AMARC link, Volume 13, Number 3-4 , July and December, 2009



Community Radios in Disaster Management and Prevention

News from the World Social Forum

AMARC Women International Network Perspectives

Amplifying the Voices of the Poor and the Excluded through Capacity Building, Social Campaigns and Network Development of Community Radios

The Struggle for the Recognition of Community Radio

News from Community radio Network.


The International Secretariat


Community Radios in Disaster Management and Prevention


The prevention and the responses to challenges to humankind by the forces of nature have become an essential component of human development strategies. This is clear in regards to climate warming following the COP15 United Nations International Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December 2009 and in spite of the lack of leadership by world powers to decide on an obligatory agreement.

The earthquake of 12 January 2010 in Haiti corresponds to catastrophes human science is not yet able to prevent. In Haiti, more than one third of the country's 9 million population have been affected, and official accounts speak of more than 100,000 dead, there are unaccounted numbers are injured, others have lost everything, the communications infrastructure has been destroyed, the State and government structures are disorganized.

This recalled to community radios, the importance of including in their plans the natural disaster management of other consequences than those derived from climate warming.
We all now that radio plays an important role in natural disasters, whether they are commercial, community or public radios and in spite of their specific angles. In Haiti, the majority of radio and radio support organisations such as SAKS and REFRAKA in devastated areas have been destroyed. Several community radios are no longer in conditions to broadcast and cannot fulfil their missions and need technical and counselling support from those who have confronted similar challenges.

Natural catastrophes in El Salvador, In Peru, In Indonesia in India, for the Katrina disaster in the USAand elsewhere in the world have shown the important role of community radio when it comes to inform, to psychological support, to build solidarity and rebuild communities, in healing bodies and souls. The worldwide network of AMARC is confronted to the need not only to support the Haitian people, but also to transfer experiences in dealing with disaster management for earthquakes and their accumulated knowledge all over the world.

The help of the international community is getting better organized but the challenges are enormous and once the first relief efforts are completed, the reconstruction will be an even greater challenge. Community radio practitioners all over the world have together in solidarity , not only to the efforts by humanitarian organisation, but also in willing to help community radio practitioners and their families. Solidarity messages and aid initiatives come from all the regions of the AMARC network. We are all Haitians and living with the horror of what has happened to the Haitian people.

AMARC has coordinated its efforts for an emergency plan consisting on the coordination of solidarity initiatives and conducting an urgent mission to Haiti, for technical help to the radios, to make an assessment of the situation of the radios and define the needs for the reconstruction of the Haitian community radio network. We are working to coordinate the offers of support that are coming as far as Japan and to coordinate new missions to help in the reconstruction. AMARC Latin America and Caribbean is working also to ensure information flows through Pulsar news network. The AMARC Women International Network is activating to come in help top women in Haiti. To follow the efforts and to help us coordinate help initiatives visit

Marcelo Solervicens
Secretary General of AMARC



News from the World Social Forum


On the 9th World Conference of radio Broadcasters, in Amman, Jordan, in November 2006, as part of their effort to empower the relations with the social movements, the members of AMARC defined as a priority the World Social forum and the social movements’ activities.

The World Social Forum in 2010

In 2010, the World Social Forum celebrates the 10th anniversary of this alternative global movement process. There will not be a single global centralized event. In 2010, the WSF will be a permanent process all year-round, with events and activities being held throughout the world. It will be a year in which the attentions of the WSF process will be drawn towards the global crisis, understood in all its aspects – economic, environmental, political, social, cultural, food, civilizatory.

After the last IC meeting, held in October, in Montreal, the WSF International Council Liaison Group announced proposals to link together events of the WSF all throughout 2010. Among them, the creation of a banner that will travel around the world accumulating messages and slogans of every event; the use of a common logo, the production of messages (written, visual, audiovisual, artistic) that express responses to the crises, among others.

The WSF in 2010 aims to be a process of accumulated analysis, proposals and experiences of the social organizations and movements on how they are facing the multiple crises, financial, economic environmental and the whole model of development itself. The convergence space of this accumulation process will be the 2011 Dakar World Social Forum, the next centralized event of the process. For the complete list of forthcoming events of the WSF in 2010 please go to:


The World Social Forum (WSF) in Dakar, Senegal in 2011

At the time of the Rabat International Council, on May 6, 2009 the decision was made to organize the FSM 2011 will be held thus in Dakar, in Senegal.

A Seminar of preparation of the FSM Dakar 2011 has been held from 16 to 18 November, 2009 in Dakar after the meeting of the Council of the African Social Forum in Dakar from 14 to 15 November, 2009

The seminar of preparation has achieved in particular to the setting-up of a Commission Information and Communication and in which the AMARC Africa takes part by its President, Oumar Seck Ndiaye and its Coordinator, Alymana Bathily.


AMARC Women International Network Perspectives


The AMARC Women's International Network is a large assembly of women communicators working to ensure women's right to communicate through and within the community radio movement. To find out about other WIN programs and actions visit

Community radios demand an end to gender violence!

