The year 2014 brought many challenges across the South and South East Asia region. In Thailand, the military seized power in May after months of political upheaval and protests. The junta imposed several orders and declared martial law that inhibited the public space for social movements and non-state actors, including the ability for community-based organizations, such as Focus, to continue activities for social justice.
In India, the political landscape also shifted in May, with the coming to power of the right-wing nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The new government brought significant changes related land, water and forests that further benefited corporations.
In the Philippines, it has still been impossible to sustain a social reform agenda that would cut roots of inequalities, even with the current reform-oriented government. Meanwhile, despite the wake-up call issuing from Super Typhoon Yolanda, the Filipino government continues to neglect climate justice perspectives in its development paradigm.
Despite these challenges, Focus on the Global South continues to act as a key driver of alternatives to neoliberalism and other economic growth-based paradigms. With even greater challenges of current political situations, Focus has had to step up with like-minded groups to initiate on new government policies through different methods, such as campaigning and providing analysis, to build alternatives for a just social, economic and political change.
Some highlights from the year include:
- Co-convening the largest congress on Agrarian Reform in the Philippines since 1987
- Organizing legal training workshops on Economic Land Concession Laws in Cambodia
- Assembling land and natural resource rights activists from around the Mekong region to share ideas/strategies to build a regional platform
- Co-organizing the Asia-Pacific regional conference
- Releasing a joint report with EU-ASEAN FTA Campaign Network which highlighted the impact of free-trade agreements on healthcare
- Being published and quoted in mainstream media over 125 times
- + more
Key Publications include:
- Keeping Land Local: Reclaiming Governance from the Market
- Moving Forward: Study on the impacts of the Implementation of Order 01BB
- Where Have All the Small Farmers Gone? The Story of Agriculture and Indian Farmers
- Tubig Natin! —Our Water! An illustrated publication in Filipino
- Agricultural Investments in Southeast Asia
- Access Delayed= Access Denied: Trade, IPR and Peoples Struggle for Access to Medicines
- State of Fragmentation: The Philippines in Transition
- Notes for the Debate: Vivir Bien/Deglobalisation/Rights of Mother Earth/Degrowth
- TNI’s “Shifting Power: Critical Perspectives on Emerging Economies”
As always, thank you to all of our partners, allies and friends.
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