The community radio conference across the countries of Asia pacific region held from November 16-19, 2018 was attended by 235 participants from 14 countries. Participants included community broadcasters, freedom of expression activists, community mobilizers, members of academia and representatives of donor organizations and government agencies. Considering the general political and social atmosphere of rising radicalism and extremism in the region, the conference was aptly entitled 'community radios for building resilient societies'. The conference considered a wider definition of resilience by linking it to the role of community radios in support of the struggle by the common people against political and social onslaught that threatens freedom of expression, right to information & communication and aids growing inequalities in our societies. Through interactive panel discussions and workshops, participants discussed issues ranging from migration to gender based violence, from climate change & disaster risk reduction to widening social and economic inequalities. Outcomes of the conference will collectively dorm AMARC's strategic plan of actions for the Asia-Pacific region for advancing freedom of expression and community development through community radios. The conference served a multitude of objectives including advocacy for community broadcasting, sharing of good practices, and strengthening network of community radios in the region.
From the Organizer
First and foremost, the project aimed at creating a platform for discussing common issues that concern community radios across the region a thereby forge a heightened understanding of the issues and potential solutions. In this regard, the project was highly effective as it allowed for participants from Japan as well as Indonesia and other broadcasters from these countries as well as those from other parts of Asia- Pacific discussed common challenges and opportunities concerning the core issue of the project – building resilient communities that could withstand the onslaught of not just climate – induced disasters but also disasters brought on by extreme political, social and economic conditions. Community broadcasters from other countries and form partnership beyond their national borders to find joint solutions. The project helped create one of such rare moments, which is sure to go down as a historical moment in the annals of community radio history. To sum up, the project made it possible to build linkages across national borders for community radios to work together for tackling social issues that hold back development.