From November 25 to December 10th, the Women's International Network of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC-WIN) actively participated in the 16 days of activism against gender violence with an Internet campaign to honor groups and individuals who have committed to bringing Violence against women (VAW) to the forefront of global attention, to encouraging everyone in their various capacities to take action to end VAW, and to demanding accountability for all of the promises made to eliminate VAW. This years’ international theme of the campaign was «Commit - Act - Demand: We CAN End Violence against Women! ». The audio files and other information are available on

The AMARC –WIN Women International 16 Days campaign was broadcast in English French, Spanish and others local languages. We invite you to join us next year in the 4th AMARC-WIN International 16 Days campaign 2010!

Launch of SEWA Community Radio Station at Manipur

Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) launched its own community radio, the 49th community radio in India on 26 November, 2009. The radio is operational from SEWA Academy's rural training centre at Manipur village, Sanand Taluka, Gujarat. In April of 2005, SEWA began its first community radio program, entitled Rudi no Radio (Rudi's Radio), a weekly 15-minute program produced and broadcast by employees of SEWA Academy for a rural audience through Akashvani, India's national radio. This initiative is entirely managed by women. Sewa can be contacted at

AMARC Asia Pacific extended it best wishes to the SEWA Community Radio on its launching the first all women team in India. AMARC has contributed to the capacity building of this team and recently concluded a 2nd training program on Community Radio Management and Advanced Radio Production Training for SEWA in August 2009.

“Women Making Airwaves for Peace” Conference in Bangalore, India. (13-18 February 2010

Isis International in partnership with AMARC Asia Pacific Women International Network will be holding the seminar “Women Making Airwaves for Peace” from13 to 18 February in Bangalore, India, right before the 2nd Asia Pacific Conference. This cross-cultural radio seminar for women broadcasters on community radio and peace building, climate change and disaster management will gathering around 30 women community radio broadcasters from the South and Central Asia. The seminar also enhances the skills of the participants in radio production, digital audio editing and interview techniques. It sharpens their perspectives through engendered peace journalism and disaster management, feminist broadcasting and the Gender Policy for Community Radio.


Amplifying the Voices of the Poor and the Excluded through Capacity Building, Social Campaigns and Network Development of Community Radios




AMARC at the COP15: Citizen Empowerment against Climate Change

The COP15, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Copenhagen from 8-17 December was followed by worried citizens all over the world and the final agreement to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and the intention to help financially the worst affected populations by climate change, was a small step forward but, by its voluntary approach, des not respond to the need to replace the Kyoto protocol in 2012 or to the increasing scientific evidence on the acceleration of global warming.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15) was not the turning point in the fight to prevent climate disaster. In the absence of a legally binding agreement the fight for climate change mitigation and support to adaptation to its effects will continue not only at government or multilateral institutions level, but also through the empowerment of citizens and local communities because they will be the ones that will suffer most from climate change effects. Community radios all over the world are called to play an important role in making the voices of local communities and civil society heard. For more information about the COP-15 visit:

A delegation of 12 community radio journalists of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, (AMARC) from Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and Europe and Latin America & the Caribbean (Pulsar news Agency) participated in civil society debates, highlighted through the Internet the voices of local communities, followed the debates and negotiation sessions among government representatives and the activities of the 15th United Nations International Conference on Climate Change(COP15) held in Copenhagen, Denmark from December 7 to December 18.

AMARC’s network community radio journalists did a multilingual journalistic coverage in several formats of the COP15. The coverage reported on the activities of civil society organisations and their debates at the Social forum; on the wide variety of activities of citizens and NGOs; it also informs on the government representatives’ positions and their negotiation sessions and documents and; it also highlighted, at the international level, local radio programmes produced by community radios and women perspectives on climate change. The Internet broadcast was carried by several local community radios in all regions. The podcast in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Bahasa Indonesia, Dioula language and Italian, among other languages, is available in the COP15 AMARC website at:

Indonesia: Community Based Disaster Management Utilizing Community Radio

Combine Resources Institution (CRI), Indonesia and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)-Japan Working Group, with the financial support of the Ford Foundation, Indonesia and in collaboration with Japan International Corporation Agency Hyogo (JICA Hyogo)/Disaster Reduction Learning Centre (DRLC) organized two workshops on community based disaster management utilizing community radio in Central Java, Indonesia. The first workshop was held on August 2-3, 2009 in Timbulharjo Village, Yogyakarta. This village was hit by a powerful earthquake in May 2006 that resulted in the death of 300 people.

The second workshop was held on August 4-5, 2009 in Sidorejo Village, Klaten, Central Java, which lies close to the famous volcanic mountain ‘Merapi’ and faces the risk of volcanic eruption and landslides. Each workshop had more than 40 participants representing local community radios, other community radios from Indonesia, national /local government, NGOs, JICA Indonesia and mass media.

The workshops were part of a pilot project aimed to raise community awareness of Disaster Risk Reduction Utilizing Community Radio being implemented by CRI and AMARC-Japan Working Group with the support of JICA Hyogo/DRLC from June 2009 to January 2010.
By Jun’ichi Hibino, AMARC Japan
See Asia Pacific Newsletter for more experiences in disaster management


AMARC Covered World Food Day Focusing in Food Security in Times of Crisis

It was in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 that it was first recognized the right to food as a human right. It was then incorporated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11) adopted in 1966 and ratified by 156 states, which are today legally bound by its provisions. The General Comment 12 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1999) and the Right to Food Guidelines adopted by the FAO Council in 2004 further clarified and provided practical recommendations on concrete steps for the implementation of the right to food.

