Both ENDS


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Also follow the experiences of staff and / or partners of Both ENDS through various blogs.

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    Demonstrating for environmental and human rights in Guatemala

    22 July 2017

    On June 5th, World Environment Day, community members at the southern coast of Guatemala protested against the rapid spread of large-scale palm oil, sugar cane and banana plantations in their region. Utz Che', our local partner organisation, joined the march.


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    Criticism of Dutch pension fund ABP’s investments in coal, oil and gas

    Press release 15 May 2017

    The Dutch pension fund, ABP, invested about two billion euros more in the fossil energy industry at the end of 2016 than the year before. This is announced by the report "Dirty & Dangerous: the fossil fuel investments of Dutch pension fund ABP," published today by Both ENDS, German urgewald and Fossielvrij NL. The report criticizes these investments because of the impact on the climate and the catastrophic consequences for the people in the areas where coal, oil and gas are being produced.


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    African Development Bank accepts complaint about coal plant

    11 May 2017

    A year ago, the Senegalese NGO Takkom Jerry filed a complaint with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dutch Development Bank FMO, with support from Both ENDS. These banks finance the Sendou coal power station, right next to the fishing village of Bargny. The AfDB has now recognized the complaint. FMO is already processing the complaint and will publish an official response shortly.


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    Press release: Indonesian giant sea wall project is pseudo-solution for Jakarta Bay

    Dubious role for Dutch government and business

    21 April 2017: Jakarta is sinking. Excessive groundwater extraction is causing the metropolis to sink by dozens of centimetres each year, making it more vulnerable to flooding. Dutch businesses have come up with a solution: an immense sea wall on the coast, which is also a stunning real estate project. But this intervention is just a pseudo-solution, say researchers from Both ENDS, Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO) and the Transnational Institute (TNI) today in a new report. Even worse, the project threatens the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people employed in local fisheries.


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    Barro Blanco floodings: enormous damage

    6 april 2017

    The closing of the Barro Blanco dam last year caused not only material but also cultural damage in the affected Ngäbe-Buglé communities in Panama. So far, funder FMO is not taking responsibility for the human rights abuses caused by the project. So, what now?


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    FPIC needs to move beyond an ‘end of the line-solution’

    21 March 2017

    How can we more effectively implement FPIC-legislation and ensure the fundamental community rights of indigenous peoples are protected? Both ENDS' Wiert Wiertsema explores this question in an article in the newsletter of our partner NTFP-EP.


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    Vote for fair, sustainable and international leadership

    13 March 2017

    The Netherlands is facing an important choice this week. On one side, there are political parties that want to shut the country off from the outside world and let climate change advance unchecked. On the other side, there are parties calling on the Netherlands to once again take the lead in areas like climate change, fair taxes and sustainable trade. Both ENDS believes that such leadership is crucial now more than ever.


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    International Women's day is still urgently needed

    8 March 2017

    Today is International Women's Day. A day originating from women's strikes against poor working conditions in the textile industry, some 100 years ago. Since then, a lot has improved for women but, unfortunately, men and women obviously still don’t have equal rights. In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir already warned that ‘women’s rights will never be vested. You have to stay vigilant your whole life’. Recent developments such as the tightening of abortion laws in some countries confirm this view and show that even in the ‘free West’ women’s rights are still far from self-evident.


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    A letter to Dutch minister one year after Berta Cáceres' murder

    2 March 2017

    Today, it is exactly one year ago that Berta Cáceres was brutally murdered in her home in Honduras. Cáceres was a globally known human rights defender and coordinator of the indigenous Lenca organisation COPINH. The murder of Berta is closely related to her protest against the Agua Zarca dam, a hydroelectric project financed partially by the Dutch development bank FMO. 


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    In memoriam: Biu, the last man standing on Tatuoca Island

    8 February 2017

    We grieve over the decease of Mr. Severino Cassiano da Silva – better known as Biu - last Sunday the 5th of February, 2017. Biu was the last native resident of Tatuoca Island in Pernambuco State, Brazil. His life and fate were blended with this island, where previously more than 50 families lived from traditional fisheries and artisanal agriculture and fruit trees. 


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    COPINH-leader: “Our communities are terrified”

    7 February 2017

    Last week, Global Witness published 'Honduras: the deadliest place to defend the planet'. This shocking report clearly shows the worrying situation of human rights in Honduras and backs the demand of Both ENDS and partner COPINH: FMO must divest from the Agua Zarca dam.


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    Press Release: No Dutch public support for Istanbul’s controversial new airport

    6 februari 2017

    Turkey is building Istanbul’s third and the world’s biggest airport in the Northern Forest area on the outskirts of the city. The project is strongly opposed by local communities and NGO’s, as it destroys the environment and violates basic human and local community rights. 

     


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    No lessons learnt from TTIP and CETA in current trade negotiations EU - Indonesia

    26 January 2017

    From 24-28 January 2017, the second round of negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) takes place between the EU and Indonesia. The proposed agreement covers far-reaching liberalisation and deregulation that can have severe impacts on society, people and the environment. Civil society organisations, including Both ENDS, released a statement to express their concern and call upon the negotiators to halt the process and fully assess the potential environmental and social impacts of the agreement. 


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    Happy New Year!

    30 December 2016

    Also in 2017, Both ENDS will continue to work towards a sustainable, fair and inclusive world. We wish our partners, funders, colleagues and everyone else who is interested in our work a succesful New Year!


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    3 Steps to Stand Up for Human Rights in Development!

    9 December 2016

    As we celebrate both the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development (December 4th) and Human Rights Day (December 10th), Both ENDS joins with communities and civil society groups around the world to call on development finance institutions, governments, and businesses to take 3 steps to stand up for Human Rights in development.


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    Dutch Export Credit Agency did not prevent damaging practices in Suape

    30 November 2016

    Atradius Dutch State Business (Atradius DSB) remains responsible for observing social, environmental and human rights, also after providing export credit insurance. That is the conclusion of the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines in its final statement, which was published today. Both ENDS issued a press release about this.


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    Is coastal defense project in Jakarta promoting Dutch business interests or protecting the city?

    22 November 2016

    A Dutch economic trade mission is visiting Indonesia from the 21st to the 24th of November.  Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who heads the mission, is accompanied by Minister Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development), Minister Schultz van Haegen and State Secretary Dijksma (Infrastructure and Environment).


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    “The UN have to acknowledge ecocide as a crime”

    28 October 2016

    Two weeks ago, the Monsanto Tribunal took place in The Hague. With this civil tribunal, activists from all over the world aim to add 'ecocide' as a crime in international laws. Zinaba Rasmane from Burkina Faso states that "currently we can't sue multinationals like Monsanto in our country for the damage they are causing."


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    Laura Cáceres: “By continuing my mother’s fight, I continue the defense of life”

    20 October 2016

    This week, Laura Zuniga Cáceres, daughter of Berta Cáceres*, visits the Netherlands. She will talk with the directors of the involved departments of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in a colloquium about indigenous right of Leiden University and meet with several Dutch NGO's. Both ENDS asked this brave young woman about the situation in Honduras and her motivation to continue her mother's work.


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    Nicaragua: indigenous consent for canal is false

    17 October 2016

    The supposed consent given by the indigenous population for the controversial canal through their territory is deceptive. Testimonies of the Rama and Kriol population show how the consultation process has been manipulated, and that their consent is invalid.


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    5 alternative arguments against TTIP

    17 October 2016

    Both ENDS will join the protest against trade treaties TTIP, CETA and TiSA on Saturday October 22nd in Amsterdam. These treaties will have negative impacts, not only in the Netherlands and Europe, but also - and maybe even more so - in developing countries.


