Working groups on each of the JSAPMDD program areas namely : 1) Global and Public Finance, 2) Ecological Debt, Environmental Justice and Climate Change, and, 3) Rights to Essential Services and Natural Resources met in Bangkok , Thailand from February 22 to 24 to discuss campaigns and activities. The Working Group on Gender and Women was also convened leading to a Regional Committee resolution to create a Gender and Women Program.
The Working Groups were formed to increase participation of member organizations in the conceptualization, planning and implementation JSAPMDD programs and campaigns.
Prior to breaking out into workshop groups, the participants shared and discussed various observations and lessons learned from key political events in the global and regional arena. Some of these include issues on the global financial crisis, the uprisings in the gulf region and privatization of services in the region and the energy crisis vis-a-vis the climate crisis. A longer discussion was devoted to climate change where participants identified specific areas to focus on in the JSAPMDD Climate Program.
A review of the JSAPMDD roles, mandate and strategies was also undertaken to prepare the members for the workshops. The participants, who came from member organizations in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, were then divided into groups to formulate campaigns on the respective JSAPMDD programs.
For the planning on the Rights to Essential Services and Natural Resources program, participants broke out into two workshop groups. One group focused on developing campaigns on Power while the other concentrated on Water. Discussions on the Ecological Debt, Environmental Justice and Climate Change as well as the Global Finance and Public Finance program were done in plenary as all the representatives of member organizations present expressed interest on these issues. Meanwhile, the Women and Gender Working Group held meetings before and after the sessions.
The outcome of the workshops were presented in the Regional Committee Meeting held right after the three-day meeting of the working groups.