Strengthening peoples’ capacity in sustainable development
Industrial Review of Vietnam | 5 June 2012
News in Vietnamese: http://tapchicongnghiep.vn/News/channel/1/News/338/18897/Chitiet.html
Hanoi, Vietnam- A meeting was held in the city this morning as the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) under the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Vietnam and Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) jointly organized ‘Rio for People’, the APRN Biennial Conference 2012. Present were representatives of community organizations from 18 countries. APRN, with the support of SRD, organized this conference to help improve people's capacity to call for genuine sustainable development.
The conference is in preparation for the Asia peoples’ delegation to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Summit) scheduled on June 20-22, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where governments and other development institutions are set to discuss what happened to the promises set forth 20 years ago during the first Earth Summit in 1992.
The objectives of the APRN conference are to (1) raise awareness on issues related to the Rio +20 for civil society organizations in Asia; and (2) increase the coordination to promote Asian civil society initiatives to support advocacy engagements.
During the workshop sessions, topics such as (1) impacts of climate change to sustainable development and climate finance; (2) rating "green economy" and the policy framework; (3) the program initiatives in national and local sustainable development in the field, and; (4) the community-level initiatives and advocacy campaigns and sustainable development, were discussed by different civil society representatives from countries across the region.
Businesses, corporations overwhelm people
News in Vietnamese: http://hanoitv.vn/Bien-doi-khi-hau/Doanh-nghiep-lan-at-nguoi-dan/12168.htv
Business, corporations dominate the people of developing countries in global negotiations on sustainable development, where the voice of the people is supposedly included in the negotiations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Source: Internet). Therefore, civil society organizations - representing the voice of the people in developing countries - need to improve their capacity to participate actively in the policy process for genuine sustainable development.
This message was made at the Rio for People Conference: Strengthening People’s Voices for Genuine Sustainable Development. The conference which lasted for 3 days, from June 5 to7, 2012, was co-organized by the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) and the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN).
On June 20-22, 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) will be held to promote economic growth coupled with social justice and environmental protection. However, according to local and international civil society representatives, it is difficult to achieve social justice and environmental protection when the talks focused on the interests of the businesses. "Rio +20 has two agenda. A program to promote poor countries to buy new technology enterprise of the north (from overseas business development solutions - PV), "said Azra Talat Sayeed from Roots for Equity, an organization in Pakistan."The program also requires poor countries receiving aid to open markets for rich countries."
Green economy enables commercialization of natural and ecological services. Accordingly, the commercial activity takes place as usual. For civil society, it is consistent with the interests of the corporate sector and not the interests of the people.
According to calculations of the economic organizations in the world, poor countries need about 100 billion dollars each year for ‘green economic development’. Much of this money will come from loans from organizations such as World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and will be used to hire experts and buy technology from rich countries.
"Developed countries in Rio will just sell new technologies to domestic economic recovery," said Sayeed. "Technology does not reduce emissions, especially carbon sink…. Therefore, when ‘buying’ technology, poor countries continue to increase emissions and climate change situation in their country.” As such, for Sayeed it is not true sustainable development. Besides, the people - subject to direct effects of these policies - should have a say in policy-making process. "People’s lack of participation is not ‘sustainable’" according to Vu Thi Bich Hop, SRD’S Executive Director. SRD is part of Vietnam’s official delegation to the Rio + 20 conference in Brazil.
According to APRN and SRD, Rio +20 tends to strengthen the neoliberal framework of the economy (prioritize corporate interests - PV), which is the cause of many current crises. Representatives of community organizations and other civil society organizations from 18 countries in Asia attended the workshop in Hanoi in order to better understand the issues to be discussed at Rio + 20 summit, to strengthen coordination and promote the participation of organizations representing the voice of Asian peoples as well as initiatives to support advocacy at the global conference on sustainable development.
The first Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Here, the international community has recognized and committed to solving the problems of inequality and unsustainability of the dominant development model. Twenty years later, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) is expected to renew political commitment to sustainable development.
Does the poor benefit from green economy?
ThienNhien.Net | 6 June 2012
News in Vietnamese: http://www.thiennhien.net/2012/06/06/kinh-te-xanh-co-mang-lai-loi-ich-cho-nguoi-ngheo/
Hanoi, Vietnam- In the road to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in late June, the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) organized a conference entitled "Rio for People: Strengthening People’s Voices for Genuine Sustainable Development."
The objective of the conference was to share information on issues and gather opinions from Asian civil society organizations related to the Rio + 20. These opinions will be sent as Key Messages and recommendations to the Rio +20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rio +20 conference focuses on two main topics: green economy and poverty reduction within the framework of sustainable development. Green economy is understood as one way of promoting human life and promote social justice, while significantly reducing risk of resource depletion. However, there is still controversy surrounding the tendency to switch to a ‘corporate’ green economy, which has been believed and proved to benefit businesses that do not reflect the voice of the people. As rich countries, corporations and other businesses benefit from the opportunities promoted by green economy, the poor benefit disproportionately. Issues of human rights, the role of the private sector, the strategies and national policies in sustainable development were also discussed at the conference.
The conference lasted from June 5-7, 2012 in Hanoi and was attended by representatives from civil society organizations from 18 countries of Asia -Pacific. In addition, a State agency of Vietnam also sent delegates.
APRN is a network of leading research NGOs across Asia and the Pacific. Besides environmental issues, APRN’s works on sustainable development also include social and economic issues through research, advocacy and capacity development. Founded in 1998, APRN emphasizes the need for research to support advocacy on issues related to the impact of trade liberalization and investment in Asia. APRN also discusses various social issues such as the right of workers and women and the role of peoples’ organizations in regional development.