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    Press release: 66% of soy used in the Netherlands still unsustainable

    13 October 2016

    The Netherlands has not reached the 100% target it set itself for the purchase of responsibly sourced soy, with only 34% of imports reaching the RTRS (Round Table on Sustainable Soy ) or an equivalent sustainability standard in 2015. The pork and poultry sectors are lagging behind with an uptake of less than 10% of responsibly sourced soy.


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    New report: lenders should exit from Agua Zarca project

    30 September 2016

    Last week, the conclusions of an independent fact-finding mission to the Agua Zarca Hydro-electric Project in Honduras, were released. The report was commissioned by one of the project financiers, the Dutch development bank FMO after human rights defender and fierce opponent of the dam Berta Cáceres was murdered in March 2016. 


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    Full house during workshop on indigenous rights at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    20 September 2016

    While last Thursday afternoon half the Dutch population sat outside on a terrace to enjoy the last tropical heat of 2016, more than seventy people gathered in a room at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Why? To attend a workshop on 'Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), an international guideline which stipulates that indigenous peoples should be involved in and give permission for developments taking place in and around the area where they live. 


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    The Riverkeeper: guardian of Bangladesh’ rivers

    19 September 2016

    Sharif Jamil is the riverkeeper. In 2009 he started protecting the severely polluted Buriganga River, becoming Bangladesh' first riverkeeper. "We have to make people responsible for their own environment."


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    Women claim back the Tana Delta

    12 September 2016

    When governments assign areas for development purposes such as mining or large-scale agricultural production, often women are affected most. Women are often responsible for their family's food security, relying on access to natural resources such as land and water. At the same time, women have little or no access to decision-making procedures. By empowering women in the Kenyan Tana Delta, Both ENDS' partner Nature Kenya has effectively build counterpower and convinced local and national decision makers of the necessity to include women in land use planning.


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    Both ENDS organises Masterclass Dutch Export Credit Facility

    7 September 2016

    On Monday September 5, together with the Dutch Party for the Animals, Both ENDS organised a Masterclass Dutch Export Credit Facility. The goal of the Masterclass was to inform Dutch parliamentarians and their staff on the functioning of the Dutch export credit facility.


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    Small grant leads to big award for Gilbert Adum

    2 September 2016

    Gilbert Adum, co-founder of Save the Frogs Ghana, won one of this year's Whitley Awards and will receive a grant of £ 35.000 to continue his efforts for the conservation of frogs in Ghana. In 2012, Gilbert already received a young leaders grant from the Joke Waller Hunter Initiative (JWHI), which is managed by Both ENDS.


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    Paul Engel new Chair of the Board of Both ENDS

    1 September 2016

    As of today, 1 September 2016, Paul Engel is Chair of the Board of Both ENDS. During his professional life Paul has always been seeking to contribute to global sustainable and inclusive development. His experience and knowledge of the field in which Both ENDS works therefore is of great added value.


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    Worrying new developments around Barro Blanco

    30 August 2016

    Three days after the first homes were flooded as a consequence of the Barro Blanco dam, the government of Panama signed an agreement about this dam with a number of representatives of the Ngäbe-Bugle people. The affected communities however have still not been involved in the process. Both ENDS is worried about these developments. 


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    Art as a powerful messenger: music from the Pantanal

    16 August 2016

    10 songs: that is the result of a 4 day long, 450 km boat trip through the Pantanal with 36 people. The project Pantanal Poética sought and found a new way to look at the Pantanal, a valuable but threatened nature reserve on the border of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.


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    India terminates bilateral investment treaties (BITs)

    11 August 2016

    Recently, India has terminated its bilateral investment treaties (BIT) with 57 countries, including the Netherlands. This means Dutch companies in India, and Indian companies in the Netherlands, can no longer make use of the controversial arbitration procedures called ISDS. According to Burghard Ilge from Both ENDS, India's action is a step in the right direction. However it is a missed opportunity that the Dutch government did not agree with this termination. This way, old investments stay protected for 15 years under the former BIT.


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    2015: A year of change

    1 August 2016

    For Both ENDS, the year 2015 marked an ending and a new beginning. It was the last year of the Communities of Change and the Ecosystem Alliance. The Fair, Green and Global Alliance also came to a close in its current form at the end of 2015. But the end of these programmes certainly does not mean the work will stop; what has been built up in the past five years will be continued within the new partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have already started in 2016.


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    Green and fair palm oil: truth or a fairy tale?

    14 July 2016

    Palm oil production is widely associated with land grabs, human rights violations, large scale monoculture and severe environmental damage. Positive examples in the palm oil sector are rarely highlighted, but fortunately they do exist. Companies like Musim Mas and Bumitama in Indonesia are leading a much needed shift to a more environmentally and socially responsible way of palm oil production. Recently, Ms. Lim Sian Choo, Head of Corporate Secretarial Services and of Corporate Social Responsibility of Bumitama was in the Netherlands for an informal meeting organised by AidEnvironment and Both ENDS. Representatives from the private sector, NGOs and government were also present to discuss concrete steps taken by Bumitama to achieve sustainability in real time.  


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    Dutch and German development banks discuss Barro Blanco project in Panama

    6 July 2016

    Representatives of the Dutch and the German development banks (FMO and DEG) are in Panama today to discuss the future of the controversial Barro Blanco project with the government. Last May, the locks of the dam were closed to test the dam, in complete breach of all previous agreements. Part of the surrounding land is now flooded and some residents might soon have to be evacuated. Both ENDS, together with seven other organisations sent a letter to the directors of the two banks, urging them to assume their responsibilities as investors in the project.


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    United States Senate asks the World Bank to maintain safeguards

    13 June 2016

    The United States Senate has sent a letter to the US Treasury, calling for better enforcement of the World Bank’s social and environmental rules. These rules, the so called ‘safeguards’, are meant to prevent the World Banks projects from causing social and environmental damage. But these safeguards are not always adhered to, and are likely to become even weaker as the Bank’s Board is currently revising them. Therefore, Pieter Jansen from Both ENDS, together with different partners from civil society organisations from all over the world, informed Republicans as well as Democrats about the negative consequences of the investments of the World Bank on local communities. Successfully, as the letter shows.


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    Indigenous land submerged by illegal closure of dam

    2 June 2016

    On Tuesday 24th of May the locks of the Barro Blanco dam in the Tabasará river in Panama, which is partly financed by the Dutch development bank FMO, were closed. This is in complete discord with the previous agreements between the Panamanian government and the leadership of the indigenous communities. Last august these parties had agreed that the reservoir of the dam would not be filled until a new agreement had been reached which includes all affected parties. According to the Panamanian government and the company Genisa the present filling of the dam is only a test. But this ‘test’ means that the water will rise 26 meters above the predicted future level of water. 


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    A land without trees is like a People without hope

    30 May 2016

    “5 million hectares in the Niger desert has been transformed into a lush landscape, where trees flourish, crops prosper and livestock thrives!” dr.Abasse Tougiane exclaims enthusiastically. “This is an area larger than the Netherlands!” We are present at the lecture about the successful initiative to regreen Niger, given by Abasse and his colleague Toudou Adam at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The room is almost completely full; obviously not only officials of Foreign Affairs, but also scientists, delegates from NGO’s and representatives from the private sector are interested in the subject. The question on everyone’s mind is: ‘how can this be so successful where an initiative such as the Great Green Wall so sadly failed?

