Since time immemorial humans have been increasingly competing for natural resources. Their occurrence and access have been used to exert power and authority, influence and enact policies and decisions concerning public life, and economic and social development. From as early as 2200 BC, humans have tried to document and legalise rights to resources with the use of maps, a geographic representation of the earth that has since been considered as an authoritative reference, and accorded due (and sometimes undue) respect and credibility. In managing conflicts bound to the territory, the use of maps is widespread and helps locate and visualise the source of disagreements, which frequently involves boundaries defining the geographical scope of resource use and tenure. Processes leading to consensual conflict resolution are complex and articulated and need the concurrence of several factors to lead the contenders to consider the solution of the conflict from broader perspectives.
In remote, poorly served areas, community-based mapping methods can help in addressing boundary issues through the visualization of the landscape, associated land uses and settlement pattern. In the Philippines, the use of 3-D models began in 1993. Integrated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Participatory 3-D Modelling (P3DM) has been used among indigenous peoples under the auspices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and lately, of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). This article discusses how the method has contributed to a successfully conflict resolution case in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines.