on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:14. Posted in News from the region

The Asia Pacific Board of AMARC urges the Government of India to enable an inclusive and truly participative community climate by taking steps that will revoke the spectrum fee hike recently imposed. Thanks to the Community Radio Guidelines of 2006, India was the first country in South Asia to have a distinct three-tiered policy for public, private and community radio which took sides with the excluded and marginalized based on the promise of inclusiveness and equity. But this is now defeated by the rise of spectrum fee from Rs 19,700/- to Rs 91,000/- per annum (USD 1 690).

As a global network committed to media democratization and strengthening the voices of the excluded through community radio, AMARC supports the Community Radio Forum of India's (CRF) stand that the hike will "choke the rights of communities to voice." Further, it goes against the spirit of the citizens' fundamental right to speech and expression as enshrined in Article 19 Clause 1 Sub Clause A of the Indian Constitution. As a result, "genuine and grassroots communities will be excluded and community radio will be a mockery of the stated policy objectives of the government of India."

A survey conducted by AMARC indicates that the movement towards reducing spectrum fees is gaining ground across the world. Countries like Australia, Canada, Denmark, South Africa, and Uruguay do not levy a spectrum fee, while in Bangladesh, Colombia or Nicaragua the amount ranges from USD 150 to 480.

For more information visit AMARC Asia Pacific or contact the regional coordinator at suman_basnet@asiapacific.amarc.org

Call for reform of community radio policy in Indonesia

on Monday, 18 June 2012 07:32. Posted in News from the region

AMARC has called for legislative reform and equitable distribution of spectrum for the growth of community radio in Indonesia and the Asia Pacific region. Presenting a paper on sustainability challenges for community radios at the Radio Asia Conference 2012 (Jakarta, 7-9 May 2012) Suman Basnet, Regional Coordinator of AMARC Asia Pacific, mentioned the lack of proper enabling legislation as the main barrier to community radio sustainability. He called for a fair, open, transparent, and efficient process of awarding and regulating broadcasting licenses for community radios.
The slow process of licensing has seriously hindered the sustainability and development of community radio stations in Indonesia. AMARC advocates for recognition of community broadcasting in law and regulation, and reservation of radio frequencies for the sector without excessive limitations placed on transmission power, content format and design, or other technical parameters.
For more information contact Suman Basnet, AMARC regional coordinator for Asia Pacific at suman_basnet@asiapacific.amarc.org

AMARC was born in 1983 to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector to democratize the media. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighborhood levels.

Nepal community radio centre awarded 2012 UNESCO-IPDC prize

on Sunday, 13 May 2012 16:00. Posted in News from the region

The Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) has been awarded the 2012 edition of UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication. The Prize is awarded every two year in recognition of meritorious and innovative efforts to improve communication for rural communities in developing countries. NEFEJ will share US$ 20,000 with the co-winner Kenyan Arid Lands Information Network.

The Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists is an NGO established in 1986 for the promotion of environmental journalism in Nepal. Throughout its 25-year long journey, NEFEJ has been actively engaged in raising public awareness about sustainable development through the use of various forms of media, in particular community radio. In 1997 NEFEJ created the first community radio in Nepal, Radio Sagarmatha, marking a breakthrough in NEFEJ's struggle to promote community radio in the country. Its efforts included providing assistance to other community radio stations which were later established in the country. With this aim, it launched the Community Radio Support Centre (CRSC).

The Director of the CRSC, Raghu Mainali, was present at the award ceremony that took place on 22 March at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, during the 28th session of the IPDC Council.

For more information visit the UNESCO-IPDC site.

Communication for the Philippines' Greening Program

on Thursday, 12 January 2012 09:11. Posted in News from the region

The College of Development Communication at UPLB is currently working to enhance Environmental Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) in support of the Philippines National Greening Program (NGP). The program aims to consolidate and harmonize the greening efforts of the various governmental sectors.

The College has conducted a series of ACSM workshops participated in by public information officers, representatives from national agencies and local government units, NGOs and people’s organizations. A National ACSM roadmap was drafted, detailing the strategies and activities to be conducted in terms of advocacy work, communication, and social mobilization activities. In addition, four regions have laid down their own roadmaps including the ACSM plan per sector, thematic targets, key messages, communication materials and activities. The regional workshops have been able to produce specific roadmaps for provinces in each region. A taskforce has been created at both the national and regional levels to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the ACSM for the NGP.

With the overarching message of Tahanan ng Ating Lahi” (Cradle of our People), the ACSM will focus on key sectoral stakeholders, namely national and local government agencies, NGOs, POs, the private/business sector, and the media. Likewise, priority stakeholder groups have been identified, consisting of students, government employees, program beneficiaries, and local government officials.

Among the communication materials that the project will produce in support of the NGP are: an AVP and TV and radio derivatives, poster series on how to plant, advocacy kit for legislators and donors, flipcharts and comics for the POs and students, a tree-planting guide and FAQs for the general public, and tarpaulins.