An Assessment of Needs and Opportunities of PDI’s Indigenous Partner Communities
Participatory 3-Dimensional Mapping (P3DM) is a form of mapping which integrates local and scientific knowledge as well as bottom-up and top-down actions in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It is not difficult to do; it is inexpensive and it utilizes locally available materials, facilitating transfer of experience from one community to another.
Goal and objective
The goal of the activities conducted in Palauig on 29 March 2012 was to find potential ways to avoid and/or reduce natural disasters using P3DM among the different indigenous communities assisted by PDI. Consultation with partner communities is critical to avoid imposing from the outside a tool and method which may prove irrelevant or unsustainable. The specific objectives of the activities were to introduce P3DM as a tool and method for enhancing DRR to local communities, and to assess its relevance in addressing local issues.
Participants were indigenous peoples from different communities in Masinloc (Zambales), Botolan (Zambales), Limay (Bataan), Coron (Palawan) and Iligan (Lanao del Norte) (Figure 1). There was strong representation from the Aeta communities of San Juan, Loob Bunga and Baquilan in Botolan, including the barangay captain and two kagawads of San Juan. Participants included both males and females of all ages. They proved dedicated and engaged in the series of activities conducted.
Venue and schedule of activities
The activities were hosted by the PDI field office in Palauig and conducted at a former rice mill. The venue provided space for the participants to move around, engage in the mapping activities, and interact with each other.
P3DM for DRR activities were carried out from 1:30 to 5:15 pm.
The programme of activities included a series of seven interrelated exercises geared towards identifying and ranking community issues and assessing the relevance of P3DM to address those concerns. The sequence was as follows:
1/ a short interactive discussion to introduce the concept of disaster and the main tenets of disaster risk reduction;
2/ a four-station carousel to identify:
– disaster-related issues within the communities (“ano ba ang mga isyu sa komunidad tungkol sa kalamidad?”);
– how the participants plan to address those concerns (“ano ang mga plano upang tugunan o bigyang solusyon ang mga isyu?”);
– the needs for implementing such a plan (“ano ba ang mga kailangan upang isakatuparan ang mga solusyon?”);
– the attributes of the stakeholders of this plan (“sino ba ang responsable, may kaalaman, o may pakialam sa mga isyu o solusyon kontra sa kalamidad?”).
3/ a scoring and ranking of issues, plans, needs and stakeholders to identify those which stand out. To complete this exercise, a set of five pushpins were given to each participant to rank them according to the perceived importance of each point.
4/ a short interactive discussion to introduce P3DM for DRR to the participants.
5/ a participatory mapping exercise following the principles of P3DM.
In this activity, the participants will appreciate the potential contribution of the tools and methods in solving disaster-related issues in their community. Participants were gathered into three groups composed of the people from San Juan, Botolan (group 1), Baquilan and Loob Bunga, Botolan (group 2), Masinloc, Limay, Coron and Iligan (group 3). Groups 1 and 2 were invited to map their local communities, i.e. San Juan and Baquilan, while group 3 focused on the surroundings of the venue. To plot community-related information (such as rivers, roads and other lifelines, houses and other major landmarks, and natural and technological hazards), participants used a sheet of Styrofoam, pushpins of different shapes and colours, and yarns of various colours. At the end of the exercise, each group was invited to share insights from their map and engage in a discussion with other participants.
6/ a short follow-up discussion on the nature of disasters and the principles of disaster risk reduction based on the participants’ experiences and mapping of their community.
7/ an assessment of the relevance of P3DM for addressing issues, fostering plans, answering
needs and involving stakeholders. Participants were invited to plot pushpins on a four-quadrant
target (emphasizing issues, plans, needs and stakeholders) in accordance with their evaluation of
the relevance of the tool.
Assessment of needs and opportunities
Figure 2 shows the results of the carousel and scoring-ranking activities. Participants have emphasized anthropogenic environmental degradation (deforestation, mining, quarrying and solid-waste pollution) as their main concern, which should be addressed through community-led actions geared towards restoring forest cover, proper solid-waste management and raising awareness. Such actions require training, followed by appropriate planning and then implementation of measures. Participants also mentioned the need for enhanced warning in the advent of typhoons and floods. Stakeholders should be involved in answering these needs and in designing action plans which must include members of local communities, teachers and relevant government agencies such as PAGASA.
Participants expressed their appreciation of the participatory mapping activity and its relevance in addressing the foregoing issues, developing appropriate plans, covering relevant needs and involving local and government stakeholders (Figure 3 – see also PDI video recordings). Participants from Limay and Botolan, notably San Juan, proved particularly eager to conduct P3DM in their village in planning for DRR.
P3DM for DRR activities may be conducted in Limay as a pilot site amongst PDI partner communities. Training may be conducted sometime between late April and mid-June 2012 under the supervision of Jake Rom D. Cadag. Participants in these initial activities may lead to further trainings in other PDI partner communities. These subsequent activities may be conducted
sometime between late November 2012 and January 2013