ERuDeF Unveils First 3D Model for Conservation and Development in Cameroon

Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organization, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in collaboration with her UK based partner, the African Conservation Foundation (ACF), are launching the first Participatory 3Dimensional Mapping (P3DM) project in Cameroon.

The official launching ceremony has been scheduled for Monday May 30, 2016 at the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) at 10 am.

The launching ceremony is a culmination of the pilot implementation of the P3DM in the Upper Bayang Subdivision of Manyu Division, Southwest Cameroon.

P3DM is a powerful tool to collect data and information, often with a spatial component, with the help of a 3 dimensional model of a landscape. This 3D model is produced combining satellite data and innovative 3D printing technology.

3D printing refers to a new and high-tech process to create a three-dimensional solid object, in this case a landscape in South West Cameroon, by building them up in layers using a special 3D printer.

The model is used for a P3DM project, a community-based mapping method which integrates elevation data with information provided by local stakeholders.

“In our Tofala-Mone Rainforest Conservation Project, P3DM facilitates the gathering of qualitative and quantitative information about local communities in the area, their livelihoods and land use patterns, including the specific locations where the people conduct various activities”, says Louis Nkembi, President of the ERuDeF. “Reality explained in language results in abstract information. The 3D model makes this tangible and concrete again”.

P3DM functions as an important communication and engagement tool, facilitating information exchange between various stakeholders. At the same time it is a very useful instrument for project planning and management. The 3D model will also be used for land use planning for the establishment of community forests and sustainable forest management.


“We are working together with Global Forest Watch (GWF) for the development of an effective, community-based forest monitoring system” says Arend de Haas, Director of the African Conservation Foundation. “To this end we are integrating P3DM with monthly deforestation alerts provided by GWF”.

The surveys and monitoring is carried out with the active involvement of the local communities, in order to understand the local perspectives, issues, concerns and priorities. Information gathered related to traditional boundaries, land and resource use and other geographic information, are represented on the 3D model for improved spatial understanding.

With the launch of the 3D model, conducting P3DM projects and giving this tool a central role in the sustainable management of forest resources, ERuDeF and the African Conservation Foundation are looking forward to extending this novelty to other forest areas and communities in Cameroon.

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