‘Responsible production framework’ will help MSMEs, says Speaker

26 08 2011

(ASSIST event featured in The Hindu, August 26, 2011) – The ‘responsible production framework’ evolved under the United Nations Environmental Programme will be of immense help to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Tamil Nadu, Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly D. Jayakumar said here on Thursday.

D. Jayakumar, Assembly Speaker releasing the UNEP'S responsible production framework's tool kit prepared by ASSIST at a programme in Chennai on Thursday. (From left) Saraswathy, Secretary General , MCCI, Sreenivas Narayanan, Managing Director, ASSIST and Murugan, Managing Director, UL DQS India are in the picture. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Tamil Nadu being the hub of MSMEs with more than 15 per cent of such units in the country, it was imperative to increase their awareness on “environment” and “sustainability,” he said.

Mr. Jayakumar was addressing the CEOs’ Forum convened by the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), a non-governmental organisation, in association with Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said that there was pressure on MSMEs to realise the terms “green” and “safe.” Climate change was a reality and that should be taken seriously. Similarly, safer production, awareness and preparedness at the local level were also essential.

As it would be very difficult for such small units to learn correct practices on their own, the UNEP’s initiative, which had brought out the best in terms of safety and sustainability, would be helpful.

As Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was well aware of the importance of environmental protection, she had imposed a ban on plastic carry-bags of less than 60 microns. Besides, she had granted an interest free loan of Rs.200 crore to the dyeing units at Tirupur in a bid to combat pollution.

Pointing out that Ms. Jayalalithaa was determined to make Tamil Nadu a “global hub” for automobile and automobile ancillaries manufacturing, he said she was evolving a strategy to attract more and more Foreign Direct Investment.

Sreenivas Narayanan, managing director, ASSIST, spoke about his organisation’s initiative, ‘systematic engagement to culture responsible enterprises in Gujarat (SECURE Gujarat),” and said the tools it had designed for this project could be used in all types of industries. His organisation, a non-profit one, was prepared to train people and ready to partner the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry.#


ASSIST, DQS-UL MSS and MCC to hold CEO Forum on Responsible Production

24 08 2011


International NGO Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) in cooperation with German Certification body DQS – UL MSS and the Madras Chamber of Commerce, will be holding a CEO Forum on Responsible Production on August 25, 2011, 3 to 6pm at the Park Sheraton in Chennai and on August 26, 2011 at the Sunway GRT Grand in Pondicherry. 

Funded by DEG / KFW (a German Development Bank), the Forum initiative aims to explore how RP Framework can be mainstreamed in our rapidly growing economy and to showcase its implementation in India.

Program highlights include an introduction to the Responsible Production (RP) Framework, presentations on the RP Framework – The Indian Context and the Global Best practices in RP implementation and Indian experiences, and a walk-through the UNEP RP toolkit.

Expected to attend at the ‘by invitation’ event are CEOs, Management Representatives of companies, Head of Operations, Environment and Health Safety (EHS) and CSR Department, Technical academic institutions, Representatives from government bodies, industrial associations and chambers, and business membership organizations, training, assessment and consulting companies and environmental non-profits.

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Margeret Neena through her e-mail, neena@assistasia.org or telephone, (+91) 44- 4554 8438.

GPIoS to present ECOSWITCH Award to 85 companies

24 08 2011

Green Philippines Islands of Sustainability (GPIoS), a project funded by the European Union’s SWITCH Asia Program and co-implemented by Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), will honor 85 companies at the ECOSWITCH Awards Ceremony at the Asian Institute of Management Conference Center in Makati on September 22, 2011, 1 to 6pm.

The ECOSWITCH Awards marks the end of the first phase of the four-year initiative (2009-2013), which sought to contribute to an improved environmental and sustainable industrial development of Metro Manila and CALABARZON regions. It will recognize the companies which successfully implemented environment-friendly measures within their organization. Among the awardees are GMA Network (GMA7), Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Kraft Foods Inc., Ford Motors and Asia Brewery Complex.

Led by the Technical University of Ostrava (VSB), Czech Republic, the Project Consortium also includes the Center for Appropriate Technology (GrAT), Austria, Australia Recycling (AREC), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Philippine Business for the Environment and STENUM. They are expecting 250 guests for the event, as well as representatives from the EU Delegation, Ambassadors of Austria, Germany and Czech Republic to the Philippines, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Interested parties may e-mail Project Manager for ASSIST, Juvy Perez, juvy@greenphilippines.com.ph for inquiries.

Justice and Healing Project holds 5-day Paralegal Skills Training on VAW Litigation

22 08 2011

WomenLEAD Foundation successfully spearheaded a five-day Paralegal Skills Training in VAW Litigation for Community Service Providers, in El Cielito Hotel, Makati City, Philippines under the Justice and Healing Project on August 15 to 19, 2011.

