In June 2014, the “peaceful and sustainable Ridge-to-Reef” (R2R) cooperation in Surigao del Norte invited all partners to a hands-on experience by constructing a 3D model of LGU Malimono and the Parang-parang watershed. Layers of layers of styro were cut out, glued together and covered with newspaper pieces by the participants before the 3 m long and 1.5 m wide base model could be painted white and was ready for mapping.
After small group discussions had identified the features to be mapped, the real fun started with coloring the model, placing push-pins of many different shapes and tracing features with yarn.
For example, the Mamanwas traced their Ancestral Domain Claim and located burial grounds; representatives from the municipality/barangays plotted existing infrastructure and areas prone to landslide; and fisherfolk plotted good fishing grounds and areas of siltation and waste accumulation. The overlap of tenurial instruments could easily be grasped by everybody. It was also obvious to associate the areas with small scale mining to the siltation observed in the coastal waters, thereby transparently highlighting existing conflicts.
After three days of mapping the model was presented to over 120 interested stakeholders, which then discussed potential short- and long-term solutions for the main identified issues (1) small-scale mining and siltation, (2) solid waste management (land and water), (3) landslide, flooding and illegal cutting, and (4) overfishing and illegal fishing. Some of the proposed plans and actions, for example proposed sites for landfills or proposed new marine sanctuaries, were then integrated in the 3D model allowing for immediate hands-on processing of conflicts.
This activity proved to be an effective tool to create a space for dialogue about existing conflicts and management issues among concerned stakeholders, to raise awareness of their territory and to integrate bottom-up and top-down approaches to development planning. It increased the collaboration and partnership between the local government and civil society and created ownership through the collective experience. The model is now placed in the hallway of the municipal hall of LGU Malimono to foster further discussions.
by Dr. Anke Steinel, Technical Advisor to Surigao Metropolitan Water District (SMWD)