Between the 18th and 21nd of July Forum Syd Southeast Asia held a partner meeting with all NGO partners in Cambodia’s second most populous city Battambang. The four day meeting included presentation from all partners on their programme outcomes and results achieved in the last six months. In addition to this, participating Forum Syd staff and partner representatives conducted exposure trips focusing on 1) Community Development and Human Rights, Youth, decentralization and deconcentration and Natural Resource Management and Climate Change to external organizations working in the area surrounding Battambang. The purpose of these trips was to gain knowledge from what others are doing and have done, but also, learn and experience together as we’re all working towards a common goal under the same umbrella.
As Forum Syd partners presented results for the last six months some interesting achievements could be seen, for example, Comfrel (Committee on Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia) reported on an important amendment to the election law that will make it easier for voters in the upcoming 2013 elections. An extension of the voter registration period was also achieved. MVI (My Village Organization) reported that 11 hectares of illegally cleared land had been given back to community and that an increased fish catch could be recorded in three different villages when comparing 2011 to 2010. FACT (Fishery Action Coalition Team) reported that nearly 2000 hectares of flooded forest were given back to local communities. A significant factor for making this possible was CBOs realizing the importance of a sustainable dialogue with commune and provincial authorities.
The partner meeting was enjoyed and appreciated by all participants, both as a way of coming together for sharing experiences and results, but also for the opportunity to socialize and connect.