South East Asia

44 Members

Membership: TAI members in Southeast Asia include civil society organizations and individuals from five countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The core team members are from this region from the Ateneo School of Government.

Goals: Multiple goals were created based on previous TAI Asia regional meetings and related forums including a list of voluntary policy and informative instruments that should be used in the Asia region to expend involvement in access rights work. These include

• linkages and partnerships with other regional networks, academic organizations, and government institutions

• development of more resources and materials including citizen guidelines and toolkits, web based information, and alternative vehicles of access to information such as television, radio, newspaper and SMS sources

• utilization of alternative methods of assessment through Strategic Environmental Assessments, Eco-labeling and green audits

Southeast Asia - Regional standards for Environmental Democracy: Although the legal framework in the region has become increasingly supportive of access principle, significant gaps remain between the legal framework and practice in many countries. Further, the TAI assessments concluded a lack of clear legislation on public participation is a major constraint on realizing access rights in the region. Multiple organizations have called for a regional forum and strengthened network for Southeast Asian organizations working across the range of freedom of expression and right to information issues.

Assessments: To date multiple TAI assessment were carried out in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and China’s Yunnan province between 2003 and 2009. In additional a sectoral TAI assessment was conducted in Map Ta Phut, Thailand’s largest industrial estate and one of the largest independent power producer investments in Southeast Asia. The Third TAI Asia Regional Meeting was successfully held on October 29-30, 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand, to update TAI partners in Asia on the status and success of TAI, promote regional advocacy, develop strategies for expansion and further engagement of governments and share success stories and presentations within the network as well as inform potential partners of TAI activities in the region. Participants of the two-day meeting include TAI partners and potential partners in Asia, including CSOs from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, South Korea and Sri Lanka. In addition to the CSO participants, there will also be governmental officials from TAI partner countries, international organizations and donors attending this meeting to share experiences in environmental governance and collaborations between NGOs and government on access right. A synthesized report based on these assessment was published by the Thailand Environment Institute in 2011. An important finding from the assessments is that there appears to be a correlation between poverty and marginalization, and the inability to ensure access rights. For all the countries, poor and marginalized people, including women, ethnic minorities and migrants, are the least able to exercise access rights. For many such rights simply do not exist.

Southeast Asia - Regional standards for Environmental Democracy: Although the legal framework in the region has become increasingly supportive of access principle, significant gaps remain between the legal framework and practice in many countries. Further, the TAI assessments concluded a lack of clear legislation on public participation is a major constraint on realizing access rights in the region. Multiple organizations have called for a regional forum and strengthened network for Southeast Asian organizations working across the range of freedom of expression and right to information issues.

Regional Core Team Leads