     


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    Local leaders want Dutch effort for sustainable palm oil production

    19 May 2016

    Over the past 15 years the production of palm oil has increased enormously, and not without reason: palm oil, pressed from the fruit of the oil palm, is cheap and is used in many different products. It is processed in ice cream, chocolate, margarine and sauces, but also in personal care products and cosmetics such as lipstick, detergent, toothpaste, soap and biofuel. Unfortunately, the large demand for palm oil has quite some negative side effects: large-scale deforestation, pollution, 'land grabbing' and above all human rights violations are common practice in countries where palm oil is produced.


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    Arrest of DESA staff member for murder of Berta Cáceres seems last straw for FMO

    13 May 2016

    The Dutch development bank FMO and the Finnish FinnFund announced this week that they are seeking ‘a responsible and legal exit’ from the Agua Zarca project in Honduras. Last week, it was reported that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the murder of human rights activist Berta Cáceres, who opposed the project for many years. One of those arrested is the manager for social and environmental affairs of DESA, the company implementing the Agua Zarca project. Because the company is a direct client of FMO and FinnFund, the banks consider the arrest good reason to take action. 


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    Kick-off meeting for Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action!

    25 April 2016

    This week more than thirty representatives from organisations from all over the world are coming to Amsterdam. What do they have in common and why do they meet? They all work – in their own contexts – on sustainable development, the environment, protecting human rights or specifically on gender equality and women’s rights. And they are all somehow connected to the three organisations that work with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in ‘GAGGA’, the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action. 


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    Honduran Indigenous activists visit Europe to call for action

    20 April 2016

    From April 19 to May 5 a delegation of four Indigenous Lenca activists from Honduras will be visiting five European countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Spain) to engage with Members of Parliament, policy makers and NGOs, discuss with financiers, join national protests at financiers and talk to media and the general public about the repression and impunity in their country. The main goal of the delegation’s visit is to stop the involvement of these countries in the Agua Zarca projects and other projects impacting the indigenous Lenca people in Honduras.On March 2, 2016, Berta Cáceres, the internationally-renowned Honduran human rights and environment defender and Lenca indigenous leader, was murdered, after leading for several years the struggle against a hydroelectric project along the Gualcarque River, also known as the Agua Zarca Project. 


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    Woodsmoke and Leafcups: into the heart of India

    29 March 2016

    It’s hard to imagine that in our modern world communities exist who live in remote, inaccessible areas where their lives are dependent on what nature brings them. However, many of these communities still exist, for example in India. The Durwa-community in India is one of the many indigenous communities that struggles to survive in increasingly challenging conditions. Our colleague Madhu Ramnath describes their day to day struggle in his recent publication ‘Woodsmoke and Leafcups’. The book illustrates how he and his wife were taken in by the Durwa-community. Madhu describes the daily practices of life in the village, their traditions and rituals, their close social ties but also the immense challenges that face the village today. 


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    FMO’s suspension of activities in Honduras is just the first step

    16 Maart 2016

    After the second shocking murder of an indigenous rights activist in Honduras in less than two weeks the Dutch development bank, FMO, and the Finish development bank, FinnFund, announced a suspension of all their operations in Honduras. They declare that they will no longer engage in new projects or disbursements in the country, including in new disbursements in the Agua Zarca Project. 


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    New book 'Rethinking Bilateral Trade Agreements' launched today

    16 March 2016

    In 1959, Germany and Pakistan signed the first Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) in the world. Without knowing, they marked a new era as many countries have followed their example since then. Currently, the international legal system that governs international investment flows consists of about 3000 BITs and other international investment agreements (IIAs). While originally these treaties were thought to be beneficial for the investor and the host state in terms of economic growth, increased foreign investment and development, many host states have suffered negative consequences instead of benefiting from them. 


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    Haste makes waste

    7 March 2016

    PRESS RELEASE: Dutch dredgers ignore human rights in Suez Canal expansion

     

    The Dutch government and the Dutch dredging companies involved in the Suez Canal expansion failed to consider the adverse impact of their activities would have on both human rights and the environment. These are the findings of SOMO and Both ENDS in their research report ‘Dredging in the Dark’. Four companies worked day and night to dredge 200 million m3 of sand in a record-breaking time of nine months, which negatively affected local residents. Financial risks were covered by the Dutch export credit insurance company Atradius DSB, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Finance.


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    Brave human rights defender Berta Cáceres murdered!

    5 March 2016

    We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Berta Cáceres, who was murdered in her own home last week. Berta was the driving force behind the ‘Consejo Civico de Organizaciones Populares e Indigenas de Honduras’ (COPINH), a network of Honduran civil society organisations standing up for the rights of indigenous communities in the country. This attack once again proves that these rights are virtually non-existent in Honduras. We share the fear of many in and outside the region that this assassination will further worsen the situation of local communities.


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    How effective are the complaints mechanisms of development banks?

    19 February 2016

    Development banks such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the German DEG and the Dutch FMO have some crucial similarities: they operate with public money, and their ultimate goal is to fight poverty and promote development. But in practice, 'development' seems to be a broad concept, as there are many people that do not profit from the projects these banks invest in. On the contrary, large groups of people are often faced with negative consequences of the investments of development banks. Under pressure from civil society organisations, including Both ENDS, a number of development banks set up a complaint desk for those that are adversely affected.

     


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    Letter to Dutch Parliament: Sustainable agriculture is the future

    21 January 2016

    Today, 800 million (almost 1 billion!) people around the world suffer from acute hunger. Add to that the almost two billion people who do not have access to even a minimum of healthy and nutritious food, and the way in which food production currently causes deforestation, erosion, pollution and climate change, and it’s clear why it’s time to do things differently! The Dutch government has set itself the goal of tackling this problem thoroughly and food security is one of the focus areas of the Netherlands’ development cooperation policy. Both ENDS shares that ambition, but feels that the government’s approach could be much better and more future-proof.


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    Come to the Food Otherwise conference!

    Friday 12 and Saturday 13 February

    The first Voedsel Anders (Food Otherwise) conference in February 2014 was visited by more than 800 people. And that literally gave everyone the taste for more! So this year, the second Voedsel Anders conference is to be held. The conference is the initiative of the Voedsel Anders movement, which consists of organisations and active citizens who are engaged in a different way in changing the food system and making it sustainable. Karin van Boxtel from Both ENDS is involved in organising the conference.


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    Build on the best and learn when things go wrong

    Side event on Climate Finance on COP 21 Paris.

    One of the side events Both ENDS and partners will host at the COP 21 in Paris, will touch the issue of local access to Climate Finance. Only if CSOs and local communities are really involved in the design of projects, we can ensure that climate investments meet social and environmental safeguards. See the official invitation below and also find more information about our other side-events during the Climate Change COP

     

     


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    Coal financing deal has more holes than a sieve

    23 November 2015

    After nearly two years of discussions, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries have reached an agreement on reducing their support to some coal plants through their export credit agencies (ECAs). The agreement comes a day after the G20 has reiterated its willingness to reduce inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and only 12 days before the start of COP21, the climate change conference. The agreement, which takes effect in 2017, still allows the most efficient “ultra-supercritical” plants, and less efficient plants in the very poorest countries.


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    Not soy, but music in the Brazilian Pantanal!

    7 november 2015

    The Pantanal, in the heart of South America, at the border of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, is the world’s largest freshwater wetland with an extremely rich biodiversity. Tourism and fishing are the main sources of income for the local population. This enormous natural area is invaluable for the water management of a large part of the continent, stretching all the way down to the Argentinian La Plata area, some 1,500 kilometres away. The area faces many threats and Both ENDS therefore already started actively supporting local organisations striving to protect the Pantanal in 1994.

     


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    Can RSPO help prevent future forest fires in Indonesia?