The worldwide community radio network of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, AMARC covered the World Food Day, on October 16th, 2009 with a 24-hour Worldwide Webcast emphasizing on this year theme: Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis. The World Food Day broadcast campaign 2009, gathered together community radios from five continents on the common struggle against poverty and for food security in the context of economic crisis. The broadcast campaign motivated community radios to use new technologies such as internet to further amplify the voices of the excluded and marginalized. AMARC covered also the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) activities for the World Food Day as part of the worldwide partnership agreement between the two organizations, seeking to reinforce community radio contribution to rural development and natural resources. The World Food Day programs were broadcast in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Nepali, Portuguese and other languages. The radio programmes were broadcast through local community radio stations and live-streamed on the AMARC World Food Day page. For the Internet podcasting and to listen to audio programmes and archives visit:

AMARC at the International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change

Steve Buckley, president of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) participated in the “International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change: A Public Service Remit”. He called for greater recognition of the vital role of local and community communication in climate change adaptation.

The conference participants heard how community radio has been playing an important role in monitoring and aware-raising on the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. “Community media are the frontline reporters in climate change” said Steve Buckley, President of AMARC, speaking to the Conference. “Much greater emphasis is needed on the role of frontline reporters – building local capacity, through access to training and equipment to sustain their vital work, strengthening a network for knowledge sharing and exchange, and assisting bring their stories to global audiences.”

The International Conference was held September 4-5, in Paris, France, and was organised by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), regional broadcasting unions as well as AMARC and other international broadcasting organization. It aimed to explore the crucial role and potential of the media in raising public awareness on the challenge of climate change.

AMARC has been building the capacity of the community radio sector to strengthen the voices of the grassroots to face the challenge of climate change. In the Americas, working with the United Nations Environment Programme to develop training materials on environmental awareness for community radio reporters. In Africa by working with the Food and Agriculture Organisation on campaigns to promote food security. In Asia, AMARC has been working to reinforce disaster response systems for community broadcasting at grassroots level. AMARC will be bringing in December 2009 a team of reporters from community media to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15) to reinforce awareness on this global challenge.
For proceedings and further information please visit
To read the full of AMARC President, Steve Buckley’s presentation, go to


The Struggle for the Recognition of Community Radio


In the AMARC 9 World Conference, lack of legal recognition for Community Radio was considered the single most important barrier to the development of Community Radio as the third Tier of Communication

AMARC Africa Women representative from Eastern and Southern Africa, Participated in the IMS Stakeholder Meeting.

Benilde Nhalevilo, AMARC Africa Women representative from Eastern and Southern Africa, participated first week of October 2009, in Harare, Zimbabwe in the Stakeholder Meeting organized by International Media Support (IMS). In this meeting Benilde Nhalevilo shared the Mozambique’s experience in media for development. Benilde Nhalevilo also visited community radio projects in Zimbabwe and expressed solidarity and support of AMARC Africa members.

IMS is a non profit organization working with media in countries affected by armed conflict, human insecurity and political transition. IMS and its projects are financed by amongst others the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more information please visit:

Coup d’état in Honduras: AMARC Condemns Freedom of Expression Violations in Honduras

The Honduran community radios gathered in AMARC Honduras denounced the “de facto” government closure of media after the coup d’état in that country on June 28, 2009. They expressed in a declaration: "That we condemned and rejected the systematic violation of freedom of expression of all Hondurans.

We strongly condemn the persecution of community and alternative media that contribute from their tribunes to citizen awareness.

We strongly condemn the suspension of all constitutional guarantees decided by the “the facto” government for a period of 45 days, for it corresponds to a disguised “état de siege”.

We demand the respect of the freedom of expression rights of all Hondurans.
We demand the unrestricted respect of the rights and constitutional guarantees of all Hondurans.

Finally we call the international community, the OEA, the UN, the civil society and the organizations which defend the human rights, to support the Honduras community and alternative media so that the respect of freedom of expression is reestablished".

Maria Pia Matta, President of AMARC ALC, participated in International Mission to Honduras

From August 2nd to August 5th, Maria Pía Matta, as AMARC ALC President and representing ALOP the National Associations and Latin American Networks of NGOs, with the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank Larue, visited Honduras in order to know the social situation of community radio broadcasters and other social movements after the coup d’état.

After a month of the military civic coup d’état perpetrated in Honduras, where at least eight murders of opponents to the military government had been confirmed, persecutions, forced disappearances of people, censure to media and other serious and systematic violations to human rights. The mission objective was to accompany and express support to social fighters, in defense of the democracy and the institutional order, against the violations to the human rights committed by the military dictatorship.

The work agenda during the three days in Honduras included meetings with the community and independent radio broadcasters, in order to know the conditions they are working in the middle of a tension climate, uncertainty and censures and civil society organizations and movements who are living the consequences of coup d’état.

These meetings took place in Tegucigalpa, Honduran capital, with the local support of the Menonita Social Action Commission (CAMS) and specially of the Honduran Institute of Rural Development (IHDER) in Tegucigalpa, organizations of ALOP, and Radio Marcala, associated of AMARC in that country.
AMARC ALC, through its Informative Agency Púlsar, and the ALOP organizations, informed the visit details to show the situation of the Honduran citizens. For more information please visit:

AMARC participated in International Press Freedom Mission to Honduras

The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, participated on the International mission of observation of press freedom in Honduras from 2-7 November 2009. The mission, organised by International Media Support (IMS), Article 19, Reporters without Borders, the International Federation of Journalists, Free-Voice and other international organizations verified the conditions and difficulties being confronted by press freedom, journalists, the media and community radios, following the coup d’etat of June 28th, 2009.

