Kitti 3D model shows Kitti from ridge to reef

Conservation Society of Pohnpei

3DThe small island nations of Micronesia are jewels in the Pacific Ocean.  These tiny-forested islands, ringed by stunning lagoons and reefs are home to beautiful cultures steeped in time and stories.  Here in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), The Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Society of Pohnpei are working with local communities to craft a 3D map to shine the light on this stunning landscape in the vast Pacific.  The people of Pohnpei are strongly tied to both the ocean and the land.  They rely equally on the ocean to provide marine resources and the land for food and shelter. 

This Participatory 3D Model (P3DM) of Kitti Municipality on the southwest corner of Pohnpei provides a clear picture of the area from the top of the ridges to the outer barrier reef.  With this scale model (1:7,500) all members of the community, leaders, and those lucky enough to visit, will quickly and easily understand the connection from ridge to reef.  It provides a focal point for discussions on how the land and sea are being used, and importantly, how to plan for the future.  Key topics that will be discussed around the model include runoff from the hills to the reef resulting in sedimentation; the role of mangroves for protecting the shoreline; and how protected areas are connected (or not!).  Across these and other issues the foundation is equality for everyone to have an understanding and voice about the future of Pohnpei. 

The P3DM workshop began on Monday 29 October and will be completed in two weeks, Friday 9 November.  During the first week we build the blank model reaching the island high point at 2,600 feet.  The second week is then the time to populate the model by painting the reefs and forest, marking trails and boundaries with strings, and point locations with pins and labels.  At the end we place a legend and reference map so that users can easily interpret the symbols.  As the model will stay here in Kitti it can continue to be used for planning, education, and decision-making. 

We extend our thanks and recognition to the FSM Ridge to Reef Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and of course the community of Kitti for their enthusiasm to construct their map of Kitti.