    October 29th 2015

    For the past two months, large parts of the rainforests on Sumatra, Kalimantan and other Indonesian islands have caught fire. Each year, parts of these forests are burnt to the ground to make room for palm oil production. An illegal and completely unacceptable practice. This year, though, the fires have become even more violent than usual as the rainy season has not yet arrived. A gigantic amount of smoke has even reached and affected neighboring countries Malaysia and Singapore, and serious respiratory problems – as well as casualties - among the local population are some of the direct consequences of these forest fires. Paul Wolvekamp of Both ENDS has been closely involved in the problematic issues surrounding the production of palm oil.


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    Financing of land restoration with respect for local land rights

    21 October 2015

    A week ago, the twelfth ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP12) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) took off in Ankara, Turkey. This convention originated from the Rio Conventions of 1992 and specifically focuses on desertification and land degradation. Karin van Boxtel of Both ENDS was there, and today, together with several other organizations that also attended the conference, she launches a document with recommendations for policymakers about the financing of the so-called ‘Land Degradation Neutrality’-concept, one of the many topics that fueled the discussions during the convention. So what is it, and why is it so important?


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    Recommendations for Minister Ploumen’s new commitments for sanitation and drinking water

    1 October 2015

    26 Civil society organisations (CSOs), including Both ENDS, have joined forces and sent a position paper containing 11 recommendations to Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The recommendations address access, sustainability, good governance and finance of clean drinking water and toilets.


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    Sound the alarm against TTIP on 10-10!

    1 October 2015

    On 10 October, we’ll sound the alarm against TTIP: the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. For years, the EU and the USA have negotiated behind closed doors to define the rules of the game for this bilateral treaty. Yet, it has only been a year since the Dutch are getting to know the consequences of TTIP.

     

    TTIP means the disruption of existing regulation for the environment, labour and safety. Moreover, the promised economic growth is an illusion. Those are the clear-cut conclusions of various scientific studies.


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    EU proposal for investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in TTIP does not hit the heart of the ISDS-problem

    24 September 2015

    Last week, the European Commission presented a proposal to reform the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which forms part of the draft text for Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA. Yet, it is fraught with problems, as those few adjustments do not even address the heart of the ISDS-problem.


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    What do bilateral investment treaties actually offer us?

    24 September 2015

    Thanks to the negotiations about TTIP, the public debate about bilateral investment treaties (BITs) is slowly underway. Especially the ‘Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism’ (ISDS) of TTIP threatens to lower the norms to protect people and the environment. BITs make use of very controversial arbitrage systems (ISDS), which enable investors to bypass the national court to sue governments for their national policies and laws.


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    Fat broiler chicken, made possible by The Netherlands

    16 September 2015

    Why is Dutch public money used to sponsor the world’s largest chicken factory farm in Ukraine , when we don’t even accept the production of broiler chicken on our own soil? That was the central parliamentary question raised by the Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren) in August 2012, just after Both ENDS and its Ukrainian partner NECU published the report Dutch money, strange meat. Now, three years later, the factory farms of Myronivsky Hliboproduct(MHP) keep expanding. And the massive slaughtering of more than 300 million chickens a year is still made possible by the Dutch tax payer through multilateral financial institutions and Dutch export credits.

     


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    Both ENDS and partners inspire during World Water Week in Stockholm

    1 September 2015

    'Water for development' was the topic of the annual World Water Week (WWW), which was held last week in Stockholm for the 25th time. Thirza Bronner, Sanderijn van Beek and Cindy Coltman of Both ENDS were present, together with partners Serah Munguti of ‘Nature Kenya’ in Kenya, and Suu Lam from the ‘Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD)’ in Vietnam. In light of this year’s theme, Both ENDS decided to invite these two outspoken women leaders to this conference to bring strong civil society voices to the table. They took part in a roundtable session that was marked by enthusiastic participation of policy makers, donors and NGOs. During the session, Munguti and Lam told us about their organisational objectives, their experiences and how ‘water for development’ translates into their practice.


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    Press release by 17 NGO's: World Bank should strengthen its rules!

    5 August 2015

    This week, Both ENDS, together with 16 other environmental and human rights organisations from around the world issued a press release in response to the draft version of the ‘Safeguard policies’ of the World Bank. These are social and environmental criteria that a project must meet before it can be eligible for World Bank funding. An earlier draft version, released in July 2014, was strongly criticized by academics, experts from the United Nations, several banks and civil society organisations, because according to them the bank’s rules are becoming much too weak.


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    Our Indian partner Gram Swaraj wins award for ‘Peoples Parliament’

    5 August 2015

    We have good news from our partner organisation Gram Swaraj in India! In light of the Ecosystem Alliance India Programme, Both ENDS and the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) have nominated Gram Swaraj for the ‘Paul K. Feyerabend Award – A World of Solidarity is Possible’. This organization is committed to fighting for the rights of tribal communities in rural India. Due to increased mining and other industrial activities in India, the culture, living environment and overall existence of such communities are being threatened.


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    A review of 2014 in our new annual report!

    3 August 2015

    For Both ENDS, 2014 was a year of both looking back and ahead. We achieved valuable results with projects we have been working on for many years. At the same time, we also started a number of promising new activities. Together with our partners, we worked on more than 40 projects linked to the topics land, water and capital flows.

     

     


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    Major funder of coal projects becomes implementing partner in Green Climate Fund

    8 July 2015

    More than 20 NGOs co-signed a statement expressing their concern on the accreditation of Deutsche Bank as implementing partner of the Green Climate Fund. The signatories, including Both ENDS are disappointed about the lack of transparency of the accreditation.

     


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    Down with the Greek debt!

    23 June 2015

    These days, government leaders of the Eurozone meet again to discuss the Greek debt crisis. It is all or nothing; Greece’s future hangs by a thread. Greece cannot possibly meet its payment obligations, so the only way to help the country back on its feet is debt cancellation. Such is the view of a large number of organisations in Europe, including Both ENDS. Wiert Wiertsema of Both ENDS explains why.


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    Brazilian government should protect activists against intimidation

    17 June 2015

    The International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) in Geneva has announced that the Brazilian government should take measures to guarantee the security of members of the Forum Suape Social Environmental Space, and of national activists in general, against intimidation from third parties. The ISHR has issued a statement about this after Forum Suape member and attorney Dr. Conceição Lacerda (photo) reported she had been harassed by security guard members of the Industrial and Harbor Complex of Suape (CIPS).


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    Article OneWorld with Paul Wolvekamp: sustainable palm oil is race against time

    17 June 2015

    On June 3rd, the third European roundtable of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) took place. This is a worldwide initiative with a focus on making the production chain of palm oil sustainable. Apart from being Both ENDS’ deputy director, Paul Wolvekamp is also a board member of RSPO. OneWorld held an interview with him. “It is important to collectively take responsibility. Everybody has to contribute.”


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    Documentary on Indian river by our partner

    9 June 2015

    The Cauvery, a large river that runs through west and southeastern India, is home to a varied and vibrant wildlife and communities. The video documentary team of Dusty Foot Productions had initially been working on a research project on wildlife – mainly otters – of the Cauvery. While documenting the vibrant and diverse ecosystem around the river, the Dusty Foot team however realised that it could not ignore the problems that were present in the area: illegal gill netting, sand mining and the construction of mini hydels (hydroelectric power plants).The story about the Cauvery’s wildlife could therefore not be told without also focusing on the negative effects of industrial projects on the environment.


