22-24 Nov 2014, Kathmandu, Nepal
The 2014 People's SAARC Regional Convergence, a South Asian mega event of civil society was held at Kathmandu, Nepal ahead of 18th SAARC Summit. The overarching theme for this year was ‘People’s Movements Uniting South Asia for Deepening Democracy, Social Justice & Peace’. BCPH utilized the platform to express concern over policies and practices in energy, agriculture and loss and damage that is resulting in marginalization of people, groups, fragmentation and degradation of environment. The highlight of the discussion titled ‘Envisioning Energy Transition in South Asia’ was the critique on commercial exploitation/ unrestricted use of resources for energy generation leading to flood, droughts, decreasing agriculture yields etc and the rampant land grab around the world for production of biofuel. The business as usual approach aggravating ecological disasters and devastating agrarian community was well brought out through the presentation on ‘Dealing with Disasters, Loss and Damage’. It demanded justice for the farmers who suffered crop loss and being unsure of compensation package from government and inability to pay the loans to creditors and cited Maharashtra case study where many of them have resorted to suicide. The side event on sustainable agriculture and food security in South Asia highlighted the same trajectory towards chemical and intensive agriculture in all South Asia countries, need for enhancing agro-ecology and reducing monoculture of genes and the corporate control over agriculture. It discussed ways of means of arriving at regional collaboration on sustainable agriculture and food and also discussed probable Food Bank can play in the region. It also appealed to South Asian countries to put up common concerns in climate change negotiations through a common representation (SAARC).
22nd to 26th December
National advocacy workshop was organized at Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh. 22 activists, social workers, and NGO networks participated in the workshop. The workshops focused on people’s participation and improving local self governance through advocacy. Besides, it also built perspective of participants on current civil society concerns like food sec, climate change, rights based approach.