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image009Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD) Regional Coordinator Lidy Nacpil delivered a one-minute intervention during the Opening Plenary of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex 1 Countries under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Intersessionals in Bonn, Germany on June 7, 2011.

Nacpil asserted that the solution to climate change is not through "pledges" based on "national circumstances."

She said that global targets cannot be merely the aggregate of individual country pledges. "It will be at the very least a mockery of the multilateral process," she said.

She emphasized that the current pledges show how disastrous the proposed approach will be for people and the planet. Citing UNEP estimates that existing pledges risk global warming of 2.5 to 5 degrees, she said that "consequences, especially for the peoples of the South, would be devastating."

She further pointed out that pledges are grossly inequitable as pledges of developing countries are higher than those of developed countries.

"Developed countries' proposed targets are too low to meet what science requires, and are accompanied by 'creative accounting' proposals, which result in reductions only on paper. In addition, the extensive use of offsets will see rich countries shift the burden for reducing emissions to developing countries," Nacpil said.

Nacpil called on UNFCCC delegates to ensure that the outcomes of Bonn, specifically on KP, are directed towards achieving internationally legally binding agreements on deep, drastic emissions cuts through domestic measures by developed countries without conditionalities. "There is no acceptable excuse for not arriving at such agreements in Durban," she concluded.

Together with Maria Lourdes Tabios Nuera of the JSAPMDD Secretariat, Nacpil participated in the Bonn climate talks as an observer delegate representing JSAPMDD. Both Nacpil and Tabios Nuera monitored the developments in the negotiations, which ran from June 6 to 17, and actively collaborated with JSAPMDD's partners in the global justice movement in raising perspectives and demands of the peoples of the south, particularly the Asian region.

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Around 1,500 representatives of various civil society organizations from Asia, Africa and the Carribean participated in a Civil Society Forum (CSF) initiated by LDC Watch together with global and regional formations like JSAPMDD. Held from May 13 to 17 in Istanbul, Turkey, the CSF was a parallel process to the official UN LDC-IV Conference and was organized to discuss the causes of impoverishment in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and come up with an alternative people's development agenda for the next Program of Action by the United Nations.

JSAPMDD took the lead in co-organizing a number of thematic plenary sessions and workshops on urgent issues that need to be addressed in the next UN Program of Action for LDCs.

On May 8, JSAPMDD, South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) and LDC-Watch co-organized a workshop on the South Asia Agenda for UN-LDC IV. Attended by around 75 representatives of civil society organizations, the activity was aimed at raising various issues confronting countries categorized as LDCs in South Asia.

During the workshop, Professor Babu Mattews of the National Law University, India raised issues on sustainable development and industrialization, pointing out that these must be viewed and addressed based on the political and economic context of South Asian countries. Dr. Sarba Raj Khadka of SAAPE and Rural Reconstruction Nepal stressed the need to transform the existing system that has led to numerous crises in the economy, finance, energy, water, food and climate.

The following day, May 9, JSAPMDD, LDC-Watch and SAAPE also co-organized a workshop on the debt situation in LDCs and the urgent call for debt cancellation. Speakers during the workshop included Lidy Nacpil of JSAPMDD, Camille Chalmers of PAPDA – Haiti, Oygunn Brynildsen of EURODAD and a representative from AFRODAD.

Lidy provided a presentation on the global debt situation, particularly on the issues confronted by LDCs. She also shared developments on the campaign for the transformation of the international financial system and the platform for Sovereign Democratic and Responsible Finance. Oygunn Brynildsen shared the experiences of some European countries with debt crises while the speaker from Afrodad articulated the organization's initiatives in securing policies that would address the African debt problems.

On May 11, JS-APMDD, LDC Watch, PACJA, and SAAPE conducted a workshop on Climate Justice and Developments in the International Negotiations and Imperatives for the Civil Society. The workshop discussed developments in the UNFCCC negotiations, the demand for drastic emissions cuts by Annex 1 countries and the call to keep the World Bank out of climate finance. Resource persons included Lidy Nacpil of JSAPMDD, Demba Dembele of African Forum on Alternatives, and a representative from Kiribas NGO with Rachita Dungel of SAAPE serving as facilitator.