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    More than 130 NGO's call upon the WTO to secure access to pharmaceutical products for least developed countries

    8 June 2015

    Yesterday, a coalition of more than 130 civil society organisations from all over the world called upon the member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to agree to a permanent exemption from the WTO rules on intellectual property rights for the least developed countries in the world. A group of about 20 NGOs (including Both ENDS) took the initiative for this letter, which was coordinated by the Third World Network. On June 9th and 10th the WTO Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Council) will meet and although the agenda of this meeting is still secret, it is expected that this request will be discussed.

     


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    'Trade is War': Yash Tandon on the impact of global free trade and the geopolitcs behind TTIP

    8 June 2015

    On June 3rd at De Balie in Amsterdam, ‘angry old man’ Yash Tandon presented his new book ‘Trade is War: The West’s War Against the World’ – a new perspective in the debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the controversial trade agreement which the EU is currently negotiating with the US. In Europe, opponents of TTIP are mainly concerned about transparency, ever-increasing corporate power and the impact on the environment. But what does the treaty imply for North-South relations and what are the geopolitical dynamics behind it?


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    FMO did not follow its own rules in financing Barro Blanco dam

    1 June 2015

    Dutch development bank FMO did not sufficiently take into account the rights of the local population and effects on the environment before approving a $ 25 million loan for the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama. This is not in accordance with FMO’s own standards. This was revealed in the long-awaited report by the independent complaints mechanism (ICM) of the FMO and the German development bank DEG, released on May 29. The report was published in response to a complaint filed by the M-10, the movement representing the affected indigenous Ngöbe population, in May 2014. Both ENDS has been supporting the M-10 in its struggle against the dam for years, and was one of the organisations that supported the complaint.


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    Both ENDS co-hosts side event on climate finance accountability at UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn

    28 May 2015

    During the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference next week in Bonn, Both ENDS,Transparency International, Human Rights Watch and Carbon Market Watch will host the side event “Environmental and social accountability for results based finance - Lessons learned and ways forward’’. This event will discuss how lessons from International Financial Institutions can inform the design and operation of appropriate redress mechanisms for the Green Climate Fund and other private and public climate finance flows.


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    Trade is War: lecture and interview with Yash Tandon

    3 June in 'De Balie' Amsterdam, 20:00-22:00, free entrance

    The currently negotiated Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the EU (TTIP) is higly controversial and has ignited the public debate about the costs and benefits of globalisation to society at large. In the Netherlands, concerns are raised on transparency, the growing power of big companies and the consequences for the environment. But how should we view TTIP in the bigger picture around global free trade, the relation between the North and the South and the geopolitical dynamics behind free trade agreements? Yash Tandon addresses this and related subjects in his new book 'Trade is War – The West’s War Against the World', which he will present on the 3rd of June in Amsterdam. 


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    Dutch FMO pushed Panama to continue construction Barro Blanco dam

    18 May 2015

    The Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) has put pressure on the Panamanian government to proceed with the construction of the Barro Blanco dam. This was reported by the Dutch Newspaper ‘de Volkskrant’ on Monday the 18th of May. Construction works were suspended last February after the Panamanian environmental authority had found out that the company carrying out the construction – the Panamanian company Genisa – had violated environmental regulations and had failed to make proper arrangements with local Ngöbe communities. FMO is one of the investors in the project.


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    Proposed reforms of ISDS in TTIP definitely insufficient

    May 7th

    Earlier this week, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström presented a set of proposals for reforming investment protection standards and the dispute settlement mechanism ISDS (investor-to-state arbitration). The Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B), of which Both ENDS is a member, thinks that Malmström’s proposed adjustments are not far-reaching enough. They will not significantly reform the ISDS system. The organisation has published an analysis report on this.


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    Construction of Barro Blanco dam will be resumed

    6 May 2015

    Although the Panamanian government decided to suspend the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in February of this year, it now appears that construction will be resumed after all. This has been announced by the government on Monday May 4th. The contract with the original developer, Genisa, will most probably be terminated, and other project developers will be sought. However, according to representatives of the indigenous Ngöbe Buglé community, new developers will not solve the problem: the dam will inevitably damage their territory and surroundings. Out of protest, they left the roundtable dialogue with the Panamanian government which started in February with the aim to find a solution to the problem of the controversial dam.


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    The new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank must develop strong safeguards

    4 May 2015

    Currently, on the initiative of China, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is being set up. As the ‘Chinese alternative to the World Bank’, AIIB will focus on financing large-scale infrastructure projects in Asia. The bank promises to be ‘lean, clean and green’, or in other words: non-bureaucratic, non-corrupt and environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, civil society organisations fear there will be disastrous consequences for local populations and the environment, considering China’s poor track record in these areas. In a letter to AIIB and in a press release, our partner 'NGO Forum on ADB' calls on the bank to develop strong safeguards.


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    Both ENDS’ partner LEDARS wins award at World Water Forum!

    16 April 2015

    Our partner Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS) from Bangladesh has won third prize in the Water Showcase competition at the World Water Forum. We congratulate them with this magnificent result! Besides receiving a considerable sum of money, the award is an important recognition for LEDARS’ innovative approach. The seventh edition of the World Water Forum takes place in Daegu, South Korea.


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    The Pantanal, the world’s largest waterland, is under serious threat

    14 April 2015

    For several decades, Both ENDS has been closely following the developments in this large water area in the centre of South America. We work closely with organisations which aim to ensure that the local population knows about these developments and, if necessary, protect it from these changes. But why is this area both so special and important for the whole of South America? And what exactly is threatening this area? C. Cornell Evers, independent photographer and writer, spoke with Tamara Mohr of Both ENDS and Sander van Andel of IUCN to find answers. The result of this meeting is an interesting interview.


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    10 years after: 'Nam Theun 2 dam' has not delivered its promises

    3 April 2015

    Ten years after the start of the construction of the Nam Theun 2 dam in Central Laos, it is clear that this mega project has disastrous impacts on people and their environment. The project  - originally the flagship of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) - did not achieve its intended development goals. In a press release which was sent out this week, Both ENDS and partner organisations call on these multilateral banks to withdraw from large scale hydro dams such as Nam Theun 2. The dam, which became operational in 2010, has profound negative effects on local communities, while they do not benefit from it.


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    Come and join the lecture 'Hunting & gathering in the rainforest: for children, or not?'

    16 April 2015, 20:00 - 22:00

    The Rutu Foundation and Both ENDS will both organise a lecture about Opportunities for Forest Protection and Conservation of Native Culture in the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam.

    Indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes like the Negrito in the Philippines, the Penan in Sarawak and the Ghonds in India have a wealth of knowledge of the rainforest, their natural habitat, and biodiversity. The history of the Negrito tribe goes back at least 40.000 years. However, due to the construction of dams, plantations and deforestation, their livelihoods and the survival of their culture and traditions are at stake. For this reason, there is the risk of loss of their valuable knowledge of the rainforest and local biodiversity.


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    Conference against drought in Cancun: BE argues for better cooperation

    31 March 2015

    Recently the third scientific meeting of the UNCCD took place in Cancun, Mexico. This conference aims to bring scientists, policy makers and NGOs together to fight against drought, land degradation and desertification. Nathalie van Haren of Both ENDS was there as one of the few official representatives of NGOs. At the closing session she presented a statement that had been drawn up together with the other civil society organisations present.


