Loikaw, Kayah State, Myanmar – Five countries, 11 organizations, 21 individuals. Despite the diversity, participants of the second Regional Learning and Exchange Platform workshop found unity and common grounds especially in the light of similar plights and conditions of the resource-poor farmers in their respective countries.
The Regional Learning and Exchange Platfrom for Facilitating Change Processes towards Food Sovereignty (RLEP) is a three-year series of workshops that “deals with acquiring or deepening concepts…of participatory methods for facilitation, analysis and dialogue, values and skills to support grassroots initiatives and movement building in the frame of food sovereignty.” Participants reflect on, interact, and share with their peers from different organizations and countries aiming to further develop their own respective practices and processes in attaining food sovereignty.
The recent RLEP workshop focused on “appreciating and enhancing indigenous knowledge and participatory processes for action and transformation, through the use of Participatory Action Research (PAR).”
Participants from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam shared their experiences and insights on people-led development (PLD) for food sovereignty. They also visited the villages of War Thaw Khu and Kwaingan in Demoso Township where discussions on food security and food sovereignty were held. The community visits served to deepen the appreciation and inspire both the communities and the participants to intensify participatory processess to address the local realities on food security and food sovereignty.
Issues such as landgrabbing and land rights, and insights on community organizing were discussed during the peer learning sessions. That the countries face similar struggles made it apparent that regional unity and networking, which the RLEP is able to provide, is essential in addressing these issues and coming up with tangible, appropriate and community-led alternatives.
MASIPAG is among the participating organizations in the RLEP. The RLEP is supported by Misereor in coordination with Pesticides Action Network Asia Pacific (PANAP).#