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RRI welcomes Civic Response!
At the April meetings in New York, the Board of Directors unanimously resolved to welcome Civic Response as a Parter of RRI.
Civic Response is an NGO based in Ghana, formed in 2003 to deepen the political economic analysis of grassroots grouping and to facilitate networking toward the emergence of articulate social movements that can lead in the democratisation and development of African societies and in international struggles.
About Civic Response
Civic Response's activities are generally organized under two programmatic areas - Resource Rights and Service Rights. The Resource Rights program of work looks to address the needs of rural producers that depend directly on access to natural resources to improve their living conditions; activities within this program focus mainly on forestry, along with mining and water issues. Civic Response has worked to reverse the marginalization of small-scale community-based producers, marginalized in practice and policy by the transnational timber industry. It provides a secretariat for Forest Watch Ghana, a coalition of more than 30 NGOs campaigning for fair access to forest resources for communities, fair sharing of the benefits of forest exploitation, and greater community voice in policymaking. Civic Response also connects Forest Watch Ghana with the European Community Forest Platform, hosted and supported by FERN. It runs the "Forest Voices Project" - a program supported by DFID to build the capacity of community-level activists to conceive, develop and run their own campaigns.
Civic Response is also the host for the Forest Governance Learning Group in Ghana, organizing discussions amongst state, industry and civil society leaders to promote understanding among these groups and allow tactical progress on forest governance reform. It also carries out governance studies, and is supporting Ghana's preparations toward negotiations of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the EU by carrying out an impact study.
Civic Response, Rights and Tenure
For more than a year, Civic Response has been engaged with RRI through collaborative activities and contributions in RRI's Africa programs. Kyeretwie Opoku, Coordinator of Civic Response, writes:
"Our own view is that the central problem of forest (and other natural resource) governance in Africa is the prevailing political economy. A focus on tenure at once takes the discourse to a higher level, posits the issues in terms more accessible to resource dependent communities, provides them with a concrete focus for creative "governance" campaigns, and increases the likelihood of sustainable benefits for the world's resource-dependent peoples. This is especially the case in Africa, where the dis-empowerment of communities entrenched in colonial tenure arrangements remains most severe."
The RRI welcomes Civic Response as its newest Partner, and all are looking forward to deeper and more extensive collaborations in the near future.
Posted By Megan Liddle at 3:20pm on May 01, 2007
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