María Pía Matta, in representation of AMARC visited community radios and Honduras media and social organisations to analyse the situation and explore support measures by AMARC international network as well of other freedom of expression organizations.

More than four months after the coup d’etat in Honduras, the international mission expressed the concern of international freedom of expression organisations regarding denunciations of murder of members of the opposition to the coup d’etat, persecution, and forced disappearance, censorship of the media and other serious and systematic violations of human rights.

For further information on the political situation on Honduras, on the situation of community radios and specifically on the international mission, please visit and

New legislation on audio-visual Media is Approved in Argentina

On October, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, in Latin America & Caribbean (AMARC LAC) celebrated the approval of the new legislation on audio-visual Media in Argentina, and highlighted that it guarantees diversity and pluralism for the audio-visual communication services.

The approval of the new Law of Audio-visual Communication Services, for a large Argentinean Senate majority of 44 to 24, transforms this country in one of the best references on regulatory frameworks to curtail media concentration and promote and guarantee diversity and pluralism. The new legislation replaces the former law imposed by the Argentinean military dictatorship in 1980.
The objective of the legislation is to regulate audio-visual communication services (including radio and open tv) and it is framed by comparative legislation and the recommendations by the Inter-American System of Human Rights.

The new regulation promotes diversity and pluralism, as well as deconcentration and competition among media outlets, as recommended by international organisations of defense and promotion of freedom of expression. It limits the number of licenses under the control of one person or enterprise (at the national level and within a coverage area) and limits horizontal property across media supports, respecting best international practices. It promotes the production of diverse national and local contents by including requirement for a minimum of quotas of national, local and in house productions, and reduces programming centralisation and uniformity by a few business groups which broadcast from the Capital to the rest of the country

The new regulation recognizes the three broadcasting sectors, state, commercial and not for profit, guaranteeing 33% of the spectrum for not for profit private entities. The legislation accepts the AMARC and of other stakeholders definition described in the “Principles for a Democratic Regulatory Framework for Community Radio and Television”, as: “private actors with a social objective and characterized for being managed by a diverse social organisations. Its main characteristic is community participation as well as in ownership of the media as well as in the radio programming, administration, operations, financing and evaluation. They are independent media and non governmental media and in no case it will be understood for having a geographically restricted coverage.”

The Programme: Frontera Norte – Migrantes y Medios” Hermosillo (Sonora) Mexico

Every year, the thousand of migrants that go through the Mexican territory in their way to the United States suffer diverse degress of violence from government authorities, criminal groups and from citizens. That violence is a direct consequence of the criminalisation of migrants, usually reinforced or created by the media with editorial policies and journalistic practices that do not respect human rights.

In thiscontext, the World Association of Community Radio broadcasters in Mexico (AMARC México), the Centro de Competencia en Comunicación para América Latina, of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia, AC (Insyde), Radio Bemba yand the Colegio de Sonora are implementing the programme «Frontera Norte - Migrantes y Medios». The event was implemented the 11 and 12 December 2009. The programme includes the round table «Migrants and News Media. The Criminalisation of Migrants in the News», with the particiaption of journalists and academics. There was also a new web page on migrations and community radio of AMARC Mexico, including the seminary-workshop «Methodological Models for Journalistic Style Focusing on the Treatment of News on Migrants in Community radios ».

Nigeria Community Radio Coalition Advocates for policy change Again

A three-day Nigeria Community Radio Stakeholders Conference, under the theme “Strengthening Advocacy, Re-energizing Community Capacity Building”, was organized by the Nigeria Community Radio Coalition was held in Makurdi, Benue State, from November 23 to 25, 2009 with the support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom . It was attended by participants drawn from Ministries, Departments and other agencies of Government; traditional rulers and other community leaders; the academia; Nigeria Union of Journalists; campus radio operators; community development associations; advocates of community radio and development communication; development partners; World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC ) through its President Steve Buckley; and other stakeholders. 
Participants were unanimous that community radio, because of its immediacy, simplicity, cheap and participatory nature, use of indigenous and other community languages, and ability to reach large audiences, is the most effective medium of mass communication for driving development projects such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Vision 2020 and the Seven-Point Agenda of the Federal Government
Participants acknowledged positive actions of the Federal Government and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in granting 27 licenses to campus communities, and also commended the Federal Government for the steps taken to institute appropriate policy framework in the communication sector.
However, they expressed serious concern over Federal Government’s slow pace in the overall process of allowing Nigerian grassroots communities to own community radio structures. Hence, they re-stated the benefits of community broadcasting which include its use for accelerating food security, conflict prevention and peace-building, re-vitalization of cultural values which are needed to build a virile democratic society.
The Conference therefore urged the Federal Government to act expeditiously to adopt the draft reviewed National Communication Policy and the Community Radio Policy, and give appropriate directives to the regulatory body to licence grassroots community radio stations.
It also called the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to come up with a framework through which other subsets of community radio can operate just as it had done in the case of campus radio, exercising its powers under Section 20 of the National Broadcasting Commission Act No. 38 of 1992, as amended, to make regulations for giving effect to the provisions of the Act.
It further urged the NBC to ensure that license for community radio is issued free of financial cost and that minimal charges are required for renewal and other administrative matters and to issue guidelines on equipment specification and standardization on community radio in line with UNESCO Training Manual Specification and the principles set out by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).
The Conference also called on Nigerian Community Radio advocates to intensify sensitization and mobilization in communities for community radio development across the country.

