(Item 5 of the Agenda)
88. To illustrate the use of pictures and land use maps and charts, Mr Francis DAINK (Papua New Guinea) made a presentation on Thematic Mapping. He introduced the Papua New Guinea Resource Information System (PNGRIS) which is a computer-based information system on natural resource, population and land use for the whole of Papua New Guinea. It consisted of three related components.
A) A base map that
- provides a mapped presentation of the basic spatial units known as RMUs that are delineated on the basis of a common sets of seven geographical attributes - landform, relief, geology, inundation, altitude, mean annual rainfall and administrative boundaries;
- a mapping scale of 1:500 000. (1cm = 25km on the ground);
- a map of PNG with approximately 4 600 RMUs where each RMU is unique in terms of one or more of these seven criteria;
B) A database corresponding to each RMU of the base map; and
C) A user-friendly interface that provides a facility to link the map and database for rapid manipulation and analysis.
89. Mr Daink also discussed the Papua New Guinea Land Evaluation System (PNGLES) which was a tool used to evaluate land for its suitability for food and cash crops and a number of alternative crops under two broad management levels: low, and high capital input. He said that PNGLES was also a database containing information on land suitability of 18 traditional cash crops and alternative crops.
90. Given the wide range of environment, farming systems and economic organization in Papua New Guinea (PNG), he said that the initial approach is to assess the existing resources: firstly through analysis of the nature and distribution of natural resources relevant to agriculture and, secondly, determine what degree and extent these resources were used.
91. He pointed out that subsistence activities, which concern more that 80 percent of the population produced the whole or large part of the rural diet and, through the sale of surpluses, provided an important component of the urban fresh food supplies. Since the type and range of village food production and the villagers ability to produce food and cash crops were directly related to the physical characteristics of the local environment, assessing resource potential in PNG from the national, provincial or district level of planning, required investigation of the nature and distribution of the natural resources themselves, the farming systems applied to them, and the population distribution and growth. Mr Daink then demonstrated how PNGLES could present a picture of locations where various food and cash crops were (and could be) grown.