Wiert Wiertsema


If not for the cat,
And the scarcity of cheese,
I could be content.

Jack Prelutsky


Specialism: Export Credit Agencies (ECAs)

Wiert is cofounder of Both ENDS and as such, he is the colleague that has been with our organisation the longest. After graduating in Cultural Anthropology, he worked among other places for the former Inspection Development Cooperation in the field (IOV) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the predecessor of the current IOB - and the former AMRO bank. Wiert has been active in the Peace movement for a long period of time. In 2001 he was a member of the first Inspection Panel of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which investigated complaints around a large wastewater purification project in Thailand. He was a consultant for several development organisations and the European Commission. Presently he is a member of the boards of the Eurodad network (Brussels) and of that of the Campaign against Arms Trade.

Both ENDS started as a project of the Dutch branch of the IUCN in 1986. In 1987, Wiert became one of the first project staff members. The project flourished and in 1991, also due to his efforts, it became an independent foundation. Wiert supervised numerous projects on a wide range of themes. Over the years, he specialised in the role and meaning of international capital flows for sustainable development.

In Wiert's opinion, the liberalisation of trade, investments and the financial markets has made the position of men and nature a vulnerable one, all over the world, but especially in many developing countries. Without adequate protection of the poorest people and the natural surroundings they depend on, he considers development aid to be little more than a waste of time and effort. International (financial) institutions should reform their policies drastically to add to this protection and to create possibilities for ecologically sustainable development from below.

Together with Both ENDS, Wiert gets parties with opposing interests concerning capital flows around the table. He strives for concrete bottom-up improvements and for international reforms to make sure that ecologically sustainable development will no longer be blocked.


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