By Akin Akingbulu, Coordinator Nigeria Community Radio Coalition



News from Community radio Network


The AMARC 10 Global Conference will be held in La Plata, Argentina 2010

The International Board of Directors of AMARC announced that the tenth World Assembly of Community Radio Broadcasters will be held from 8 to 13 November 2010 in Ciudad de la Plata, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Community Radios have come together in AMARC Argentina to host the first Global conference of community broadcasters to be held in South America, where community radios were born 60 years ago. Furthermore, Argentina and the Latin America & Caribbean region is going through dynamic social changes and has a rich in experiences to share with the world movement of community radios.

More than 400 community broadcasters and stakeholders from over 110 countries and all regions of the global community radio movement will gather at the AMARC 10 Global Conference from 8-13 November to, among other issues, improve good practice in community media; explore strategies to facilitate the establishment of enabling legal environments for community media development, to define knowledge sharing and capacity building models for action-research and mentoring; to reinforce content development leading to social change; to facilitate the inclusion of women and; to encourage the empowerment of communities through appropriation of community radio for social justice and sustainable, democratic and participatory human development.

2nd REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF AMARC ASIA PACIFIC: Community Radio for Sustainable development and Good Governance

The 2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Regional Conference: Community radio for Sustainable Development and Good Governance” will be held on February 20-23, 2010. The Conference will bring together community radio broadcasters, activists, academics, policy makers, and representatives of the donor community and governments to review the development of the community broadcasting in the Asia Pacific region in the last 4 years. It will take a careful look at thematic areas of development such as the empowerment of women within the CR sector, the role of community broadcasting in peace building, it’s role in the face of global climate change and at times of natural disasters as well as for poverty eradication.

The regional conference will address practical issues such as capacity building in areas of management, technology, community participation, monitoring and evaluation, media convergence, and networking and the conference will recommend steps that will ensure the way forward for the CR sector in the region. The 2nd Regional Assembly of AMARC Asia-Pacific will be held in conjunction with the Regional Conference.

The Asia Pacific chapter of AMARC was formally established in November 2005 by the 1st Regional Assembly of AMARC’s members in the Asia Pacific region during the regional conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Conference provided a significant push to Community Radio in the Region by bringing together practitioners from Asia-Pacific and beyond along with experts and NGO representatives from the community media and communications rights sector. The Jakarta Regional Assembly elected a regional board and decided upon an action plan aimed at developing the community broadcasting sector in the region. As per the statutes of AMARC Asia Pacific, the regional assembly is held every four years.

For information visit:

Tribute to Thomas Kupfer (1964-2009)

Thomas Kupfer, a founding member of the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE), passed away on Sunday 2 August 2009, at the age of 45. Thomas has been a central figure in helping gain recognition for community media at the European level including recent important policy achievements. He was the organiser, motivator and supporter of a number of focal community media events at the continental level in Germany, Austria and across Europe in the last two decades. Steve Buckley, President of AMARC, said “Thomas made a great contribution to the recognition and development of community media in Europe. His departure is a very sad loss to our movement. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”
CMFE has published a memorial tribute at:

CTA 2009 Seminar

AMARC delegates participated in the an international seminar on the "Role of the media in agricultural development in ACP countries (West, Central, East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) in Brussels, Belgium between 12 and 16 October 2009. The seminar was organized by ACP/EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), together with its partners. The aims of the international seminar were to: Contribute to the preparation of strategies for media capacity building with regard to access and dissemination of information on key issues for the ACP agricultural sector; to strengthen communication links between the media and the agricultural sector and; to contribute to the identification of media support programmes.

The meeting was attended by over 120 experts representing the main professions at the interface of media, agriculture, rural development and decision making. CTA intends to use the Seminar to build on these initiatives, thereby contributing to improving the role of the media in agricultural and rural development in the ACP countries by working with and for the media.
For further information visit:

International Seminar: Voice and Empowerment through Community Media:
Learning from good practice, strategies for development on November 11, 2009

AMARC and UNESCO, together with other stakeholders, held on November 11, 2009 an international seminar «Voice and Empowerment through Community Media: Learning from Good Practice, Strategies for Development», at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

The seminar gathered community radio practitioners and stakeholders to analyse best experiences on the social impact of community radio and of AMARC in building up enabling environments for Community Radio; on poverty reduction; on disaster management and preparedness among other issues. The participants also shared common perspectives for action to achieve sustainable, democratic and participatory development.
For further information and to listen to the presentation please go to:

Policy Models on policies, Legislation and Regulations : Successes in the Recognition of Community Radios

Participants from all continents and regions of the world shared knowledge on good practices on community radio broadcasting. The French example caught attention in regards to public financing of community radios.
Emmanuel Boutterin, president of the Syndicat National des Radios Libres (SNRL), said that the article 29 of the 1986 legislation related to communication freedom, established as constitutional law on freedoom of expression requires that the regulation authority the CSA (Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel) allocates 25% of the frequencies to community or associated status radios.

