Asia-Pacific Working Group

APWG brings together approximately 20 Canadian NGOs involved in human rights, democracy and development in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Asia-Pacific Working Group

2012 Activities


APWG Webinar - Holding Government Accountable: Social Mobilization and the Right to Information Legislation - 5 July 2012 (12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EDT)

Rezanur Rahman from the Bangladeshi NGO, Nijera Kori, will talk about their work organizing poor and marginalized populations in villages throughout 18 districts of the country. Nijera Kori currently works with over 200,000 women and men, organized in over 9,000 groups in almost 1,300 villages. Through collective actions they have: recovered land and water bodies illegally occupied by economic elites; gained access to state land for landless farmers; negotiated better wages with local employers; improved access to social programs. With the introduction of Right to Information legislation, Nijera Kori saw a new and important instrument for the poor to hold government accountable.  Rezanur was closely involved in organizing a bottom-up approach to improving governance and accountability.


APWG webinar - “Has economic liberalization in India increased inequalities, fuelled corruption and weakened democracy?" – June 7, 2012

The Asia-Pacific Working Group (APWG) of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) invites you to a presentation by Prashant Bhushan on the consequences of economic liberalization in India. Mr. Bhushan is an Indian activist and lawyer specializing in human rights and environmental issues. He is involved in several civil society organizations and campaigns in India, including the organization India Against Corruption and the National Campaign for People's Right to Information.


APWG webinar - Human rights in the context of ASEAN – April 30, 2012

Ray Paolo Santiago, Executive Director of the Ateneo Human Rights Center (Philippines) and Acting Secretary General of the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, gave a presentation on the initiative to set-up the ASEAN human rights mechanism and the role played by civil society in the process, as well as current challenges and opportunities. Mr. Santiago gave his presentation by videoconference from Manila.

The Powerpoint which accompanied this presentation is available online on Slideshare.

The APWG would like to thank EQUITAS for helping with the organization of this webinar.


APWG Annual Consultation with CIDA's Asia Branch (postponed)

APWG members are invited to the 2012 Annual Consultation with CIDA’s Asia Branch, details of which will be announced soon.

CIDA Representatives at this meeting will include Jeff Nankivell, Regional Director General of Asia Branch, as well as several several other directors. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a space for APWG members to meet with senior staff of CIDA’s Asia Branch to find out their priorities for various countries in Asia. The meeting will include both a one-hour plenary session and one-hour parallel breakout sessions by geographic region.

To register for this meeting, send an RSVP email to Jack Litster or call him at 613-241-7007 ext 307. Confirm that you will be participating in person at this event, and let us know which country programs or issues you are most interested in discussing with CIDA staff.


Dialogue with the Asian Development Bank – March 13, 2012

The APWG organized a meeting between members of the working group and Micheline Aucoin, the new Canadian Executive Director on the Board of the Asian Development Bank. The meeting provided an opportunity for members to share some of their concerns in relation with the activities of the ADB and to ask questions to Ms. Aucoin.


APWG Webinar: Political Change in Burma – March 07, 2012

Jack Dunford, Executive Director of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, gave a presentation on the issue of political change in Burma. Mr. Dunford reflected on the implications of these changes for Burmese refugees and internally displaced persons, and on the role of the international aid community in this changing context.

The Powerpoint presentation of Mr. Dunford is available online on slideshare.

The APWG would like to thank Inter Pares for helping to organize this webinar.


APWG Webinar: Women's Economic Empowerment with a focus on Home-based workers in Pakistan – March 01, 2012

Samina Khan, Executive Director of Sungi Development Foundation, made a presentation on women's economic empowerment in Pakistan. The Sungi Development Foundation is a leading civil society organization working to improve the quality of life of the poor in Pakistan through a rights-based, participatory development approach.

The APWG would like to thank CHF for their help in organizing this webinar.


APWG Members Regional Meeting in Toronto – February 21, 2012

The APWG held a one-day member meeting in Toronto to look at the impacts of Canadian mining activities in Asia, and to discuss the issue of CIDA-supported partnerships between mining companies and Canadian CSOs.
The APWG would like to thank the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund for offering to hold this event in their office.

You can read the meeting agenda here.

A summary report of the event is available in the members’ section of this website.


2011 Activities


Land Grabbing in Asia: A Case Study from the Philippines - September 29, 2011

Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron gave a presentation on a specific case of land grabbing for biofuel production in Isabela province, Philippines. Ms. Nera-Lauron is a member of IBON International, which was part of an international fact finding mission to investigate this case. This event held in Montreal was organized jointly with the CÉTASE, the Network on Transnational Dynamics and Collective Action (REDTAC) and the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in International Development and Society (CIRDIS).

You can download the presentation of Ms. Nera-Lauron by following the link below.

