Participatory resource mapping

Resource mapping is carried out by communities to map their territories and indicate which places and which resources are used for which purposes (customary use). These maps demonstrate the scope of indigenous territories and illustrate the significance and importance of the territories and associated resources for the lives of indigenous and local communities. FPP supports and facilitates participatory mapping processes. Community members are trained to use GPS and GIS technology and then employ these skills in the field in combinationwith the knowledge of resource users or elders who know the territory or specific parts of it very well. Data and locations are collected and all information is compiled into digital maps. All technology is set up at the local level and adapted to local needs and circumstances. In combination with village-level capacity building in land and resource rights issues, participatory mapping can provide the basis for an effective territorial defence strategy. An increasing number of forest peoples consider community maps as a useful tool that they can use at the local and national level to assert more secure land and resource rights in their traditional territories. This is especially important in cases where outside actors aim to access their forests, such as government authorities, conservation NGOs and companies (logging, mining, plantations). The maps can support communities in dialogue and negotiation processes.