Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Community Media and Sustainable Development

Closing Declaration of the Round Table on Community Media and Sustainable Development
Marrakesh, 21 November 2004

We, community media practitioners and stakeholders, meeting in Marrakesh, the 21
November 2004, at the first Round Table on Community Media and Sustainable

Recognising that Community Media, that is media which are independent, communitydriven
and civil society based, have a particular role to play in enabling access and
participation for all to information and communications, especially the poorest and most
marginalized communities;

Noting growing recognition of the crucial contribution that community media can make
to the achievement of the goals of the Millennium Declaration and that Community
Media can be vital enablers of information, voice, and capacities for dialogue;

Recognising that legal, regulatory and policy frameworks that protect and enhance
community media are especially critical for ensuring vulnerable groups access to

Call on Governments to ensure that legal frameworks for community media are nondiscriminatory and provide for equitable allocation of frequencies through transparent
and accountable mechanisms;

Call for targets to be established for the opening up of broadcast licensing to allow for the
operation of community broadcasting where this is not currently permitted;

Insist that spectrum planning and regulation should ensure sufficient spectrum and
channel capacity, and appropriate technical standards, for community media to develop in
both the analogue and digital environment;

Call for a donor c ivil society partnership to invest in and support community-driven
information and communication initiatives, using traditional media and new ICTs
including projects that make provision for the poorest communities, for cultural and
linguistic diversity and for the equal participation of women and girls;

Propose that this should include:

- Engagement of community media expertise in planning for media and ICT investment around development,
- inclusion of a community media element in all ICT investment,
- establishment of a Development Fund for Community Radio in Africa,
- encouragement of national level funds for community media support;

And agree to establish a Task Force on Funding and Resourcing Community Media to
take forward these proposals and to evaluate their implementation.

For more information see the AMARC Round Table on Community Media and Sustainable Development