8 December 2014, Quezon City, Philippines – AsiaDHRRA organized a forum, entitled: “Harvesting Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities on Seeds in Asia and the Pacific: A Learning Exchange Forum” on 5-7 December 2014 at Brentwood Suits, Quezon City, Philippines. It was participated in by FO representatives from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Pacific Islands who belong to the MTCP2 cooperation among farmers’ organizations. Continue Reading →
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26 November 2014, Pasig City, Philippines – The AgriCord held its Board Meeting and annual General Assembly on 26 and 28 November 2014, and was co-hosted by AsiaDHRRA and the ADB at its Headquarters in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines. The Advisory Committee to the Farmers’ Fighting Poverty composed of regional (continental) Farmers’ Organizations was also convened and pursued a thematic discussion on the role of FOs in mobilizing investments and risk capital. IFAD HQ and Philippines, the ADB, and the agri-agencies provided relevant inputs during the session.
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AsiaDHRRA Statement in support to the “KM71 Martsang Magniniyog” (coconut farmers’ march) in the Philippines
We, member-participants to the 9th Assembly of AsiaDHRRA, a network of rural development NGO networks in Asia, gathered here in the building of Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar (CBCM), Yangon, Myanmar on 2-4 October, 2014, have learned about the cause of our partner PAKISAMA, a member of Asian Farmers Association (AFA), in pursuing the establishment of a 71 billion-peso coconut farmers trust fund, and their continuous advocacy for agrarian reform implementation. Continue Reading →
AsiaDHRRA, together with the Non-Timber Forest Products – Exchange Programme for South and Southeast Asia (NTFP-EP), ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) and SDC co-organized the first CSO 101 Brown Bag Event for the Civil Society Organizations & the Agriculture and Forestry Sector in the ASEAN Region held on 17 February 2012 at the Hibiscus Ballroom, ASEAN, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ms. Lany Rebagay presented “Engaging ASEAN on Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Development: The AsiaDHRRA-AFA Experience”. And Muhammad Nuruddin, of AFA-Aliansi Petani Indonesia presented the view from the Farmers’ Organization on ASEAN engagement.
The Brown Bag Session aims to provide various perspectives, approaches used by various CSOs, highlight positive examples for CSO-government collaborations and identify key themes and points where ASEAN-CSO engagement and constructive dialogue in the forestry and agricultural sector.
The fruitful one day session came out with the following Lesson and Recommendations towards Meaningful Engagement between the ASEAN and CSO
1. There is ‘space’ in the agriculture and forestry sector in the ASEAN as underscored in the ASEAN charter. This ‘space’ should be optimized. The ‘space’ has to be mapped out and clearly outlined. This may include setting up informal and formal mechanisms to allow a more active participation in CSOs.
- There is a need to establish legitimacy in the engagement. There is a need to build institutional structures that facilitates discussion of issues.
- The ASEAN secretariat can promote intensive engagement in various ASEAN initiatives and facilitate linkaging for CSOs’ engagements with particular member states.
2. The ‘language’ in the space is not defined. There is a need to define what is the process, what are the rules of engagement, and who are the actors.
- There is a need to have a process in articulation of dialogues with the ASEAN bodies. There is a need to filter out conflicts to have dialogues with the ASEAN.
- Map out the institutions/CSOs in the region, and encourage diverse CSOs to engage with the ASEAN bodies.
- CSOs across the region may need to organize themselves, identify issues and interest and concretize what to bring to bring forth for high level discussions and engagements with ASEAN bodies, member states and their representatives.
3. Funding support is needed for consistent participation and to develop resources to translate relevant information that will be carried out into actions and engagements.
- Development partner (funding agencies) of ASEAN recognizing the potential contribution of CSOs may need to allocate funds to CSOs.
4. It has to be clear who is represented and whose voices is spoken. Peoples/communities have the to be given the opportunity to articulate for themselves and not necessarily having an intermediary. Who frames the issues and the language used matters.
5. There is a need to further have ‘infrastructure’ building, form networks among peers, among governments to learn from each other.
- Networks can facilitate increasing the level awareness on issues of representatives and government bodies and continue to build capacities of CSOs (provide trainings, sharing information, etc)
6. Generate concise, practical information targeted for a given agenda. The nature of information, how it is provided, and timeliness of information given is relevant.
The CSO event statement highlights the adverse impact of the “loss of forest and agricultural land to monoculture plantations” to the biodiversity, food security and human rights in the region and proposes to the ASEAN members states several measures to mitigate these effects.
The agriculture and environment CSO stakeholders recommend that ASEAN and/or its member states:
- Stop forced evictions in the interests of large-scale agriculture;
- In all cases where development projects will result in dispossession, international human rights standards should be fully observed. Affected communities should be fairly compensated, including by ensuring access to agricultural land
- Ensure sufficient budgets for sustainable agriculture and develop policies and programs to support small-scale farmers – women, men and young persons. In particular ensue access to land, waters and seed, provide support to organic farming, cooperative marketing, access to affordable credit, infrastructure, agricultural extension and meaningful participation of small-scale farmers in decision-making processes towards ensuring food and nutrition security;
- Ensure that all agriculture development programs and policies are gender sensitive and gender responsive;
- Extend technical assistance to improve competitiveness of small-scale farmers through sharing and learning exchanges on sustainable farming technologies, the establishment of an ASEAN Farmers’ Bank and ASEAN Small-scale Farmers’ Council to ensure institutionalized participation in ASEAN processes;
- Install monitoring mechanisms to hold transnational corporations accountable for their role with respect to large-scale food and agro-fuel production, toxic chemicals, land grabbing and the displacement of food crops including provision of guidelines for ASEAN governments on how to strengthen coherence between national and global food policies;
- Ratify and implement international treaties and provisions pertaining to natural resource management and agriculture, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which provides for the right to adequate food and to a decent living, which in the case of small-scale farmers includes the right to seeds and land.
Ms. Lany Rebagay in behalf of Asiadhrra, presented during the Opening Plenary of the ACSC-APF 2012 the AsiaDHRRA-AFA Experience in Engaging ASEAN on Agriculture and Rural Development. Download the presentation here…
About the ACSC/APF
The ACSC/APF is an annual gathering of civil society which was started in 2005 during Malaysia’s chairship. It follows with the Philippines in 2006, Singapore in 2007, Thailand in 2009, Vietnam in 2010 and Indonesia in 2011. At the end of each Forum, civil society comes up with a collective statement and recommendations for ASEAN.
The ACSC/APF is a main space for democratic and constructive debates on ideas, formulation of proposals for ASEAN, exchange of experiences among civil society and peoples’ movements, expanding networks across issues in the region, and doing joint actions, especially on community building process. This year, reflecting the major concerns of the ASEAN people towards the Association, ACSC/APF 2012 chooses the theme “Transforming ASEAN into a People?Centered Community”.
Our warmest congratulations to the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) who celebrates their 10th Anniversary today as they hold the event entitled “AFA@10: Celebrating Successes, Taking On More Challenges: AFA Regional Consultations and 5th AFA General Assembly” on March 7-9, 2012 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
AFA came into fruition after a series farmer exchanges in several countries in Asia facilitated by AsiaDHRRA and was formally launched on May 2002 in Malaysia.
AFA’s membership currently includes farmers’ organizations from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
Asiadhrra 2012-2014 Network Report
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