioners.  Due to global climate changes, dry season is not necessarily confined to the period mentioned above, but could also extend up to June.

selected candidates will receive free food and lodging during the research, domestic travel costs will be reimbursed and a basic honorarium based on Philippine’s standards will be provided.

During the various stages of project implementation CALG and PGIS practitioners will closely collaborate with the Batak Federation (Bayaan it Batak kat Palawan – BBKP).

Those interested can approach the Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG) through this email address:

Most recent CALG geotagged reports 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Life on the move - Pastoral life and livestock cross-border trade in Northern Uganda through the lens of participatory mapping

Cross-border livestock trade in dryland eastern Africa significantly contributes to the enhancement of food security and generation of wealth. It supports the livelihoods of a wide range of actors including pastoralists, livestock traders and processors.

In this context the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) with finalcial and technical support provided by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), organised a P3DM workshop to identify key spatial characteristics of the livestock trading routes and marketing practices and bring the different stakeholders (including local authorities) around the same table, share information, discuss challenges and envisage mutually beneficial solutions.

The participatory mapping activity took place in Amudat in August 2016 and focused on the Achorichori Micro-catchment in Karamoja which includes Achorichor, Loroo, Amudat and Moruita Parishes. The area falls within the belt of livestock migratory movement, farmlands, cross-border livestock trade, grazing lands and water points. The mapped area covers approximately 546 sq. km.

The mapping exercise helped identify and locate wet and dry season grazing areas, farmland, forests and patchy pastures. Point items include schools, functional and non-functional boreholes, heath facilities, market places, maize mills, police posts but also churches, shrines and small gardens. Community representatives located on the 3D map all features they consider as important to the ir livelihoods. Their feedback about the mapping process are captured in the film.

Other participating organisations included:

ERMIS Africa, Kenya (P3DM facilitation)
ESIPPS International, Uganda (GIS support)
Vision Care Foundation (VCF), Uganda (community mobilizing)

French version of the film:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Global Drone Regulations Database Launched

Geneva, 15 December 2016 – FSD and partners announce the launch of a new repository of global drone regulations. The database includes summaries of national laws of more than 100 countries with the aim to help better inform drone pilots and stakeholders. In the ongoing effort to document the rapidly changing regulatory landscape, CTA, the New America Foundation, the Humanitarian UAV Network, senseFly, Parrot, FSD and EU Humanitarian Aid have joined forces to make this resource available. Volunteers are encouraged to help further improve its contents by signing up and suggesting edits.

The database can be accessed at
For information contact: Denise Soesilo, RPAS Project Manager FSD or +41 22 907 3603

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.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Power of Maps - Bringing the Third Dimension to the Negotiation Table

Participatory 3D modelling (P3DM) is one of the most remarkable innovations of the late 20th century. It is remarkable because it brings together three elements that many would consider incompatible – local spatial and natural resource knowledge, geographic information systems (GIS) and physical modelling.

As the inspiring accounts in this volume show, it can do this in many environments, of varied sizes and involving many people, sometimes more than a hundred and inclusively, both young and old. When well prepared and facilitated, as so amply illustrated here, the process gives rise to a progressive creative synergy. This empowers communities, by enabling them to share and express in lasting visual form the rich detail of what they know and by providing them with a tool for analysis, decision-making, advocacy, action and monitoring.

This volume bears testimony to the multiple uses and values of P3DM. In the examples described, the uses to which communities have put their models include natural resource planning and management; land and ocean rehabilitation; mapping their ancestral territories and establishing their rights; planning for conservation; disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change and variability; educating children in schools about their history and cultural heritage; bringing together community members with differences; and negotiating with officials and influencing policy.

Foreword by Robert Chambers, IDS

Download this publication
in English
in French

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Participatory 3D model by indigenous community in Nicaragua

This 3D model has been developed with assistance provided by the Centro para la Autonomía y Desarollo de los Pueblos Indígenas (CADPI) by the indigenous community of Miguel Bikan in Nicaragua and has been used for monitoring, reporting and verification. In completing and using the model, the community has a community-based monitoring information system.