All over the world, various methods have been developed and are being implemented with the aim of strengthening the involvement of local communities in the decision making process concerning their situation and environment.
A first step in this process is the joint "mapping" of the situation and the environment in the form of a participatory excercise involving all stakeholders.
The objective of this excercise is to realize a "map" in the form of a geographic information system, at first with basic, non-digital tools, then, depending upon the locally available knowledge, experience and technology, a digital version.
Of course, the value of the collected information can only be maintained through a frequent updating of the information contained.
We can provide a first introduction in these methods through the provision of (on-line) training and advice. And for more detailed training and advice, we can refer to the various relevant groups and organizations, actively involved in participatory mapping.