Participatory 3D Modelling for self-determination and cultural survival

Mapping for self-determination and cultural survival started in the 60’s in Canada. The use of P3DM for this purpose started in Thailand in the 80’s and quickly spread to the Philippines where hundreds of indigenous cultural communities approached skilled NGOs to assist them in their actions aimed at securing ancestral rights over land and water in the framework of the IPRA law. NGOs dedicated to assisting IPs in the process included the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), the Mangian Foundation, AntroWatch and others. The process combines various spatial information technologies and methods including Global Positioning Systems, Participatory 3-D Modeling (P3DM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The integrated application of these ICTools has supported communication between Indigenous Communities and Government Institutions and the resulted in the securing of ancestral tenure rights over land and water. The IPRA (Indigenous Peoples Rights Act) has provided the legal enabling environment.

Documented cases:

Tagbanwa Peoples in Coron Island, Philippines

Ayta Peoples in Cabangan, Zambales, Philippines

Aeta Peoples in San Felipe, Zambales, Philippines

Higaonon Peoples in Agtulawon-Mintapod, Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, Philippines

Kankanaey Peoples, Plina, Kibugan, Benguet, Philippines

Higaonon and Talaandig Peoples in Pangantucan, Bukidnon, Philippines

Agtulawon-Mintapod Higa-onon Cumadon (AGMIHICU) in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, Philippines

Igorot Peoples, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Burmu (Ranchi) Jharkand, India

Batwa Peoples, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Sengwer Peoples, Cherangani Hills, Kenya

The mapping and determination of the ancestral domains is based on a highly participatory mapping process, which consists of on-ground surveys utilizing both traditional methods and state-of-the-art technology such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) to ensure the accuracy of the gathered data and to minimize costs. The mapping process also involves the manufacture of 3-D models of the ancestral domains by community members, enabling them to easily grasp the basic concepts of spatial, biophysical analysis in determining the current resource base and boundaries of their ancestral domains.

In the context of self-determination, P3DM has been used (in combination with GPS and GIS) for the following purposes:

  • Generating spatial geo-referenced data based on Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) on land use, vegetation cover, resource distribution, traditional tenure, etc;
  • Gathering and documenting evidence to support applications for Certificates of Ancestral Domain Claims (CADC) and Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT)
  • Storing and displaying such data at community level;
  • Enabling communities in detailed and convincing ancestral domain management plans;
  • Conducting preliminary ancestral domain’s boundary delineation;
  • Substantiating negotiations and public hearings;
  • Addressing boundary conflicts
  • Introducing visitors to the area.