The said legislation considers the distribution of public support for the community radios that is financves by taxes on the amounts paid by announcers paying for publicity in radio broadcast or television.

This means that the Fonds de Soutien a l’Expression Radiophonique (FSER) the Support Fund to radio expression as it is known in France is financed by commercial radio. The fund has 30 million euros per year.

M. Boutterin of SNRL, concluded its presentation highlighting that «a good legislation is important for the development of community radio ».
Other examples of good practices of sustainable community radios and for the growth of community radios were also shared by representatives of Chile, Jordan and Senegal. The representatives of Haiti, Italy, Mali and the United States, highlighted examples of the social impact of community radio in their specific countries.

«Voice and access to information are vital components in the fight against poverty. The contribution by community media and community radio has been particularly effective in reaching the poorest communities in the world and facilitate inclusion of the excluded. Community media ensures access for people to communication tools, allowing them to access their own ways for their cultural expression, for dialogue, to information and news creating the conditions for the necessary communication processes to achieve sustainable, democratic and participatory development », declared Steve Buckley, President of AMARC

By Sony Esteus, Director of SAKS Association (Sosyete Animasyon ak Kominikasyon Sosyal),abd Vice President of AMARCC
The participants produced the following concluding statement:

Concluding Statement of AMARC/UNESCO International Community Media Seminar UNESCO, Paris, 11 November 2009

The International Seminar on “Voice and empowerment through community media: learning from good practice, strategies for development”, held at UNESCO, Paris on 11 November 2009 and organized jointly by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and UNESCO, brought together community media experts, development partners and stakeholders. The seminar discussed case examples of good practices in policy, law and regulation; in sustainability and growth; and in social impact. Participants analysed some of the key characteristics of good practices in community media and assessed some of the challenges of transferability, adaptability and scalability in order to inform joint strategies for community media development.

Participants concluded:

On models of policy, law and regulation
We applaud countries, such as France and South Africa, which have demonstrated a sustained commitment to policies, laws and regulation that positively enable and support community broadcasting. Characteristics of such policies include independent regulatory bodies, recognition of community broadcasting as a distinct sector, reservation of frequencies, public funding arrangements, and the absence of licence fees.
We recognize, in the experience of countries such as Nepal, the importance of effective country level associations to defend and advocate for the community broadcasting sector and the need to provide solidarity and support to civil society coalitions for media reform, as well as to document and learn from successful experiences of country level advocacy.

We recognize the strategic importance of international mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism of the Human Rights Council, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the international special mandates on freedom of expression that can contribute to the development and promotion of international standards and the adoption of good practice in community media policy, law and regulation.
On good practice in sustainability and growth

We note that community media often exist in economically precarious conditions and are thus vulnerable to external economic pressures as well as facing other external challenges such as may result from political and social change, and new technological developments.

Nevertheless we recognize that the sustainability of community media is most often linked to the strength of their social base and community participation through mechanisms such as community contributions, listener clubs, citizen reporters and engagement with broader social movements and civil society organizations.

We also recognize that new media and communications technologies present important opportunities for community media to develop their mechanisms for participation and interaction, for example using the mobile phone, as well as enabling community media to establish on platforms, such as the internet, that do not face the same restrictions as communications services that are dependent on access to radio frequency spectrum.
On achieving social impact

We note that the social impact of community media is wide ranging including combating poverty and contributing to sustainable development, defending human rights, promoting women’s rights and gender equality, promoting peaceful conflict resolution, campaigning for local accountability, assisting disaster mitigation and disaster relief, among others.
We note that the community media sector is closely associated with movements for social change and its impact and effectiveness often contingent on wider political contexts and we assert the importance of defending the freedom and independence of community media from the influence of governments, political parties and commercial interests.
We call on AMARC:

- to continue to promote and defend the community media sector including supporting country level and international advocacy, networking and knowledge sharing, capacity building and training, research and analysis
We call on UNESCO

- to continue, as a priority, to provide direct support to innovative and strategic community media initiatives, through the International Programme for the Development of Communications (IPDC) and other mechanisms, and to document and share knowledge on community media good practice

We call on UNESCO Member States
- to ensure policies, laws, regulations and funding mechanisms enable and support development of community media including in the transition to digital platforms

We call on development partners and community media stakeholders
- to encourage and facilitate the contribution of community media to sustainable development and human rights through partnership and strategic support


AMARC International Annual Board Meeting

The AMARC International 2009 Board Meeting was held in Paris on November 12 to 14 and brought together Board members from Europe, the US, Latin America, Asia and Africa along with Executive members and Coordinators .

The Board Meeting discussed the strategic directions of the main activities implemented in all AMARC regions , Advocacy and Policy definition , Capacity building committee and knowledge sharing, Content exchange and International Campaigns, reviewed as well the fund raising and management of funds strategies and analyzed the membership.
It examined the financial report for 2009 and adopted the AMARC Budget and Plan of action 2010 as well as the strategic lines of action for 2011-2014.

GCRN is 10 years old

The Ghana Community Radio Network (GCRN) celebrated its 10th anniversary at a festive gathering on 9 December 2009 at Radio Ada.
The most important participants were community representatives from each of the nine on-air member stations of GCRN and emerging Community Radio initiatives.
The latter included initiatives being kick-started by GCRN under a project in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). Taken as a whole, the reps were a cross-section of the various communities – youths, farmers and fisherfolk, artisans, local government functionaries, traditional authorities. They joined reps from the volunteer corps of the stations and partner civil society organizations co-facilitating the start-up of the initiatives.