On the same day, JSAPMDD together with SAAPE and LDC-Watch organized a workshop on Energy Poverty and Water Crisis in the LDCs. Dr. Sarba Khadka of SAAPE spoke about the power and water crisis in Nepal and other parts of South Asia. He stressed that privatization has led to reduced access for marginalised and impoverished communities as well as violations of the human right to water. Speaking in behalf of women in Africa, Wubitu Hailu, Managing Director of Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organisation, explained that access to water and energy should treated as basic human rights and should be included in the Istanbul Program of Action in order to ease the burden of poverty and disease on the world's most vulnerable people. Meanwhile, Maria Lourdes Tabios Nuera of the JSAPMDD secretariat emphasized the need for the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Water to be incorporated into national legislations. She said that water and energy resources and services must be in public hands and must be shared equitably by all.

On May 12, JSAPMDD together with Action Aid, LDC-Watch and SAAPE held a workshop tackling the issues of hunger, food sovereignty, land and agriculture. Around 35 representatives of various civil society organizations listened to and shared insights with the speakers which included Sammer Dossani of Action Aid, Prem Dakhal of ANPFa and a representative of an African peasant organization.

Attended by around 35 representatives of civil society groups and government offices, a workshop on Tax as Instrument for Equity, Justice and Mobilizing Resources for Development was co-organized by JSAPMDD, SAAPE, LDC-Watch and the Tax Justice Network.

Dr. Dereje Alemayehu, Chair of the Tax Justice Network-Africa and East Africa Manager of Christian Aid, spoke about how tax incentives and capital flight deprive many LDCs in African countries of much-needed resources. Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator of JSAPMDD cited examples of regressive tax systems in the South while emphasizing the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) and how taxes are closely linked with debt payments and spending for basic and essential services.

Meanwhile, Abhas Ghimire of SAAPE and LDC-Watch provided an overview on the proposed land value tax in Nepal, citing the transformative impacts of such a measure in terms of discouraging land speculation and diverting investments to productive capacities. Professor Jung Lee of ARENA and South Korea Catholic University, on the other hand, tackled the concept of Financial Transaction Tax as an important measure in responding to the global financial crisis. The workshop was facilitated by Rajju Dhakal of the LDC Watch secretariat.

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JSAPMDD Regional Coordinator Lidy Nacpil was one of the speakers in a global gathering dubbed "Debt and Austerity: From the Global South to Europe" held in Athens, Greece from May 6 to 8, 2011. The conference was supported by: the European Network on Debt and Development, the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt, the Bretton Woods Project UK, Research Money and Finance, Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, Afri (Action from Ireland), WEED, World Economy Environment Development, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, the Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización Spain.

The conference brought together debt justice and social justice activists from Europe and the Global South. As debt and austerity create inequality and poverty within Europe, the event aimed to work towards developing a common understanding of the financial crisis among trade unions, social movements and NGOs, as well as focusing on forming coherent plans for common activities and demands for economic justice. The meeting also sought to formally support the launch the call for a debt audit commission in Greece.

In the session The global problem of debt: debt crises in the global South, Lidy Nacpil provided an introduction to global crises in the South. She and the other speakers – Mimoun Rahmani from Morocco, Fathi Chamki from Tunisia, and Nick Dearden from the UK – presented the roots and current situation of the debt crises in the South, including specific country cases, the role of the IMF, and the links between debt and tax justice in Northern and Southern countries. Meanwhile, in the session Experience of debt audits from around globe, Lidy shared the Philippines' experience in the campaign for debt audits.

More than 400 activists in Greece and campaigners and academics from across the world participated in the event.

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image003The Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JSAPMDD) led a series of activities during the ASEAN People's Forum (APF) last May 2 to 4, 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Member organizations from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines participated in various strategy meetings and thematic workshops organized by JSAPMDD with other partner organizations.

