The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) is, first and foremost, a movement of international solidarity to defend and promote the values of community broadcasting and to build an alternative to the old media models.
For AMARC, the broadcast media are a means by which the citizens and ordinary people, women and men, can work to improve their livelihoods, to defend their rights and to participate in political life.
Communities have sought in community radio (CR) a means to express their own issues, concerns, cultures and languages. Community ownership of the media and participation in programming has led to communication processes that have effectively empowered local actors to achieve poverty reduction, forward development objectives, encourage inclusiveness and participation, peace building, good governance and accountability.
Created in 1983, AMARC plays a leading role in the worldwide CR movement for its perception of what community radios should be, for its accumulated expertise, and for the extension of its network of more than 5,000 members in 113 countries. It actively seeks to reinforce the CR movement by removing barriers and establishing conditions for increasing its effectiveness.
AMARC works to identify barriers that limit the potential positive impact of CR and explores ways to increase its effectiveness in achieving poverty reduction, development objectives, inclusiveness and democracy building in local communities.
AMARC and other stakeholders have contributed strongly to the expansion of scattered CR experiences into a dynamic and diverse global sector of broadcasting that has become an alternative to commercial and state owned media, which often neglect representation of the poor, the marginalized particularly women, sexual minorities, dalits, indigenous people and the socially and politically oppressed.
AMARC in the Asia-Pacific Region
The Asia-Pacific chapter of AMARC was formally established in November 2005 by the Assembly of AMARC’s members in the region during what was the first AP Regional Conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia. Preceding that, AMARC was already active in the region on an ad hoc basis. The Regional Assembly elected a Regional Board and decided upon a Regional Action Plan aimed at developing the community-broadcasting sector in the region.
As per the statutes of AMARC, regional assemblies are held every four years.
The 2nd AMARC Asia-Pacific Regional Conference entitled “Voices for a Sustainable and Sound Future” was held from 20-23 February, 2010 in Bangalore, India. The Bangalore conference brought together more than 300 community radio stakeholders, including community radio representatives, NGO partners, donors and scholars from the region and other parts of the world to review the status of community broadcasting in the region and to strategize for its development. A strategic plan of action for 2010-2013 was adopted for community radio advocacy and the strengthening of the network of community radio broadcasters and stakeholders in the region.
The Second AMARC Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly took place in Bangalore, India in February 2010 and elected the Regional Board of Directors to steer the movement ahead. Over 250 community radio stakeholders participated in the Conference and decided upon the Regional Action Plan 2010-2013 for the growth and development of the sector in the region. The third Regional Assembly of AMARC Asia-Pacific was held in December 2013 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Korean Association of Community Radios (KACR) hosted the conference where over 100 community broadcasters and advocates from about 30 countries of Asia-Pacific region gathered to take stock of the community radio sector and to chart the way forward. A renewed set of strategic priorities were endorsed by the members.
[Declarations issued by AMARC Asia-Pacific Regional Assemblies are available in the main menu of this website.]
AMARC Asia Pacific regional office, which is based in Kathmandu, Nepal closely works with its members and partner organisations across the Asia-Pacific region – South Asia, South East Asia, the Pacific and East Asia, to implement activities aimed at promoting freedom of expression, supporting community development and development of resilient communities.