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    Negotiating climate money in Korea

    26 March 2015

    What opportunities will the Green Climate Fund (GCF) offer countries like Indonesia and Ghana? What decisions must be made now so that the money from the fund will reach the places it was intended for in the future? Since the UN decided to set up the Green Climate Fund in 2011, Both ENDS and several other NGOs from developing countries have been aiming to influence the way the fund is organized. This week, the ninth board meeting of the GCF will be held in Songdo, South Korea. Just like at earlier board meetings, Both ENDS is represented, this time in the person of Leonie Wezendonk. Along with Titi Soentoro from the Indonesian advocacyorganisation Aksi! and Ken Kinney of the Development Institute in Ghana, she traveled to


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    Join the TTIP Debate at the Volkshotel in Amsterdam

    17 April 2015, 20:00 - 22:00

    By now, TTIP, the new EU-US free trade agreement, has become a hot topic in the Netherlands too. There has been heavy protest against this trade deal from civil society organisations, scientists, lawyers and civilians, who all have set off a ‘TTIP-alarm’. How much truth is there in their concerns about TTIP? What are the implications of TTIP for the Netherlands? If you are curious to find out the answers to these questions, then come to ‘The Big TTIP Debate: The debate about the free trade agreement between the EU and US’ on Friday evening April 17th. Several speakers will discuss with each other and with the audience about the above (and many more) questions.


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    Sengwer people evicted for controversial - World Bank funded - project in Kenya

    3 March 2015

    Under the pretext of a ‘Natural Resource Management Project’ funded by the World Bank, the Kenyan Forest Service has, again, started to forcibly evict the indigenous Sengwer people from their ancestral lands in the Kerangany Hills and to burn down their houses. This was documented on March 2nd, by a fact-finding team that was sent to the ground by the World Bank’s own inspection panel.

     


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    Groundbreaking local water law in Honduras

    27 February 2015

    The right to water is more important than economic gain. Last year, this has been defined by law in two municipalities in Honduras. Our partner organization ARCA worked long and hard to make this happen, but eventually succeeded. The ‘right to water’… what exactly does it entail in practice? Why is it so important, and why is this relatively small success still a true milestone? Sanderijn van Beek of Both ENDS was involved in this story.


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    Press release Both ENDS and SOMO: construction of Barro Blanco dam finally suspended

    11 February 2015

    Following years of community protest the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama is finally suspended. This was publicly announced by Panama’s Environmental Agency ANAM yesterday. The suspension of the project has been a request of the Ngöbe community, represented by the Movimiento 10 de Abril (M-10), for years. The dam is projected to flood homes, schools, and religious, archaeological, and cultural sites in the indigenous traditional territory, and convert the Tabasará River from a running river to a stagnant lake ecosystem. The suspension of the project is just in time, as the dam’s construction is near to completion,

     


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    Minister Ploumen announces partnerships 2016-2020

    2 February 2015

    The past months, weeks and final hours were without a doubt exciting. Last Friday afternoon, the announcement finally came in: the proposals for partnerships that were submitted by Both ENDS, have both been approved by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are incredibly happy that we can bring this great news to our colleagues from Southern partner organisations, who are dedicated to making the world a better place to live in.


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    Broad opposition to the controversial investor-to-state-dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism

    22 January 2015

    Almost 150,000 organisations and individuals who participated in a public consultation on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) of the European Commission, made a strong statement. According to EU's own reporting, 97% does not want the controversial investor-to-state-dispute settlement (ISDS)-mechanism to be part of the trade deal. Worldwide, more than 3000 international investment agreements with ISDS exist,  of which the Netherlands has more than 90s - predominantly with developing countries. Many of these countries have suffered damage caused by ISDS. This has started to set off the alarm bells in Europe and should definetely also have consequences for the already existing agreements.


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    US Congress against weaker safeguards of World Bank

    22 December 2014

    After months of lobbying of a group of NGOs, including Both ENDS, the United States Congress has opposed weakening of the investment criteria, the so-called ‘safeguards’ of the World Bank. The Congress sent a letter to the US Treasury, stating that the Banks’ social and environmental criteria for investments should not be weakened and the Treasury should oppose this. This is a great success for civil society organisations from around the world - including Both ENDS – which have been working for years to maintain and even improve the current investment criteria of the World Bank.


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    Indonesian organisations: “Give the fish back to the people!”

    17 December 2014

    Sophia lives in a small village in Puncak, along the river Ciliwung, around 500 km upstream from Jakarta where it flows into the ocean. The river is her life: she drinks from it, cleans in it, cooks with it and uses it to water the crops on her small plot. But many others want to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the cool climate as well. The forests and land surrounding Sophia’s village are being cleared for villa’s, restaurants, tea plantations and new settlements. The increased amount of waste and a lack of sanitation have polluted the river. For Sophia it’s getting harder and harder to find any clean water nowadays. People in the villages further down the stream are complaining about the plastic waste that ends up on their riverbanks, the reduced


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    Cherry on the pie for CASA's 10th anniversary

    9 December 2014
    Our Brazilian partner 'Socio-Environmental Fund CASA' has its 10th aniversary coming up in 2015.  Though in the first 8 years it funded nearly 700 projects in 10 countries of South America, it is only recently gaining wide recognition in Brazil. A large Brazilian Funder - Socioenvironmental Fund CAIXA, which is part of a Brazilian Federal Bank but has virtually no experience in grantmaking to grassroots organisations - approached CASA to learn more about its experience in this field. Over the last year, CAIXA saw CASA's ability to manage large amounts of money from big funders and to make it available to inexperienced groups in South America. They decided to start a partnership with CASA, which culminated in the signing of a 2-year contract for 1,25 milion euro's on December 8 of this year.

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    Bar Association listens to local people in Suape

    11 November 2014

    While in The Netherlands November 10 was cold and grey, a heated discussion took place in Suape, Brazil. On this day, local residents of the area – which has been claimed by the port of Suape – gathered for a meeting with the chairman of the Bar Association (BA) of Pernambuco, Mr. Pedro Henrique Alves Reynaldo. Though it is likely that the Bar Association will file a complaint against the port authority of Suape, a clear picture of the situation will first have to be constructed. For this reason as many people as possible were invited to share their stories.


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    Dutch Cabinet slowly taking steps towards sustainable palm oil and soy

    11 November 2014

    On Wednesday November 5th, Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and Environment, Mansveld, and Minister for Agriculture, Dijksma, issued a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives. This letter was their reaction to the ‘Advice Sustainability Food Sector’, which was drafted at the request of the Cabinet by the Commission Sustainability Issues Biomass – or Commission Corbey in short. Paul Wolvekamp of Both ENDS is member of this commission and gave his opinion on the letter.


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    Local people in Suape supported by Bar Association

    5 November 2014

    Finally, some good news from Suape, Brazil! The Fórum Suape, an association of affected local people, has gained support from the official Bar Association in Pernambuco. The human rights commission of the Bar Association has decided that there is enough reason to file a complaint against the Suape Port Authority. On November 10, the first public hearing will be held to give impetus to the case.


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    Soy Barometer 2014: the Netherlands is lagging behind!

    30 October 2014

    The Netherlands does not reach target for responsible soy


    The Dutch Soy Coalition (consisting of eight development and environmental organisations*) finds that in 2013 only a quarter of the 2.4 million tons of soy used in the Netherlands is responsibly produced. The social or environmental impacts of the production of the other three quarters of Dutch soy imports are not at all clear or accounted for. The target set by the Netherlands is to purchase 100 percent responsible soy by 2015.  This will be almost impossible to achieve at this point.


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    Wiert Wiertsema in 'Reporter' on Atradius DSB, Van Oord and the port of Suape

    24 October 2014

    The port of Suape in Brazil is currently being expanded and dredged, with damaging implications for the local population and environment. The Dutch dredging company Van Oord executes a large proportion of the dredging-work, supported by export credit insurance from the Dutch export credit insurance agency Atradius DSB. Correspondent Katy Sherriff has made several reports in the area, which will be aired on Dutch radio in ‘Reporter’ on Sunday. Her story will be accompanied by live commentary from the studio, from Dutch political party PvdA-member Jan Vos and Both ENDS’ own Wiert Wiertsema.


