Monday, January 10, 2005

Great Resource On Grassroots efforts In Asia

Crossposted at SEA EAT. Jess passed along information for Asia Coalition for Housing Rights, which apparently has a well developed network across most of the affected countries and is providing information from a grassroots perspective. It's well worth looking into, particularly for the Thailand news, which, as you all know by now, has been heavily squashed in favor of coverage of how tourists were affected. A couple of excerpts:

For the international community, I think it is important to start combining the issues of RELIEF with JUST AND APPROPRIATE REHABILITAION and LAND issues. It will be great and extremely helpful if UN-Habitat or UN in general, can make cautious and constructive remarks to the affected governments on this point.
For INTERNATIONAL AID AGENCIES, it will be good if you can take up the LAND issues agenda and link it with the relief issues. For international MEDIA, we should start trying examine and raise this HIDDEN ISSUE.
If we take up this issue TOGETHER - it may well turn this unfortunate crisis into an opportunity for a just and proper community rebuilding, rehabilitation - if we now look beyond just relief and mere physical rehabilitation....


3. In Thailand , at this moment, we are also trying to mobilize planner/architects to develop with those affected - alternative plans for communities to reconstruct communities in the same locations. It is very important for sensitive planners/architects to provide and promote constructive new possible forms of change - to governments and society. The challenge is how this new - people sensitive planning - can be done in such a way to solve not only the affected community's serious emerging needs, but also produce a better local environment and meet the needs of the communities, towns and cities; how real human and social qualities - that existed before the tsunami - can continue - and be strengthened; how justice can prevail for land. This is the big task ahead of us now. If we look at Asian conventional systems and power structures, this will NOT be a small task at all.


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Phone 662 538 0919 Fax 662 539 9950
73 Soi Sonthiwattana 4, Ladprao 110, Ladprao Rd Bangkok 10310, THAILAND