Together for a sustainable future
Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations | 6 June 2012
News in Vietnamese: http://www.vusta.vn/home3/news/?44181/Chung-tay-vi-tuong-lai-ben-vung.htm
"Together for a sustainable future", this was the message of Rio for People, the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) Conference, jointly organized with Center for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) held from June 5 to 7, 2012 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Attending the conference were representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) from 18 countries of the Asia - Pacific, and a number of Vietnamese state agencies .
The meeting discussed a number of topics such as (1) climate change and environmental sustainability, climate financing; (2) "green economy" and the policy framework; (3) the program to support national and local sustainable development in the field, and; (4) the community level initiatives, campaigns and advocacy for sustainable development.
At the conference, Prof. Truong Quang Hoc of Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Research, presented "Vietnam’s stake in the Rio+20 process and Sustainable Development agenda". Prof. Hoc pointed out, "With the crisis of the world, Vietnam is affected by climate change-- dried in natural resources, environmental pollution. So to develop green economy, Vietnam needs to struggle against poverty and environmental degradation, build an economic model to stabilize growth and respect living environment ".
"The future is now in the hands of the owners of the planet. More than ever, the world should take time to look at real life on earth, what human excess and lack, to discuss and exchange in order to find the most effective direction to ensure best life for all creatures on the planet ", said Prof. Hoc.
"At present, Vietnam is making efforts to put sustainable development into reality. Sustainable development brings prosperity to everyone and good quality of life by protecting the environment, "said Antonio Tujan, Chairperson of APRN.
The conference was expected to strengthen the capacity of CSOs in mobilizing and engaging people in genuine sustainable development towards Rio +20 and turn those ideas into people's aspirations of courage, daring the future of our children and the environment in the home of humanity.
Improving people's ability to drive towards sustainable development
Vietnam Economic News
News in English: http://ven.org.vn/improving-peoples-ability-to-drive-towards-sustainable-development_t77c192n29515tn.aspx
(VEN) - The Asia-Pacific Research Network (APRN) and the Sustainable Rural Development Center (SRD) recently organized a people's capacity building workshop in Hanoi prior to the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) scheduled to take place at the end of this month.
Rio+20 will focus on green economy and hunger and poverty reduction for sustainable development. Green economy is a way to improve people's livelihoods and to foster social equality, while significantly reducing environmental risks and natural resources exhaustion.
Representatives of community and civil organizations in 30 countries in Asia-Pacific attended the workshop in Hanoi to better understand issues to be addressed at Rio+20, to increase coordination to boost participation of Asian people's representative organizations, and to support policy initiatives to be raised at Rio+20.
Improving farmers’ economic development skills
VietNamNet Bridge Business in Brief | 29 June 2012
News in English: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/business/23951/business-in-brief-29-6.html
The Asia-Pacific Research Network (APRN) has coordinated with the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) to organize a seminar on improving farmers’ capacity to work towards sustainable development.
While meeting in Hanoi, representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) discussed agriculture, food security, indigenous people's rights to sustainability, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged people, as well as water resources and solutions for environmental protection in rural areas.
SRD Director Vu Thi Bich Hop said her centre has carried out eight projects to support farmers in 47 communes in the northern and central regions with financial resources from international donors including Spain, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada.
The aim is to improve local farmers’ economic knowledge and technical skills in developing agricultural production, marketing and cooperating with partners.
Under the project to develop rice varieties in the northern province of Bac Kan, funded by the Dutch Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID), two community-based centres have been set up to provide more than 1,200 local farmers with basic information about rice production.
As a result, average rice yields in the province have increased by 30 percent, while the use of pesticides has decreased by 50 percent. Farmers are now able to spend 70 percent less on buying rice seeds than before and their incomes are up 15-20 percent. Shifting from the self-supply to goods production model most farmers can invest more in producing rice seeds for sale.
A research project to promote the chicken farming value chain has got off the ground in Bao Thanh commune, in the midland province of Phu Tho. With funding from the Catholic NGO Manos Unidas, the SRD has helped local farmers learn how to analyze the value chain through a series of intensive technical workshops aimed at increasing the value of animal products and creating better links between inputs and outputs.
Many households claim to be raising at least 100 chickens as they can buy animal feed directly from the processing plants at cheap prices and sell their chickens in large numbers at a profit 8-15 percent higher than before.
APRN expert Antonio Tujan said some NGOs have created successful models for reducing poverty in rural areas. However, he noted, the lack of highly-skilled workers and financial resources has prevented other NGOs from operating effectively and developing long-term development strategies.
The lax connectivity between different organizations has also led to the fact that one locality may have too many projects but others are short of projects, not to say they overlap each other.
The best solution for farmers is to improve their economic development skills, Mr Tujan stressed.
Professor Dr. Truong Quang Hoc from the Research Centre for Natural Resources and Environment emphasized the importance of closer cooperation between NGOs and the State to provide effective financial support for farmers in rural and mountainous areas throughout Vietnam.
Many NGOs are operating well in the country, such as the Vietnamese Non-governmental Organizations and Climate Change (VNGO & CC), the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), the Civil Society Inclusion in Food Security and Poverty Elimination Network (CIFPEN), the Gender and Community Development Network (GENCOMNET) and the VNGO & FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade).
Through their networks, Vietnamese experts have the chance to share development experiences with international partners, and discuss issues of common concern related to sustainable agriculture, financial resources for coping with climate change and the effective use of development assistance.
Like it? Share it!