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    Local organisations on the daily practice of soy and palm oil

    Conference in The Hague, 30 October 2014

    Many of our food products contain palm oil and soy in one form or another. To meet the growing demand, they are being cultivated on an increasingly large scale. This has unfortunately been the cause of many problems. Deforestation, environmental pollution and ‘land-grabbing’ are rampant in South-East Asia and South America. Of course, these paractices should stop. But what are the most sustainable, ethical, and – above all – feasible ways to achieve this? And how do you get all parties to cooperate? To explore the answers to these questions, the Ecosystem Alliance (Both ENDS, IUCN NL and Wetlands International) is organising a conference on October 30.


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    Fair compensation for mandatory relocation with aid of partners Both ENDS

    15 October 2014

    Large-scale plans made by governments or companies can often have profound effects on small communities and their environment. Countless people have to move if a dam is built, forests are cleared for new highways, airports or palm oil plantations. Promised compensation is often incomplete or not given at all. For local communities, objecting to such plans is not easy. Nevertheless a community in Uganda has managed to receive fair compensation from the government. Together with the organisations NAPE and AFIEGO, partners of Both ENDS and IUCN NL, the community has persuaded the government to buy new land for those who are forced to move.


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    FARN’s hard work results in round table meeting

    7 October 2014

    Whenever deforestation is mentioned, most people will automatically think of the Amazon rainforest. In Argentina, however, the disappearance of its forests has also become a pressing problem. In the province of Salta, for example, the deforestation level is the highest. Between 1998 and 2006, the amount of lost hectares of forests has doubled there. The culprit to this problem is the country’s agricultural activities.


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    ‘Shifting Grounds’, a one-of-a-kind project

    1 October 2014

    There are several reasons why Remi Kempers sees Bangladesh as his second home. There, he has been working on water projects and is a fervent advocate of our ‘Negotiated Approach’. On numerous occasions, he has appeared on Bangladeshi national television in programs about water governance. Remi will soon be collaborating with the Dutch Technical University Delft, the Technical University of Dhaka (BUET), SaciWATERS and local CSOs to start a new, one-of-a-kind project. This project will be financed by the Dutch NWO, a research council that funds scientific research, in light of their program ‘Urbanizing Deltas of the World’. It focuses on the delta of the bold Ganges river in Bangladesh and India.


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    Suape, Brazil: a stone in the pond

    23 September 2014

    The successes of Both ENDS’ work are usually the result of prolonged efforts. The same goes for our endeavours in Suape, Brazil. This week, Wiert Wiertsema and a representative from partner-organisation SOMO took off to Brazil to support another milestone. Around thirty parties from different states in the country, including environmental organisations, lawyers and of course, representatives of the Forum Suape as well, gathered in the port. This shows that the social movement that has risen as a reaction to the disastrous expansion of the port and industrialisation is also slowly taking shape elsewhere in Brazil. The saga of Suape seems to have become a stone cast in the pond of Brazilian environmental politics.


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    African NGOs want better complaints mechanism at the African Development Bank

    17 September 2014

    The African Development Bank (AfDB), which was founded in 1964 to stimulate economic development in Africa, has had a complaints mechanism since 2006. Individuals who have somehow been affected by projects financed by the AfDB can make an appeal to this mechanism. Yet, according to a large number of African and international organisations, this system has its weaknesses and there is much to improve. How exactly? Well, the organisations have recently presented their recommendations to the AfDB. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS coordinated this process.


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    Both ENDS criticizes lack of transparency EIB

    15 September 2014

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a worrying change in their policy on transparency. One of the changes would result in EU citizens no longer being able to access internal EIB documents, even if they are of public interest.   Several campaigners, including Both ENDS’ Pieter Jansen, have therefore urged the the Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem to speak out against these plans on the next board meeting on September 16th.


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    Now in English: The strength of lobbying and advocacy

    15 september 2014

    The publication ‘The strength of lobbying and advocacy’ is now available in English. This makes the information accessible to everyone who tries to improve the policies of companies, investors and governments, anywhere in the world. The booklet contains 10 success factors as well as policy recommendations which are based on the experiences of the Fair, Green and Global Alliance.


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    New headquarters

    2 September 2014

    Our West-African partners in Integral Water Resource Management are rapidly taking steps forward. In Lomé (Togo) they have founded their own regional headquarters. The proud name of the center is ‘AfriwaterCoP’ ( Community of Practice). They strive to bring together stakeholders such as farmers, fishermen, companies and authorities for fair and sustainable use of river water. Slowly but surely they also convince more and more government officials that all these stakeholders should be able to think along and take part in the decision process.  This should be adopted in rules and regulations of regional and national law in the concerning provinces and states.


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    Out now! Groundbreaking book on climate changes’ impact on water and its solutions, with contribution of Both ENDS

    26 August 2014

    The impacts of climate change are largely mediated by water. Changes in precipitation and glacial melt patterns, variations in river flow, increased occurrence of droughts and floods, and sea level rise all impact both urban and rural communities in developed, emerging, and especially developing countries. The  book:'Adaptation to Climate Change through Water Management: Capacity, Equity and Sustainability' presents  evidence  of  the  emerging  wealth  of  knowledge  and experience on adaptation to climate change from across the world. It identifies common barriers and bridges for local adaptation to climate change through water resources management, looking at adaptive capacity, equity, and sustainability.


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    Success: The Mono river (Togo, Benin) now has a 'River Basin Authority'

    23 July 2014

    Signed by ministers of Togo and Benin, the transboundary Mono River will now have an institutional structure to discuss the management of this basin: the Mono River Basin Authority (MBA). Based on our Negotiated Approach, our partner JVE has from the start successfully engaged in the set up of this authority, advocating for the inclusion of all stakeholders in the future decision-making processes of the MBA. 


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    Juncker against controversial dispute settlement mechanism ISDS as part of EU-US trade agreement TTIP

    17 July 2014

    Press release

     

    Just before being elected president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker from Luxemburg, has spoken out against ISDS. The ‘Investor to State Dispute Settlement’ would be a part of the proposed EU-US trade agreement TTIP. It would deal with conflicts between investors that feel disadvantaged and states they hold responsible. Those conflicts would not be taken to regular courts but to a special dispute settlement tribunal.  Mr Juncker is clearly opposed to such a provision.


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    Ministers, save the Mekong!

    25 June 2014

    The Mekong River - one of the most important rivers in Asia - is under great threat. Laos, Thailand and Cambodia want to build eleven large hydropower dams on the river’s mainstream. These dams would disrupt the river and jeopardise the lives of millions of people who depend on it for their livelihood. On June 26, Ministers of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam will gather on a meeting of the Mekong River Commission Council (MRC) in Bangkok. The MRC is responsible for the management of the river basin.This is why  the ‘Save the Mekong coalition’ – a coalition of NGO’s - has issued a statement, calling upon the Prime Ministers to work together to address the economic and ecological threats  these dams will pose.


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    No to export financing for coal

    19 June 2014

    Global public support for coal is decreasing. Obama has pledged to stop American support for public financing of  new coal plants outside the U.S., the World Bank has announced to phase out support for coal projects and some large private banks are withdrawing from fossil fuels. But what about export credit agencies (ECAs)?  Until now, ECAs have not withdrawn from coal projects. On the contrary: while other investors gradually cease their support to coal projects, export credit agencies are investing in coal more than ever. On June 11, an alliance of 50 NGOs, including Both ENDS, published a recommendation to the OECD calling for an end to export credit support for coal.


