July 25, 2024

The City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office is piloting the Participatory 3D Mapping (P3DM), a community-based mapping methodology that combines traditional knowledge, local expertise, and modern technology, in 10 barangays that are prone to hazards such as flooding and landslide.

CDRRMO Acting Head Antonette Anaban said the P3DM, which combines mapping techniques with active participation from barangay officials and community members to develop accurate representations of the physical and social landscape, has emerged as a powerful tool for the barangays to understand their environment better, identify potential risks, and develop effective disaster management strategies which are crucial in geographically vulnerable areas like Baguio City.

The P3DM is being undertaken with technical assistance from the Philippine Geographical Society of University of the Philippines Diliman in 10 pilot barangays in the city.

The three-day mapping exercises are done in four batches: first batch – Atok Trail and City Camp Central; second batch – Guisad Surong, Pucsusan and Bakakeng Central; third batch – Lower Lourdes Extension, Dominican Mirador, Camp 7, and fourth batch – Irisan and Lower Rock Quarry.

At present, eight out of the 10 pilot barangays have already completed their 3D scale model maps, while Irisan and Lower Rock Quarry are scheduled on July 19 to 21.

Anaban said the process of engaging the community officials and residents empowers them to take an active role in collectively documenting and visualizing their surroundings, including physical and social features enabling them to identify the hazards, vulnerability and resources within their barangays.

The participants used tangible materials like old newspapers, colored paints, glue, colored pins, Styrofoam, and plywood in coming up with their three-dimensional representation of their barangay on scale models.

“By harnessing participatory 3D mapping to the barangays, hazards can be better understood and managed. It empowers the barangays and communities to build local capacities, and foster collaboration among stakeholders, ultimately leading to more resilient barangays in the face of disasters. Barangays also feel a sense of ownership and empowerment, leading to increased participation in decision-making and community development efforts,” Anaban said.

However, since the mapping exercises allowed them only to produce their 3D maps, some follow-up activities or capacity building need to be conducted such as the barangay-level risk assessment, disaster risk reduction and contingency planning, and other DRRM-related activities making use of their 3D maps.

Other challenges should also be addressed including technical capacity building, access to technology and data, community mobilization and sustainability.

“To overcome these challenges, it is crucial to provide further training and resources to equip communities with the necessary skills and tools. Furthermore, partnerships between government agencies, academic institutions, and community-based organizations can ensure the long-term sustainability of participatory mapping initiatives,” Anaban said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo