Partners with Melanesians has been instrumental in much of the Pacific Region in the facilitation and development of Participatory 3 Dimensional Modelling (P3DM). 

We have been working in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC PNG) under the Australian Aid's Climate Change Projects in the Pacific Region for almost three years now.

The following are some of the locations where we carried out P3DM work:

  • Managalas Proposed Conservation Area Project (2005) – Oro Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Boeboe (2010) – Solomon Islands
  • The Island of Manus (2011) – Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Naro Village (LMMA) (2012)  - Solomon Islands
  • Almami LLG (2013) – Bogia, Madang Province
  • Watabum LLG (2014) – Daulo District, EHP, PNG 
  • The Government of the Independent State of Samoa (2013) – Forestry Division, Ministry of Natural Resources’ and Environment. Project Name; “Integration of Climate Change Risks and Resilience into Forestry Management in Samoa (ICCRIFS). It aims to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity of Samoa’s forest areas and dependent communities to the threat of climate change.   

What's Next for Us

We have more work in the pipeline. We have been granted a sub-award by The Nature Conservancy for two years (2013-2014) under Australian AID funding as one of the implementers of “Phase 2 of Building the resilience of communities and their ecosystems to the impacts of Climate Change”.

P3DM and its Importance

P3DM is one of the tools that is very effective in enabling local communities to make sound decisions in the development and use of natural resources, and to develop adaptation plans to counter the effects of climate change. Aside from that, it is also used to address other important issues faced by the communities.

In the facilitation and development of 3D model, local people, youths, students, Government officers, NGO partners, Private sectors, and Churches are all involved. The tool allows the resource owners to make informed decisions on how best they can utilise and manage their environment.

In most local communities, people have little to no input in the decision making processes; however, this tool has the potential to enable locals to participate effectively in any planning discussions.  One key reason being that many local people do not understand and cannot read flat maps (2 dimensional). A 3-Dimensional Model or map will provide to the locals a better understanding on the geographical locations and features (natural and human).   

Moreover, most marginalised communities who heavily depend on the natural resources lack the knowledge on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Thus P3DM brings GIS potentials closer to the communities. It gives a clear picture of what areas are going to be affected when a resource is going to be developed or when a natural disaster strikes.

In addition, it gives alternatives and options for the people because likely impacts can be seen in advance. It assists very much in the bottom up method of planning.

Take Note

The activities for P3D Models

Building a relief model is a very demanding job that requires proper pre- planning and logistical arrangements.

Some of the major activities include:

  • Materials procurement
  • Scoping trip to the area of interest
  • Deciding on appropriate model scale, contour interval, and base map size and scale.
  • Identifying Suitable Venue
  • Identifying key informants in the communities
  • Bringing together various stakeholders


Completed 3D Model at a scale of 1:10,000. Pictured are senior staff from the Division of Forestry, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa standing with Patrick Vuet and Kenn Mondia, the facilitator from Partners with Melanesian Inc. (Photo by Kenn Mondiai)