The series of meetings kicked off with an internal meeting among JSAPMDD member organizations on May 2 at Ibis Slipi Hotel. The following day Side Event Strategy Meetings were conducted at Hotel Ciputra, the venue of the APF.

The first meeting, "World Bank Out of Climate Finance Campaign and Other Climate Issues" was organized by JSAPMDD, Climate Finance Network Indonesia, WALHI, Solidaritas Perempuan, KRuHA and Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC). JSAPMDD Regional Coordinator Lidy Nacpil discussed the alliance's campaign on climate and the current developments in the climate negotiations. She emphasized that JSAPMDD has decided to campaign for deep and drastic emission cuts by Annex 1 countries aside from its campaign on climate finance. Her discussion was followed by a sharing of sectoral and country campaigns conducted in Indonesia and the Philippines.

The second meeting, "Transforming the International Financial System: the Campaign on Illegitimate Debt and Sovereign, Democratic and Responsible Finance", was co-organized by Koalisi Anti Utang (KAU) and FDC. The discussion surfaced the similarities of the debt problem confronted by Indonesia and the Philippines. KAU and FDC agreed to strengthen their partnership and share country strategies.

JSAPMDD also co-organized thematic workshops where its members acted as resource persons in the various discussions. Together with Focus on the Global South, Municipal Services Project-Asia and Reclaiming Public Water, JSAPMDD co-organized a workshop dubbed "Navigating Critical Waters: Issues, Challenges and Alternatives to the Privatization and Commercialization of Water in Asia". The activity discussed the state of water in the region, country experiences in campaigning against water privatization and alternatives to water privatization. JSAPMDD members Hamong Santono of KRuHA and Milo Tanchuling of FDC, who were among the panel of speakers, stressed JSAPMDD's platform on water services and resources with the basic assertion that water is a human right and that water resources are part of the "commons" which must be shared equitably and not be privatized.

"A Search for Just Solutions to the Climate Crisis in ASEAN" was another workshop JSAPMDD organized together with CSF on Climate Justice, Solidaritas Perempuan and Focus on the Global South. The activity aimed to examine the climate solutions that were being forwarded as well as discuss the emerging alternatives form various engaged communities – through their existing adaptation initiatives.

JSAPMDD also co-organized a workshop on "Learning from ASEAN Experience to Protect the Remaining Rivers and Peoples Livelihood: Mekong, Salween and other Rivers" together with Center for Water Resources Conservation and Development (WARECOD), Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA), Centre for Water Resources Management and Climate Change Adaptation (CEWAREC) and Towards Ecological Recovery Thailand (TERRA). The activity explored the various significant issues related to ecology, fisheries, value of biodiversity, changing hydrology, impacts of large-scale hydropower projects on the major rivers as well as the ASEAN power grid interconnection projects.

Salvador Feranil of FDC delivered a presentation during this session. He shared the cases of privatization of hydropower plants done in the Philippines and how this has caused massive displacement of river-based communities.

Together with Action for Economic Reforms, Christian Aid, Perkumpulan Prakarsa, JSAPMDD organized a tax justice forum that tackled various issues associated with tax reform and justice. The activity aimed to lay down the basic principles of tax justice and provide an overview on taxation as a policy area. It served as a venue to provide updates on specific tax issues such as tax on mining, tobacco taxes and regressive taxes and to link up with other groups interested to engage in the tax justice advocacy campaign.

As a result of all the workshops, participants came up with a declaration that was presented to the ASEAN governments during their meeting. JSAPMDD participated in the consolidation and drafting of the APF Declaration, ensuring that all key positions and proposals made by JSAPMDD during the workshops were included in the declaration.

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Lobby actionsAside from the mobilizations and press conferences organized by JSAPMDD and its network, the alliance also conducted lobby activities during the UNFCCC Bangkok Intersessionals from April 3 to 8, 2011.

JSAPMDD members from the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan respectively met with their country delegations to get information on the developments of the climate talks as well as to put forward the alliance's position and calls regarding climate change.

Resource materials articulating JSAPMDD's position and demands were also circulated among the country delegations.