Papers

A list of Papers and Journal Articles related to Aboriginal Mapping. Please contact us if you know of, or would like to submit, a paper.

PLEASE NOTE: The Aboriginal Mapping Network is not promoting any of the following authors or their work.The intent of this page is to provide an overview of some of the available written materials.

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Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Participatory Mapping of Community Forest

Him Lal Shrestha

Abstract

Community forestry is a successful development programme of His Majesty's Government (HMG), in the sector of forest management in Nepal. The process of community forestry comprises the assessment of forest resources and drawing-up of a plan of action for the management of forests. Forest boundary surveying is a mandatory activity in the formal handing over of the forest to the people or Forest User groups (FUG) as they are known in practice. The spatial issues in mapping are more related to the boundary of the forest, location of the forest itself, the geographic characteristics of the forest i.e. slope, aspect, altitude and area covered by particular forest resources i.e. the forest type, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and information that could be useful in preparing a better management and implementation plan of the forest. The use of Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) in the field of community forest management combines the collection of quantitative and qualitative information in a way that is beneficial for the FUG (Jordan, 2000) i.e. mapping the boundary of the forest, block division of the forest area and preparing a multiple resource map. The quantitative spatial components can be collected and managed for sustainable forest management i.e. information on the length of forest boundary, resource distribution, stocking and incidence patterns. Without peoples' participation in the application of GIS and GPS in mapping the forest, the accuracy cannot always be assured on the one hand, while on the other, the information cannot be properly utilized as the ultimate users of the community forest maps are the local communities themselves. Prior to handing over of the forest areas to the FUGs, transect walks are carried-out in the relevant areas and features of interest are mapped using GPSs. The data is analysed in a GIS environment and maps i.e. Forest Boundaries, delineating NTFP species as well as the location of poor Households are produced. Assessment of products by plots of the relevant species, are also carried-out. Thus the participatory GIS, incorporates both indigenous knowledge on spatial aspects of community forest management, as well as social, land cover, and cultural features.
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Community Resource Mapping in Sustainable Natural Resource Management: A Case Study of SW Uganda

Beatrice B. Nabwire, Meshack Nyabenge

Abstract

Southwestern Uganda represents a fragile ecosystem of complex and interrelated ecology with extreme socio-cultural and biophysical diversity. The area has productive soils and receives bimodal rainfall promoting varied agricultural systems and land use practices. With population growth of 2.2% per annum, this ecosystem is exposed to environmental and socio-economic problems like land degradation, soil erosion, low-income, poor nutrition, fragmented farms and low agricultural output. To mitigate these environmental and socio-economic uncertainties, and continue exploiting these rich natural resources areas, ICRAF and FORRI developed intervention strategies ranging from integrated watershed management to tree germplasm production and distribution. These intervention strategies were supported by community resource mapping for integrating predefined-research areas into community knowledge of their own resources. Acquired geospatial data were analyzed to support community resource mapping and scientific analysis was used for assessment of impacts of land management practices, conservation and conflict resolution. Community-based resource managers and local policy makers were trained in geospatial tools and applications. A GIS node was established in Kabale district to support future spatial analysis and information management. This paper reviews how integrated natural resource intervention strategies and community resource mapping were complemented to realize sustainable development action planning in SW Uganda. It also reviews the benefits of community resource mapping in property rights and geospatial technology transfer. IN this paper, technical backstopping of community effort and capacity building are recommended for sustainable community resource mapping activities.

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Monitoring and Evaluating Land Use/ Land Cover Change Using Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) Tools

Ermias Aynekulu, Welday Wubneh, Emiru Birhane, Nigussu Begashaw1

Abstract

Agricultural land degradation in Ethiopia leads to an annual loss of roughly 2 million cubic meters of top soil. The relationship between this loss of soil quality and declining agricultural productivity is increasingly threatening rural livelihoods, putting pressure on urban centres as people migrate, as well as on very scarce forest resources on which the agricultural systems eventually depend Attempts to address land degradation have required the government of Ethiopia to fully understand the underlying social and ecological drivers of land degradation. In order to fully develop the knowledge portfolio required to design and implement land rehabilitation measures in remote areas experiencing degradation, an adaptable, robust and credible system of ethno-ecological knowledge representation, analyses and communication is required. This is needed not only to bridge the technological gap between the rural and urban areas but to facilitate the representation and integration of both temporally and spatially explicit historical and 'real time' knowledge, held within rural environments. This paper describes the application of participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) tools and approaches in Tigray, Ethiopia. In this application to generate both current and retrospective information of land use processes, the use of PGIS focuses on methods of knowledge 'capture', representation and communication through the graphic representation of both past and present land uses using rudimentary tools. The information gathered in the process is then transferred into a Geographic Information System, for additional analyses, sharing with scientists and onwards transmission to decision makers and other users in a form which they respect, can understand and reproduce. The practice of PGIS in this setting in Ethiopia has encouraged broad-based participation at community levels, improved within-community communication and provided opportunities for greater social inclusion in development processes.

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Participatory Mapping and Geographic Information Systems: Whose Map? Who is Empowered and Who Disempowered?

Robert Chambers

Abstract

In recent years, changes in participatory methodologies (PMs) may have been even more rapid than those in spatial technologies. Local people's abilities to make maps only became widely known and facilitated in the early 1990s. Participatory mapping has spread like a pandemic with many variants and applications not only in natural resource management but also in many other domains. With mapping as one element, there are now signs of a new pluralist eclecticism and creativity in PMs. The medium and means of mapping, whether ground, paper or GIS and the style and mode of facilitation, influence who takes part, the nature of outcomes and power relationships. Much depends on the behaviour and attitudes of facilitators and who controls the process. Many ethical issues present troubling dilemmas, and lead to overarching questions about empowerment and ownership. Questions to be asked, again and again, are: Who is empowered and who disempowered? And, who gains and who loses?

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