Good practices in participatory mapping (2009)

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The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is an international financial institution and a specialised United Nations agency dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. Working with poor rural people, governments, donors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions to empower poor rural women and men to achieve higher incomes and improved food security.

One of the challenges IFAD continues to face in agricultural and rural development work is identifying effective ways to involve poor communities, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, in planning, managing and making decisions about their natural resources. This is especially important in dealing with pastoralists, indigenous peoples and forest dwellers that find themselves and their livelihoods disproportionately threatened by climate change, environmental degradation and conflict related to access to land and natural resources. The ongoing uncertainties brought about by climate change and climate variability (such as the timing and intensity of weather patterns) increase their vulnerability and intensify pressure on their resource base and conflicts among resource users. Because a key asset for pastoralists, indigenous peoples and forest dwellers is their knowledge of the local environment, an approach is needed to ensure that this collective wisdom will influence their capacity for planning and managing natural resources.

To address these concerns, IFAD, in collaboration with the International Land Coalition (ILC), has implemented since October 2006 the project ‘Development of Decision Tools for Participatory Mapping in Specific Livelihoods Systems (Pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, Forest Dwellers)’. Participatory mapping is not new to IFAD; it has been undertaken to varying degrees in a large number of projects. However, within the institution there remains limited knowledge about how a systematic approach could contribute to addressing conflict-related issues and improving community ownership in sustainable environmental and natural resource management. This project aims to i) create a better understanding of the potential for participatory mapping to empower vulnerable groups to sustainably manage their resources; and ii) develop an IFAD-wide approach to participatory mapping to enable a more systemic implementation of these activities within IFAD-supported programmes.
 
Language: English
Imprint: Review prepared for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) http://www.ifad.org/pub/map/PM_web.pdf 2009
Series: Report,