WRITTEN BY: EDITORS ON MARCH 23, 2010
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Katinnulong Dagiti Umili iti Amianan Inc (KADUAMI) held its 6th General Assembly on March 17-18 at the Benguet State University’s Training Center. KADUAMI holds a general assembly every three years.
The general assembly was attended by 110 delegates representing Kaduami’s partners from 120 people’s organizations and non-government organizations all over Northern Luzon. It provides an opportunity for partners to collectively reflect on development issues confronting the people of Northern Luzon.
The theme for the 6th assembly is “Empowering communities to assert their right to food and right to development, and promoting good governance in the context of climate change”.
The sessions started with a challenge from the acting chairman of Kaduami, Bishop Marino Inong. He reported that even if we faced many challenges in the last three years, the people proved to be resilient and creative in facing the concerns.
An input from the national chairperson of Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas, Danilo “Ka Daning” Ramos provided the focalpoint for the assembly. He challenged the people of Northern Luzon to promote and uphold pro-people issues in the face of the financial crisis besetting the nation and the world.
He said that as a nation we are at the juncture of history where people’s organizations can stamp their aspirations even on governance and policies reflected in government. He symbolized people’s unities with the weaving of abaca of which one thread could easily break.
However, a tightly woven abaca rope could not be easily unraveled or broken and it could provide a strong binding for the people. He challenged the assembly to weave a strong unity by asserting our rights even in the face of the militarization we are now experiencing.
Four workshop groups discussed the problems, effects, interventions by the people and partner organizations and the response of duty bearers that confront the people of Northern Luzon. The four workshops were on climate change, development aggression, election and good governance, and human rights.
It was pointed out in the reports of the workshops that the four areas of concern are inter-related. For example, the destruction of watersheds in the Cordillera will result to floods in the lowlands. The construction of mega-dams in the Cordillera will result to floods in the lowlands. The entry of foreign corporate mining in the communities results in militarization and human rights violations follow in these areas and so on.
The workshop groups pointed out that food security can be achieved if the producers of food are provided the tools to revive, renew and propagate the seeds of the future. Upland and lowlands partnerships should be strengthened including research, to trainings and capacity building.
Evidence based knowledge and the collection/promotion of indigenous capacities should be institutionalized and nurtured. Campaigns and advocacies of the people should be promoted on a wider scale and not only on the community level. Destructive large scale, foreign and corporate businesses should be banned in the areas if a wholistic approach to development is to be promoted. It was also suggested that cross-learning activities should be promoted so communities can learn from each others’ advanced experiences and share with each other methodologies.
A bonus for the partners was an input on organic rice and vegetables farming, the production of bio-fertilizers, vermiculture and a visit to the showcase organic farm of BSU. Red rice and C18 rice produced by the demo farm of Kaduami was on sale at the venue, apart from other produce from the partner organizations.
Solidarity messages from partners locally and abroad were read. A review of the Constitution of KADUAMI and election of officers for the next period was done. A report on the next phase of KADUAMI from 2010-2012 as formulated by the partners themselves was presented. The assembly ended with a solidarity dinner with partner organizations.#nordis.net