Svensk partner: Piteå kommun

Åtta svenska kommuner i ny satsning på mänskliga rättigheter

Åtta svenska kommuner kommer att bli del av ICLD:s fyraåriga internationella projektnätverk Kommunala partnerskap för mänskliga rättigheter. Tillsammans med åtta partnerkommuner i Södra Afrika ska de utforma varsitt projekt som ska lyfta arbetet med mänskliga rättigheter och lokal demokrati.

Den första september utlyste ICLD den nya satsningen Kommunala partnerskap för mänskliga rättigheter, som ska skapa ett nätverk av partnerskap mellan Sverige och Södra Afrika. Sex svenska kommuner har nu insänt sina ansökningar och antagits till nätverket; Falun, Bollnäs, Ovanåker, Kungsör, Piteå och Lund. Två ytterligare väntas bli klara inom kort. Dessa har alla matchats med varsin partner från antingen Sydafrika, Botswana eller Zambia.

Vi är stolta över att kunna fira internationella dagen för mänskliga rättigheter den 10 december med att satsa på Sveriges och Södra Afrikas lokala arbete för mänskliga rättigheter och demokrati. Vår ambition är att skapa nya goda exempel och metoder på lokalt arbete med mänskliga rättigheter som kan spridas till nya kommuner.

Johan Lilja, generalsekreterare för ICLD

Samarbetet inleds med ett förberedelseår där ett treårigt projekt på ett tema relaterat till mänskliga rättigheter ska utformas och planeras. Särskilt stort intresse har funnits runt att driva projekt om inkludering av barn och unga, vilket är en särskilt aktuell fråga efter att barnkonventionen blev svensk lag 1 januari 2020. Kommunerna har tilldelats 300 000 kr för förberedelseåret, den totala summan för alla fyra år kan komma att uppgå till närmare 3 mnkr per kommun. Medlen finansierar utbytet mellan kommunerna, så som resor och logi i samband med utbytesresor och nätverksutbildningar.

Inom nätverket kommer kommunerna som deltar att få stöd av experter på mänskliga rättigheter och forskare. ICLD kommer att arrangera gemensamma nätverksaktiviteter för alla kommuner, vilka under första året kommer att ha ett särskilt fokus på att kommunerna ska initiera samarbeten med civilsamhälle och universitet.

Piteå and Chinsali, Zambia

Project: Empowerment of disadvantaged groups through local democracy

In Chinsali there is low participation of women in local democracy and lack of trust for the municipality among the public. There is a lack of tools, knowledge/awareness and recourses within the municipal organization.  In Piteå social economical and geographic factors leads to lower trust and lower participation in local democracy in some groups.

The project will focus on developing methods and working procedures to strengthen and encourage women in Chinsali to participate more actively in “community building” but also to find methods to develop Chinsali residents’ awareness of equality. In Piteå, the focus will be on identifying and developing methods for the municipality to strengthen the participation of marginalized groups in community building. The partnership is part of the ICLD Human rights Network.

Piteå and An Giang, Vietnam

Project: Implementation of Action Plan for a sustainable An Giang province

Piteå Municipality and An Giang Province has been cooperating since 2011 when we carried out an inception phase which led to “Piteå An Giang- sustainable municipalities (Dnr. 2011-0110 + 2011) and “Action plan for utilizing rice waste” (Dnr.2014-0065+0063). The cooperation between the two communities has proved to be successful and the provincial peoples committee of An Giang has approved the action plan that has been completed during the existing project. A mutual trust and knowledge has been built up between the two partners due to essentially, that during the past two project periods, the same people has been involved in both partners.

Lack of capacity on organisational level in implementing of action plan and monitoring and reviewing the strategy plan is identified as the main problem. The consequences is that the action plan cannot be implemented as expected, cannot achieve all the objectives in the strategy plan, only few farmers can gain from the project, cannot achieve the goals of environment, human right, local democracy and special efforts to support women to develop business from rice waste will not succeed.

The project objective is that adequate capacity on implementing of action plan, monitoring, and reviewing the strategy plan will be achieved directly through the support and activities conducted within the project.

Actionplan for utilizing rice waste

Piteå Municipality and An Giang Province has been cooperating since 2011 when we carried out an inception phase which led to “Piteå An Giang- sustainable municipalities.

The base for the ongoing project is the district of Chau Thanh where one part is to make a “Rice waste to energy plan”. In meetings with the target groups at both provincial and district levels in the ongoing project, lack of an activity plan was often mentioned. 

The main problem in our application comes from an urgent need where our project can contribute to turn An Giang into a Green province as there is no master plan on biomass energy at the provincial level. 

There are several activities in Chau Thanh district such as

  • capacity building on rice husk to energy
  • survey the cultivation model and energy use demand from farmer – rice mills, rice dryer
  • acknowledgement of different stakeholders including local authorities and communities on biomass energy.

However, there is no action plan focus on turning rice waste to energy. An action plan which will contribute to how rice by-products can improve the life quality of poor rice communities and directions for the organization level to implement the action plan.

Piteå and An Giang – Sustainable Municipalities

The project is focusing on development of a strategy program for waste to energy, focusing on rice waste to energy which would be carried out during a time span of three years.

Rice straw and rice husk are a potential natural biomass source for energy production. As of now, only a small part of rice husk production has been used as fuel in brick kilns, but most of it has been dumped illegally into the rivers or burnt openly, emitting huge amount of greenhouse gas (GHG).

In 2010, Piteå revised their waste plan and approved an Energy and Climate plan which will be revised in 2014/2015. In An Giang a strategy program focusing on waste to energy from rice production will be submitted 2014. It will be developed through a process where local stake holders as the business community, farmers, the regional university and the municipality will be involved. Vietnam is known as the second largest exporting country of rice. Rice production has the most important role in the economy of the Mekong delta where An Giang is located, which at the same time also is the part of Vietnam which is anticipated to suffer the most serious climate changes. 

The work in Piteå by developing the Climate and Energy Plan has been conducted with some methodological support from The Swedish Energy Agency’s project Sustainable Municipality, where Piteå is one out of 31 municipalities further on into a third phase. In the process of developing the plan people from many areas in the civil society have participated. In An Giang there is an eagerness to learn and apply the experiences from Piteå in the Vietnamese context.

A strategy program developed by participation from different actors should be able to contribute to facilitate an implementation phase where one target is to develop a strategy program which would contribute to an improvement of the living condition for the poorest of the people.

Women’s empowerment through development of local democracy

The objective of the project, which is a collaboration between Piteå and Chinsali Municipality in Zambia, is that: Officials and elected representatives in Chinsali have the capacity to involve women in the development of local democracy.

When the three-year project is completed, the Municipality should have developed methods to involve women in development, and that the elected politians should have decided on a 3-year action plan for the development of local democracy and where special attention is given to women.

In a long term we want the project to contribute to:
Women’s participation in municipal development programs, there are female councilors in the municipality, the municipality is characterized by openness and accountability, that residents have a positive attitude to participate in municipal affairs, that residents are willing to pay for municipal services and that poverty has decreased.

To achieve this, the project has three short term objectives:

  • The officials and elected representatives have the experience and knowledge of women’s ability to participate
  • The municipality operates at least one local women’s project that help to develop relevant methods to develop women’s participation
  • The municipality has involved women in developing a system for citizens to express their views and for the municipality to take care of them.