AMARC Asia Pacific Community Training Forum Inaugurated

AMARC Bangkok 2011 conference

December 11, 2011, Bangkok, Thailand. First AMARC Asia Pacific Community Radio Training Forum for Enhancing Capacities of Community Broadcasters for Tackling Climate Change, Fighting Poverty, Promoting Human Rights, and Supporting Sustainable Development was inaugurated today. Supinya Klagnarong, Commissioner of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NBTC) declared the Forum open amidst a gathering of regulators, trainers and broadcasters from 25 countries of Asia Pacific and other parts of the world. The Forum is being organized by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC Asia Pacific and hosted by the NBTC, from 11-13 December 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.

In her inaugural address, Ms. Klagnarong expressed delight for being able to host the 1st AMARC Asia Pacific Community Radio Training Forum in Thailand. She spoke of the recent initiatives underway in Thailand for regularising the media sector as a whole and for promoting an enabling and encouraging atmosphere for the community radio sector in that country. Earlier, in his remarks the AMARC Asia Pacific President Ashish Sen spoke about the value of the training forum for enhancing the capacities of community radios in tacking burning issues of climate change, food security, and natural disaster risk mitigation, that are challenging lives of people across the region in way never experienced before. While thanking the NBTC for hosting the event, he mentioned that capacity building activities would be regularised to help community broadcasters deal with emerging issues and technologies in a way that best serve the needs of the communities they work for.

Delivering a message of solidarity from the International President and Board of AMARC, Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General of AMARC Asia Pacific pointed to the challenges being confronted locally as well as regionally and globally in terms of climate, economy, and governance, and the contributions that community broadcasters offer in mitigating the negative impacts at all levels of the society by working directly with ordinary citizens, the marginalised, and those at the grassroots. Earlier during the inauguration, Prasert Aphiphunya, Deputy Secretary General of the office of the NBTC presented a report from the Forum.

The 1st AMARC Asia Pacific Community Radio Training Forum for Enhancing Capacities of Community Broadcasters is being participated by over 130 participants from the Asia Pacific region. It is supported by AusAid, Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), UNESCO, UNICEF, UNEP, UNWOMEN, CTA, EED, Oxfam-Novib, and several regional and national partners. The capacity building event will offer opportunity to community radio broadcasters of Asia Pacific region to systematize their experiences, to network with and learn from international trainers and experts and to define strategies to increase the effectiveness of their interventions. Participants will review strategies for setting up community radio stations, promoting community participation, program production, production technology, and advocacy strategies for improving conditions for the development of community broadcasting. Utilizing training workshops and hands on demonstrations the Training Forum will promote gender sensitivity, strengthen community broadcasting for poverty reduction, and enhance the capacity of community radio stations to address climate change and disaster management. In addition to explaining concepts and principles, the Training Forum will include practical subjects such as research techniques, script writing, interviewing, editing, and using digital recording and computer based editing.

Sharing of ideas and learning are being carried out on specific thematic streams of workshops so that broadcasters can directly apply their

learning to address the concerns of the communities in the Asia-Pacific region such as food security, good governance, empowering women, improving literacy, generating employment opportunities, improving local governance, and promoting the rights of the marginalised. For latest updates, please visit http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=thailand_Forum_EN. -End-

AMARC is an international non-governmental organization serving the community radio movement in over 130 countries, and advocating for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels. AMARC has an International Secretariat in Montreal. It has regional sections in Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. For

more information, please contact Suman Basnet, Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific, suman_basnet@asiapacific.amarc.org or visit www.asiapacific.amarc.org.