The celebration featured a photo exhibit by each on-air station and the participatory process for the design of the new initiatives. There was also a role-play on the history of GCRN.

That history has been deep in community engagement but hampered by regulatory constraints. After years of advocacy even preceding the formation of GCRN, history seems set to change.

Important statements made at the anniversary symposium were considered irrevocable. Apart from the community reps and station volunteers, they were witnessed by scores of Community Radio advocates from government and civil society and carried by the media.
The main statements were: (i) frequency authorizations would be fast-tracked to enable each of the 168 Districts in the country to be served by its own Community Radio station, (ii) a Broadcasting Law, which will recognize Community Radio as one of the three tiers of broadcasting and for which GCRN has been a key mover, will be enacted early in 2010.

The statements were made by the main speaker, the Minister of Communications on his own behalf and representing the Vice-President of Ghana. Corroborating them were top-level representatives of the national regulatory organizations, the National Media Commission and the National Communications Authority, and the Minister of Education. The Director of the School of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana was the symposium chair.

The anniversary theme was “The Right to Communicate through Community Radio”. That right will soon be more fully realized!

By Wilna Quarmyne, Coordinator, Ghana Community Radio Network.

National Assembly of AMARC Haiti

On July 4th, 2009, AMARC Haiti had a National Assembly. 19 associates met to adopt the statutes of the AMEKA (Haiti Community Media Association). In the meeting, the associates reelected Sony Esteus as the National representative for the next two years, until 2011.

On the other hand the members of AMARC Haiti adopted a working plan for social awareness on the need for project legislation for community media. This plan includes immediate actions at the national and local level, mean while the projects is being studied by the chamber of deputies.

To contact AMARC Haití please write to its representative Sony Esteus, to:

¡Creation of AMARC Panamá!

In the context of a gathering of indigenous peoples chiefs, of teachers, workers and professionalls united by the objective of building a better country, AMARC Panama was created last July 29th, 2009. The participants elected Silvestre Díaz, a leader of the Frente Nacional por la Defensa de los Derechos Económicos y Sociales de Panamá (FRENADESO) as the national representative of AMARC Panama. They also elected Adisvelky Martínez as the representative to the women international network and, Antonio Vargas as the focal point for the legislations programme.
Nine civil society organisations participated in the meeting. Among them, the Coordinadora Popular de los Derechos Humanos en Panamá (COPODEHUPA), the Comarca Ngabe Bublé, Celio Guerra,the Sindicato Único Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria de la Construcción y Similares (SUNTRACS), the Comarca Kuna Ayala. These organisations decided to initiate a founding process of community radio stations, with the coonviction thsat in order to democratise societies, there is need to democratise the communications.
For the moment there is the pilot project FRENADESO NOTICIAS, an Internet radio that has started working to broadcast in the FM band. To listen to its broadcast programs go to

African Networks Workshop in Ghana: African Networks Share Knowledge to Increase Community Radio Social Impact in Africa

AMARC Africa Board and network and community radio representatives from eleven countries of Western Eastern and Southern Africa met in Accra, Ghana to improve knowledge sharing on best practices in order to develop integrated sustainability models for Country Community Radio Networks and to increase the social impact of community radio in alleviating poverty and promoting democracy and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


The AMARC Africa Knowledge Sharing Workshop of Community Radio Networks in Africa held from 16-18 December in Accra, Ghana. The workshop is part of the strategic action plan defined by AMARC Africa members in the 4th Pan African Conference in Abidjan, Côte d’ivoire in April 2009 and was hosted by the Ghana community Radio Network (GCRN) and counted on the financial support of OSIWA and other AMARC partners.

The participatory workshop permitted to share knowledge on the specific challenges of national networks, on the diversity of national contexts, on their forces and weaknesses and to define key areas for action by AMARC Africa as they are key components of the African community radio network. The recommendations of the workshop come to reinforce the reconstruction of AMARC Africa and its action plan including the preparation for the AMARC10 global Conference of Community Radio Broadcasters to be held in Argentina, November 8-13, 2010.

The participants met with community radio stakeholders and Ghana authorities, thus having a better insight of the work accomplished by the GCRN, following the 10th anniversary of Radio Ada, the first Ghana community radio. They also expressed their solidarity for the challenges ahead to the expansion of the community radio sector.

The participants issued the Accra declaration calling governments of Africa to work towards the licensing of community broadcasting in their countries. The AMARC Africa Board and the delegates expressed their concern, meeting in West Africa, for the lack of Independent Community Radio in the largest democracy in Africa, Nigeria. AMARC Africa calls upon the Presidency and the state to recognize the basic human rights to freedom of expression and to fulfil the promise to establish community radios in Nigeria.