Foreign Land Acquisition: Perspectives on Global Landgrabs (PDF of powerpoint)


Asia-Pacific Working Group 2011 Symposium: 
Climate Change and Agriculture in the Asia-Pacific - September 27, 2011

During the morning session, participants had the opportunity to learn about the way climate justice debates are framed in the Asia-Pacific and how Asian civil society is mobilizing around these issues, and to look at how Canadian CSOs are supporting this mobilization. The afternoon was a working session for APWG members that included a discussion on international negotiations on climate change and sustainable development and their influence on the production of biofuels in the Asia-Pacific.

Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron of the Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change was the keynote speaker for this event. The audio recording of her presentation can be downloaded by following the link below.

Audio recording of Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron’s keynote presentation(MP3)


Public Forum: Farming, Forests and Fuel – Southern Perspectives on Climate Change -September 26, 2011

The Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development in collaboration with CCIC’s Africa Canada Forum and APWG, and the Canadian Food Security Policy Group organized a public forum at the University of Ottawa on the topic of Farming, Forests and Fuel – Southern Perspectives on Climate Change.  In the context of international negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (in Durban, November 2011), and at Rio+20 (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2012), three international speakers from Asia, Africa and Latin America provided a general overview of peoples’ responses in the South to climate change and upcoming negotiations.

The presentation of Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron, the coordinator of the People’s Movement on Climate Change (PMCC), based in the Philippines, can be downloaded below.

A Southern Voice on Climate Change (PDF of powerpoint)


Climate Negotiations and Justice for Vulnerable Populations: Perspectives for COP 17 and Rio+20 - September 26, 2011

This learning conference was held in collaboration with the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D), CCIC's Africa-Canada Forum, APWG and Canadian Food Security Policy Group. 

The conference sought to deepen civil society understanding of key policy debates in upcoming international negotiations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17), to be held in Durban, South Africa, November 28-December 9, 2011, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 4-6, 2012. The conference focused particularly on the implications for small farmers, indigenous peoples and other marginalized populations.

Click here to read the Conference Report (PDF 641KB)

Click here to view videos of conference presentations



APWG Webinar: Shrinking Space for Civil Society in Cambodia

Sam Ath, Executive Director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, gave a presentation on the reduction of civil society space in Cambodia in the context of the controversial NGO Law that the government is seeking to adopt.

The APWG would like to thank Development & Peace for helping to organize this webinar. 


APWG Webinar: Land grabbing in Pakistan:  Impacts on the Environment and on Communities - June 3, 2011

Altaf Abro, Ph.D. in Public Policy at the University of Arkansas and program manager for a food security project with Oxfam Novib in Pakistan, presented on the impacts of land grabbing on the environment and on communities in Pakistan.

The impacts of Land Grabbing on the Environment and Communities
in Pakistan


Video-Part 1: Some Facts about Pakistan 

Video-Part 2: A Short History of Land Reforms in Pakistan



APWG Webinar: Civil Society Organizations in the Pacific Region: Some Reflections on Climate and Environmental Justice Issues – May 25, 2011

Emele Duituturaga, Executive Director of PIANGO (Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations), gave a presentation on the perspectives of CSOs of the Pacific region on issues related to climate and environmental justice.


PIANGO Presentation (PDF 1 MB) 

Tuvalu Climate Change Presentation (PDF 207 kb)

PIANGO Climate Change Position Paper 2009 (PDF 163 kb)

Final PRNGO Alliance Pacific Position on Climate Change (PDF 408 kb)

AMBO Declaration November 10, 2010 (PDF 59 kb)


APWG Webinar:  Land Rights and Marginalized Communities in India – April 19, 2011

Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Director of the Social Development Foundation in India, discussed the issues of land rights, land grabbing, and the struggle of marginalized communities in India.

Land grabbing in India

SDF India – Gazipur Initiative

SDF India – Koshish School

SDF India – Prerna Kendra at Fatehpur


Regional Meeting: APWG Montreal Meeting - March 30, 2011

APWG held a regional meeting in Montreal on March 30, 2011.  The meeting was well attended by APWG members and various research and advocacy groups with an interest in Asia. The objectives of this meeting were to provide a networking space for organizations and individuals with an interest in region, and to gather ideas and suggestions of activities to be undertaken collaboratively through the working group in the coming year.

Agenda (in French)(PDF)


Regional Meeting: APWG Toronto Meeting- January 26, 2011

APWG held organizing a regional meeting in Toronto on January 26, 2011. The objective of this meeting is to bring together different organizations (NGOs, faith-based organizations, unions and solidarity groups) with an interest in Asia to discuss potential areas of collaboration. The agenda is available online here.


For more information about APWG activities in 2010 and earlier,
see the Past Activities page


  • Istanbul Principles
  • Who's who
  • Code of ethics
  • Employment
  • 10-point agenda
  • Code of Ethics