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Spectrum In-house Capacity Building Training on the Topic of Environmental Lobbying and Advocacy

With the help and support of Montana Environmental Information Centre (USA), Spectrum proudly conducted one-day sharing workshop on effective environmental lobbying and advocacy

at Spectrum office on 27, February, 2018. The workshop aimed to promote Spectrum staff’s understanding of various lobbying techniques based on learning of totally different circumstances of two countries; Myanmar and United States.

As a part of professional Development program, Spectrum invited Mr. Derf Johnson, Water Program Director/Staff Attorney of Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC) to share his experience on the topics of NGO fundraising, NGO organizational structure, natural resource conflict resolution, US water rights and protection as well as effective environmental lobbying and advocacy.

Nearly 20 people from Spectrum program team, Spectrum communications team and some representatives from partner organizations joined the workshop. By presenting two interesting case studies of Montana, Mr. Derf discussed about organizing campaigns that will attract community involvement and related local authority for sensitive environmental issues such as coal fire plant and mine project.

Raising grassroots voices and concerns, lobbying state legislative body to propose legislation, and mobilizing support from the community are the subjects that participants were really interested to discuss further. During the workshop, he also discussed about the importance of media involvement and media engagement in highlighting possible impact of controversial projects. The audience learned about telling effective stories through videos from the case study of “Smith River Mine Campaign”.

Spectrum program officer, Salai Thawng Hlaing Lung gave a short presentation of his experience from 2017 YSEALI Professional Fellow program of the United States government. He spent five weeks in United States. So he shared his experience on staying with host family and working directly with non-profit organizations such as MEIC, state and local government to learn their system on environmental protection sector.

Spectrum would like to say “Special Thanks” to Mr. Derf Johnson who contributed his hard work on one- day training of effective environmental lobbying and advocacy and “Sincere Thanks” to participants who made their time available for this event.

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