This year, the Asia Pacific Greens have developed 20 policy frameworks to help empower their new and emerging member parties. The frameworks can be adapted to meet each party's specific national and local needs.
By Suresh Nautyal and Michelle Sheather
Over the course of 2020, the Asia Pacific Green parties agreed for the first time on 20 policy frameworks for their member parties. The policies are intended to assist parties to develop a full range of their own policies as the frameworks can be adapted to meet national or local needs. Many parties did not as yet have a platform of policies for which to stand for election or to utilise to comment on national political developments.
The issues for the framework policies were selected by the councillors/representatives comprising the APGF Federation Council, which has 21 Green member parties from across Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East. The council appointed a policy committee to review the policies, which is now a permanent committee within APGF. The agreed policy frameworks can be found at the links below. They reflect issues of paramount concern for the parties – particularly in non-OECD countries – in our region.
Most importantly, the policies together empower the non-OECD countries through providing a ready-made resource portfolio. Many of the Greens in the non-OECD countries are still emerging and their parties are capacity-deficient. They do not have proper offices, infrastructure and resources. So, if they get ready-made Green policies, it is easier for them to adopt them with some customisation. Eventually, Green parties in the non-OECD countries are going to benefit from this endeavour.
APGF chose the following 20 policies with the purpose to address the issues that are relatable to the six core principles of the Global Greens Charter.
The first policy drafted was on the issue of women and gender equity as it is seen as a priority issue for the region to increase women’s active participation in politics at all levels. While writing the policies, the contexts and perspectives of different societies, cultures and political systems within the Asia-Pacific region were kept in mind. Each policy template was divided into four parts: preamble, vision, objective and action.
The policies are as follows:
- Agriculture and Food Security template policy
- Children's Rights template policy
- Climate Change template policy
- Education template policy
- Energy template policy
- Environment template policy
- Forests template policy
- Health template policy
- Human Rights template policy
- Labour and Industrial template policy
- LGBTIQA+ template policy
- Natural Resources template policy
- Nuclear Weapons and Energy template policy
- Participatory Local Governance template policy
- Pollution and Plastics template policy
- Rights of Young People template policy
- Transportation template policy
- Water template policy
- Women and Gender Equity template policy
- Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (in final stages of development)
These issues reflect the pressing needs many parties are dealing with on issues ranging from food and agriculture to the rights of children; health to education; pollution and access to clean water to climate change. These issues hamper many parties and their members on a daily basis.
The Global Greens and its four federations including the Asia Pacific Greens Federation believe that the policies should expand from local to global to achieve the principles and goals of the Global Greens Charter. That is why the policy templates have been framed in such a way that they can easily fit to the local needs as well as to the global ones.
Five of the policies were chosen for translation into the eight main languages used in the Federation: Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Bengali, Hindi, Mongolian, Nepali, Pidgin English, and Urdu.
This work has been possible through the support of the Australian Greens International Development Committee. We will look at the next stages of assisting on policy adaptation at the national and local level for emerging Asia Pacific Green parties.
Suresh Nautyal is President of the India Greens Party and Policy Writer for Asia Pacific Greens Federation. Michelle Sheather is the Australian Greens International Development Coordinator.