Participatory Mapping




Participatory Mapping

Report of Workshop "Building an Agenda Together"and Mapping Training
Long Loreh, East Kalimantan 20-24 November, 1999

Prepared by Lini Wollenberg, CIFOR 10 December 1999


Eighty-one villagers from 27 villages in the Upper Malinau River met during a five-day series of meetings to discuss their needs, create a joint agenda of potential research topics and learn about mapping as a tool for overcoming boundary and land use conflicts. The meeting and training were organized by CIFOR in collaboration with six Indonesian NGOs with skilled in participatory mapping. Eight observers from local government and company offices also attended the meeting. We used participatory methods, experiential learning and responsive planning as a basis for workshop activities.

Using visioning techniques, villagers identified clean water, protected forest and electricity as their three highest priorities for the future. Other issues raised included other infrastructural developments related to transport, irrigation, education and community halls, and agricultural support such as seed sources and PMDH assistance. The main constraints to achieving these priorities were no funds, no attention from government or companies, and a lack of awareness and knowledge among the members of the community. Other main obstacles included that villagers are not unified among themselves, no maps of resources or land use are available, there is no certainty or clarity about the rules or boundaries.

The facilitators provided information about the changing policy scene in Indonesia, especially about local autonomy, cooperatives, hutan adat, hutan desa, PMDH, HPH kehutanan masyarakat, tata ruang.

Villagers produced action plans that showed four common features: the need to (1) report back to their home villages, (2) create an organization along the entire Malinau that would help unify perceptions, provide coordination and strengthen their rights, (3) ask help from CIFOR for specific activities such as how to approach the companies and surveying, and (4) submit proposals to government and companies.

Based on their visions, constraints and action plans, as well as an explanation of what CIFOR was and examples of its programs (BRF generally, RIL, CIMAT and ACM), villagers were asked to provide suggestions for CIFOR's research agenda. In order of frequency mentioned, these were: clean water (22 participants), protected forest for the village's benefit (15), mapping of boundaries among villages and with companies (of forest and village) (14), condition of the forest's resources (13), conditions of the communities, their needs, economy and regional economy (9), develop the community (8), approaches for negotiating with companies and making proposals to them (7), deforestation and how to guard the forest (6), how to develop a unified citizenry, build an organization among villages and bring perceptions together, as well as cultivate adat (4). Other suggestions were mentioned three times or less.

CIFOR presented a response about how the communities' needs could be furthered through joint research with CIFOR. CIFOR (from the ACM program perspective) can conduct research on a cluster of human resource activities related to tools and strategies for (1) building cooperation (especially among villagers), (2) negotiating and overcoming conflict, (3) acquiring policy information. In a second cluster of activities, we can also research tools and strategies for monitoring and better understanding (4) forest condition, (5) social conditions related to better understanding their needs, strengthening the communities and the local economy, and (6) boundaries and land use. CIFOR is not in a position to provide development funding.

During the mapping training participants learned about the different purposes of maps, and how to make a sketch map, a scale map, a map that showed real geographic position, and a map of land use. They learned how to use a compass and GPS, how to measure distance on a map and the concept of direction and degrees. They learned about the different parts of maps and how to complete a map with a title, legend, orientation information etc. They also learned about conflict management related to boundary determination. We used role playing exercises to explore ways in which the participants would deliver the information to their villages, and negotiate with companies and the government.

The overall level of interest and satisfaction with the workshop seemed to be high. Evidence from seven villages in the first three days following the workshop suggests that follow-up activities were immediate. Key lessons learned from the evaluation suggest that we need to be more selective in finding a mix of old and young participants who can learn mapping skills but also provide local "policy" and history. It would be desirable to also have a single main facilitator for the duration of the meeting, and planning among all of the facilitators well before. More time and repetition would be necessary for participants to fully absorb the information. Perceptions among the villagers of what CIFOR is seem to still be variable.





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