Highlights of the training include interactive discussions on what it takes to be a good paralegal, experiences of a practicing paralegal, and the modules: Women’s Human Rights Framework and VAW (which featured talks on CEDAW and VAW, and the Feminist Perspective of the Law), salient provisions of the different Laws on VAW, including RA 9262 (The Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004); RA 9208 (The Anti-Trafficking Law of 2003); RA 8353 (The Anti-Rape Law of 1997); RA 8505 (The Rape Victims Assistance Act of 1998); and Article 36, Family Code (Psychological Incapacity).

The training also delved on Evidence Gathering for VAW Cases, Civil and Criminal Procedures in VAW Cases, and practical aspects of the paralegal practice were also covered by sessions on drafting an application for protection order (under RA 9262), service and filing of pleadings, interviewing a VAW Survivor, and drafting an affidavit.

Participants also visited the courts and prosecutor’s offices to gain a deeper understanding of the litigation process by witnessing an actual court proceeding or investigation proceeding in the court or at the fiscal’s office, respectively.

As a culminating activity, the participants were given case studies to work on, with them choosing the applicable legal provisions to different cases, to follow the appropriate processes and procedures including interviewing the victim-survivor, preparing the necessary documents, filing the case in court/fiscal’s office, and assisting the survivor in the court process.

The participants displayed a firm grasp of the concepts, legal provisions and procedures in handling VAW cases and in providing rights-based, gender-responsive services to women and children victims of violence. They also commended the speakers and organizers for a thorough and comprehensive training that was also truly interactive and easily understandable.

Participants included representatives of organizations and local government units committed to offering gender-responsive services to women and children: BATIS Center for Women; Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP); Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA); CRIBS Foundation; EBGAN, Inc.; Faithful Companions of Jesus Learning and Development Center; GABRIELA Women’s Organization; GALANG Philippines; Institute for Social Studies and Action (ISSA); KALIPI-Abra; Lesbian Alliance Movement; Local Government Unit and the Philippine National Police of Guinobatan, Albay; Marang Family Circle, Quezon City; Metropolitan Community Church (MCC); MSWDO, Local Government of Tanay; and the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies (UP-CWS).

ASSIST helped prepare the instructional materials for the training.#

ASSIST Project GPIoS participates in Green Philippines exhibit

18 08 2011

ASSIST Project Green Philippines Islands of Sustainability (GPIoS) has a booth at the Green Philippines Exhibit until tomorrow, August 19, 8am-6pm at the SMX Convention Center. Please drop by if you’re around the area!

Know more about the GPIoS project by visiting http://greenphilippines.com.ph/newgpios/

ASSIST participates in Regional Conference for Sustainable Development

17 08 2011

Bangkok, THAILAND – The Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is proud to be among the more than 30 civil society organizations (CSOs) which participated at the Regional Conference on Development Models: Promoting a Transformative Agenda for Sustainable Development, August 15–17, 2011.

ASSIST Director for Research and Knowledge Management, Ms. Sheena Carmel D. Opulencia, were among the participants from the Philippines.

The conference, organized by the Reality of Aid (RoA), Asia-Pacific Regional Network (APRN), and IBON International, sought to increase the awareness and understanding of CSOs and peoples’ movements in the South on key issues in Busan 2011 and to bring different CSOs and peoples’ movements in the South into a common discussion on development models for a common regional advocacy agenda.

The first day of the conference introduced the participants to the key issues and state of play for Busan 2011. Participants were grouped to discuss public-private partnerships for development, climate financing and south-south cooperation.

A deeper understanding of neoliberal growth paradigms, alternative development approaches, and sustainable development paradigms opened the second the day of the conference. By the end of the day, workshop sessions on natural resource management, transforming industries and built environments, and international dimensions on trade, foreign investments, finance and development paved the discussion of the Asia Civil Society Statement for the Busan High Level Forum 4.

The last day of the conference was a Strategy Workshop for Rio+20, which sought to analyze the regional and country level dimensions of green economy, institutional framework for sustainable development and opportunities for engagement.

Participating CSO representatives came from from India, China, the Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Vietnam, South Korea.

ASSIST Director for Research and Knowledge Management, Ms. Sheena Carmel D. Opulencia, were among the participants from the Philippines.#

Gunfire ‘all night and morning’ in besieged Syrian city

17 08 2011

(CNN) — Gunfire and shelling rang out across Syria’s coastal city of Latakia early Tuesday amid reports of Palestinian refugees fleeing a restive and impoverished enclave there.

At least five people died on Tuesday, according to a resident who requested anonymity for safety reasons, and the city remained under siege amid a military offensive against protesters.

The humanitarian situation deteriorated amid the government’s offensive in the city. Shops and bakeries were closed, and at least two mosques were damaged. The gunfire could be heard “all night and morning,” the witness said.

“This is the fourth day that we do not have electricity or water. Landline phone connections have been down most of the day,” he said by satellite phone.

Snipers perched atop various locations in the city’s al-Ramel neighborhood, the site of a Palestinian refugee camp, he said.

Demonstrations have taken place in the Ramel area every day since the Syrian uprising began five months ago, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.


Read more at: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/16/syria.unrest/index.html