3D Modelling (P3DM)
Both process and output fuel self-esteem,
raise local awareness of interlocked ecosystems
and delineate intellectual ownership of the territory.
Relief models provide stakeholders
and local authorities with a powerful medium for
easing communication and language barriers and create
common grounds for discussion.
The method is especially effective
in portraying relatively extensive and remote areas,
overcoming logistical and practical constraints
to public participation in land/resource use planning
and management. ·
3-D modeling is an efficient community-organizing
tool because it gathers people to share information
and concerns. Old people share history with young
people, passing on legends and religious beliefs,
sacred rites and places so essential to conserving
In Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation
(PM&E) sketch maps, transect diagrams or other conventional
spatial tools, produced at different times are compared.
There is an inherent weakness in the fact that the
outputs are not properly geo-referenced and consistently
coded. P3-DM overcomes this weakness, because the
relief model is a constant with its legend and coding
The use of a coding system based
on a rich assortment of different materials and
colors allows a 3-D model to function like a rudimentary
community-based GIS accommodating overlapping layers
of information. This is extremely useful to establishing
visual relations between resources, tenure, their
use and jurisdiction.
Participatory 3-D Modeling (P3-DM)
is the community-based tool which merges Geographic
Information System (GIS)-generated data and
peoples' knowledge to produce a stand-alone
relief model. The model provides stakeholders with
an efficient, user-friendly and relatively accurate
spatial research, planning and management tool,
the information from which can be extracted and
further elaborated by the GIS. The 3-D modeling
process and its output (the scaled relief model)
are the foundations upon which participatory GIS
or Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) can release
its full potential.
Back to Top
Collaboratively produced 3-D models generate a tremendous, long-lasting
enthusiasm not only among participants in the process but generally
among a large proportion of local residents. An enormous amount
of information is collated, gets on permanent display and is
readily accessible to all stakeholders, local residents and
outsiders. Relief models are useful for teaching local geography
and to enhance people's interest in conserving and restoring
Much more so than
sketch maps or GIS outputs, a well displayed 3-D model is appealing,
fuels community-esteem and sense of intellectual ownership,
becoming part of the local cultural landscape.
Because stakeholders play an active role in the realization
of a 3-D Model, communities and administrators both understand
it easily. A relief model makes information tangible,
eases communication, helps bridge language barriers and increases
the potential of all stakeholders to deal within their constituencies
as well as with central government and outsider institutions.
Models and maps can be used as part of a larger communication
strategy to foster legal and policy reform at the national level.
Consensus surrounding a map gives legitimacy in political debates,
in an open society. In the Philippines, maps and models
produced for establishing Ancestral Domain Claims built public
support for the passage of the Indigenous People's Rights Act
in 1997. (Alcorn J.B., 2000).
Relief models are excellent visual aids capturing the ruggedness
and details of a territory. Users can see and feel the contours
of every mountain range and river valley. Two-dimensional maps
cannot match their impact and appeal. Compared to data appearing
on a planimetric map, a relief model facilitates assimilation,
interpretation and understanding.
People get a "bird's eye view" of their environment, enhancing
analytical skills, broadening perspectives, especially on interlocked
ecosystems, and helps to deal with issues and conflicts associated
with the territory and resource use.
A relief model highlights pressure points (household concentrations,
converted forest, access ways, etc.) making them visible and
tangible to everyone. When dealing with remoter and extensive
areas, P3-D models remove logistical constraints to public participation
in land and resource use planning and management.
In Less Developed Countries (LDC) few protected area boundaries
have yet been demarcated. Relief models allow stakeholders to
get a first time factual perception of their location. This
facilitates a bottom-up approach to boundary delineation and
zoning, activities otherwise characterized by a top-down process,
heavy logistics and lengthy negotiations.
models facilitate selective pinpointing of resources, households
and other features. Because of their accuracy: P3-D Models can
have positive and negative effects. Alone or combined with GIS,
they turn local knowledge into public knowledge and conceivably
out of local control. This can be used by outsiders to locate
resources and meet development needs, or merely, to extract
more resources, or to increase control [from the outside]. (J.
Abbot et al. 1999). Some groups have expressed concern
that the mapping process enables outsiders to control information
previously controlled by communities (Pole P. 1995). PLA Practitioners,
planners, researchers and facilitators should be aware of these
possible drawbacks and be careful in the application of the
process. Plotting the habitats of endangered species, or the
location of hardwoods, or other resources in demand on the black
market, should be done with caution and behind closed doors
in the course of focus groups discussions.
P3-D models serve the following purposes in protected
Involving communities in developing
management, zoning and resource use plans, geo-referencing
their priorities, aspirations, concerns and needs.
Monitoring the dynamics of settlements,
infrastructures and access points vis-ŕ-vis a protected
Substantiating public hearings and
Introducing visitors to the area.
and more ... visit case studies on
protected area management
In the Philippines,
NGOs like PAFID (Philippine Association for Inter-Cultural Development)
led the way towards national recognition of ancestral rights
by combining the use of Participatory 3D models, Geographic
Positioning Systems (GPS) and GIS to provide the evidence required
by law substantiating applications filed by Indigenous Peoples.
A working P3-D model
is never completed. Like in any dynamic system, change is a
constant. Although a relief model, like GIS, can accommodate
regular up-dating, it cannot memorize past scenarios. This
is where GIS "adds value" and becomes a vital ingredient for
monitoring change. A P3-D model can be instrumental to conducting
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) provided the
data are up-dated at given intervals, periodically extracted,
digitized, plotted in GIS thematic maps and finally returned
to the community for assessing change, and identifying its causes
Conflict resolution involves
area-based mechanisms to prevent, mediate and resolve local
conflicts and to strengthen communities in dealing with their
over boundary issues, resource use and tenure are often contributory
causes for century-long inter-tribal conflicts.
The strategies and processes
leading to conflict resolution are complex and articulated and
need the backing of appropriate institutional and legal mechanisms.
At grassroots level participatory
approaches and particularly 3-D modeling can help in settling
of boundary disputes through the visualization of the landscape
and associated land uses and settlement pattern. Initiatives
making use of 3-D modeling for conflict resolution are currently
on going in the Philippines under the auspices of the Office
of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).