Established in 1997, AMARC-Africa is the African regional section of AMARC. It groups more than 400 direct members radios and federations from the entire continent. For further information:

Accra Declaration

We the members of AMARC AFRICA gathered in ACCRA 16-18 December 2009, in the Knowledge Sharing Conference of Community Radio Networks from Africa,

Reiterating our support to the Doha Declaration of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day conference in Doha, Qatar, 3 May 2009,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in Article 19 that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Reaffirming that freedom of expression is a fundamental right that is essential to the realisation of other freedoms set forth in international human rights instruments,

AMARC Africa meets in Accra Ghana to improve knowledge sharing, on best practices in order to develop integrated sustainability models for Country Community Radio Networks and Regions. The meeting attended by eleven (11) countries from Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, envisaged to consolidate the social impact of community radio through strengthening country networks.

Recalling the Windhoek Declaration on promoting an independent and pluralistic African press of 1991;

Recalling the African Charter on Broadcasting of 2001;

Recognize the importance of an enabling legal framework and an independent regulator to promote the development of free, independent and pluralistic media in Africa;

Call urgently, on the governments of Africa to work towards the licensing of community broadcasting in their countries;

Call on governments, international and regional intergovernmental organisations, civil society and development agencies in all regions of Africa not only to engage in dialogue but to physically promote community media in alleviating poverty and promoting democracy and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

Recognize policy development and advocacy as key program priorities for the region in promoting community media;

Recognize the important role of information and communication technologies in offering basic tools for introducing and managing community-centred development and change.

• AMARC Africa Board and delegates at this meeting held in West Africa, is very concerned by the lack of Independent Community Radio in the largest democracy in Africa, Nigeria. AMARC Africa calls upon the Presidency and the state to recognize the basic human rights to freedom of expression and to fulfill the promise to establish community radios in Nigeria.

• AMARC Africa recognizing the importance of the role played by community radio in building peace and reconciliation in the region. We promote partnership and collaboration between governments and local communities in working together towards promoting of peace.

• AMARC Africa joins the voices of community broadcasters within the developing countries in demanding that a new climate treaty be signed and ratified by all developed countries with clear targets on the reduction of green house emissions and support to adaptation to climate change effects in developing countries. AMARC Africa will use community radio to advocate for actions to reduce on the green house emissions and educate local communities on the effects of climate change.

•AMARC Africa participated in the 16 days of activism against Gender Based violence (GBV) and strongly condemns the practice. Community Radio has taken a lead in breaking the silence and is speaking against this violence in the community. We urge legislators to take stronger measures and enact laws to stop this practice and law enforcement departments to play their part and prosecute the offenders.

Promoting Development and good governance through community radio in Africa

Promoting Development and Good Governance through Community Radio in Africa, is a 3 year project funded by CIDA which seeks to ameliorate health in local communities including VIH-SIDA, Malaria, and health related issues; Water and Sanitation and Good Governance, including Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and thus to increase the social impact of community radio in empowering the poor and the excluded.

The project is conceived as an integrated process with specific activities that include:
A set of knowledge sharing and capacity building seminars and mentoring activities;
Radio production activities by participating community radios and
Content dissemination & and content exchange activities amplifying the voices of the poor and excluded.

Organisation and evaluation activities which are cross-cutting activities that allow for appropriate monitoring and evaluation at all steps of the project

The 36 CR from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and South Africa have produced during the first year of the project have produced 72 hours of radio programs on HIV/AIDS and other health related topics during 2009.

After the evaluation of this first year, the project will concern Water and Sanitation during 2010, its second year.






New Publications in the Section of Written Resources in AMARC Website

Please visit the new section of publications and written resources such as articles, manuals and others on community broadcasting issues at the AMARC Website . Using the wiki platform you can also add new documents or send them to the International secretariat at

Vous pouvez envoyer nouveaux documents au secrétariat international ; ou bien, grâce à la plateforme wiki, vous pouvez ajouter nouveaux documents.

Climate Change

Planting the knowledge seed Adapting to climate change using ICTs Concepts current knowledge and innovative examples
Edited by Patrick P Kalas (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) and Alan Finlay (Open Research)
Download the PDF document =

Brochure de l'UNESCO "Radio-Télévision & Changement Climatique. Un engagement pour Agir maintenant"
Télechargez le document en PDF=

UNESCO Brochure "Broadcast Media and Climate. A Commitment to Act Now"
Download the PDF document =

Frontline reporters: community media and the challenge of climate change - Steve Buckley, President AMARC, International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change, Unesco Headquarters Paris, Sept. 2009, English.
Download the PDF document =

Cambio climático: no más parches, soluciones ya - América latina en movimiento, 2009, Document in Spanish.
Download the PDF document =


The State of the News Media 2009 - The Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2009, Document en anglais.
Read the document in HTML =

Community Radio Performance Assessment System (CR-PAS) - by Raghu Mainali, Yadab Chapagain and Bikram Subba
CRSC / NEFEJ - Kathmandu, 2009, 87 pages – English.
Download the PDF document =


Global Trends in Women’s Access to “Decent Work” - Dialogue Globalization, 2009, English.
Download the PDF document =




The International Secretariat



Flor Maria Balbin, Administrative Assistant
Dominique Legendre, Accountant and financial assistant to projects
Marcelo Solervicens, Secretary General
Ricardo Costa, project Consultant
Nick Fillmore, Project development Consultant
Jean Philippe Theberge, ICT Consultant

Dear Member, renew your Membership

For more information on how to proceed, please contact your regional office or at the international secretariat,

Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC, brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 115 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983 has been to accompany and support the establishment of a world wide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighborhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and Cooperation. For further information visit

2009 AMARC