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    FMO investigates complaint about Barro Blanco dam, Panama

    16 June 2014

    For the very first time, the expert panel of the independent complaints mechanism of the Dutch development bank FMO will handle a complaint. It was filed on May 5 by residents of the area where the Barro Blanco dam is currently being built. These people form part of the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé tribe. They feel that FMO has not adhered to its own social and environmental standards when they lent 25 million US dollars to build the dam. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS has been keeping a close eye on the situation.


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    Jatropha: Boom and Bust of a Miracle Crop

    16 June 2014

    At the beginning of this century, Jatropha Curcas made its name as the miracle tree. Jatropha was easy to grow in dry areas, the seeds could be used for biofuel and since Jatropha trees - like all trees and plants - absorb CO2, growing the tree would contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In one stroke the solution to climate change, energy scarcity and underdevelopment would be within reach. Investors lined up to invest in large-scale Jatropha cultivation, especially in Africa. Ten years later, the miracle turned out to be a mirage.

     


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    From polluted wetland to botanical garden in Cape Town

    22 May 2014

    This week the brand new South-African website ‘EMG’s Untold Stories’ was launched. On the website, author Leonie Joubert gives a voice to different people who work to improve their environment, together with the South African organization ‘Environmental Monitoring Group’ (EMG). Each of the four stories collected by Joubert focuses on a different aspect of the work EMG does to ensure that South African natural resources are managed in a sustainable and equitable way. The online book has been published as part of the Both ENDS’s project ‘An Untold Story’, which gives human rights and environmental organisations from four different corners of the world a chance to tell their story about the impact the global economy has on their local environment. 

     


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    Vote in favour of fair and sustainable trade on 22 May

    19 May 2014

    On 22 May European citizens will head to the polls to vote for the European Parliament. The outcome will have a major impact on the policies emanating from Brussels. These elections are not just about the choice for or against Europe, but about what kind of Europe we want. Trade and investment policy is an important part of the European project. Up till now however, this policy has not served people and planet. Curious which politicians will commit themselves to a fair and sustainable European trade and investment policy? Take a look at the list of candidates for the European Parliament who have signed the pledge of the Alternative Trade Mandate alliance.

     

     


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    Forest products and green growth in Southeast Asia

    15 May 2014

    All over the world countries conclude agreements with each other in order to receive access to foreign markets. The Member States of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)* want to establish a common market in 2015 to promote economic growth. Officially ASEAN has formulated the goal of making this growth as sustainable, fair and inclusive as possible. However, in many cases local communities that depend on natural resources such as forests will be the victims of this agreement.

     


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    Indigenous people file complaint against FMO for funding of Barro Blanco Dam, Panama

    7 May 2014

    Residents belonging to the indigenous Ngäbe-Bugle people living on the traditional indigenous territory surrounding the Barro Blanco dam in Panama, have filed a complaint against the Dutch development bank FMO. The bank has invested $ 25 million in the dam that is currently under construction in the river Tabasará. The Ngäbe-Bugle blame FMO for not adequately following its own social and environmental standards. FMO also violates international agreements relating to indigenous peoples. For Both ENDS, Anouk Franck is closely following FMO’s activities.


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    Partner Both ENDS receives Goldman Environmental Prize for work on Sochi

    1 May 2014

    The prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the Green Nobel Prize, was awarded on Monday, April 28, to six activists from around the world who are committed to a better local environment. One of the winners was Suren Gazaryan, a Russian zoologist and activist. He received the prize for his campaign against illegal exploitation of protected forestland by the Russian government around Sochi. Gazarya works for EWNC, an organization that is supported by our partner organisation Bankwatch.

     


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    The Netherlands should assume its role as innovator

    29 April 2014

    A while ago our director Daniëlle Hirsch, along with Dutch Minister of Internal Affairs Lodewijk Asscher, chair of the board of The Broker Monika Sie Dhian Ho and director of The Broker Frans Bieckmann, formed the panel on ‘The Broker Day 2014’. Like the other panel members, she gave a speech in which she outlined her views on employment, inequality, the underlying macroeconomic problems and possible solutions. As we consider this speech worth reading, we’re happy to share it on our website.


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    Heated discussions during European election debate in Amsterdam

    24 April 2014

    During the election debate between ten candidate MEPs (Members of European Parliament) yesterday evening in the Brakke Grond in Amsterdam, several issues are highlighted. Candidates explain how their parties think about the use of biofuels, mandatory production criteria for clothing sold in the EU and on the approach to tax avoidance. All participants acknowledge that there are problems related to these issues, but they differ on their preferred solutions to these problems. Tempers start to run high when the free trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU (TTIP) is discussed.


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    The power of advocacy and influencing

    18 April 2014

    The construction of a dam causing floods and displacing the local population; small farmers unable to compete with large-scale farms;  workers forced to work under harsh conditions and for low wages. These are all examples of the impact activities by companies, governments and policy makers can have in the areas where the activities take place. How can companies, investors and governments be persuaded to change their policies? Based on 10 success factors, the Fair, Green & Global Alliance shares its experience in the booklet ‘The power of advocacy and influencing’.


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    Report questions use of tax money for facilitation of Russian gas

    9 April 2014

    The Netherlands and Europe are investing far too much in gas pipelines and storage facilities. The number of gas pipelines is already enough to meet the demand for gas. The planning and construction of pipelines (financed with European funds) that have to transport gas from Russia, Central Asia and North Africa to Europe and the Netherlands is getting out of hand. The current capacity for transport and storage in both the Netherlands and Europe is enough to meet European demand until 2050. Therefore, the 'gas hub' that was built for liquefied gas in Rotterdam is unnecessary. This is one of the conclusions of the report "The Price of Gas" that was commissioned by Both ENDS.


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    Ploumen: speak up for human rights at the World Bank!

    9 April 2014

    The U.S. is not always in the front line when it comes to the protection of human rights and the environment in developing countries, but there are exceptions. The Netherlands has recently joined the ‘climate initiative’ of President Obama, which aims at ending the public funding of coal plants. But the U.S. is going even further than that: under the ‘Appropriations Bill’, U.S. directors at international financial institutions have to vote against projects that support large dams and industrial logging or mining projects in tropical forests. We are calling on Dutch Minister Ploumen to follow the U.S. example!


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    Parliamentary questions about Bilateral Investment Treaties

    8 April 2014

    In March the Indonesian government announced that it will terminate the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the Netherlands as of July 1st, 2015 (for more information, see the press release of 24 March at the bottom of this post). Several organizations, including Both ENDS, have been raising questions about these controversial international trade agreements for a long time and think they should be drastically revised or even terminated. The Socialist Party and GreenLeft have asked parliamentary questions about the effects of these treaties following Indonesia’s decision. Both ENDS is curious about the answers to these parliamentary questions and about the consequences they will have for Dutch policy in this area.


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    Minister Ploumen regrets situation Barro Blanco

    8 April 2014

    The Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development regrets the fact that part of the Ngäbe-Buglé tribe is unhappy with the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in the river Tabasara in Panama. Ploumen said this in reply to parliamentary questions filed by Jasper van Dijk (SP). The Netherlands is involved in the construction of this controversial dam because of the loan provided by the Dutch development bank FMO. The minister does not have the intention of forcing the FMO to withdraw the loan, even though the basic human right of "free, prior and informed consent’ has been violated. A part of the Ngäbe tribe has not been informed before the plans were carried out. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS looks at the impact of the FMO loans.


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    Conference Mekong River fails to stop construction dams

    7 April 2014

    With an estimated  length of 4350 kilometers, the Mekong River is the seventh longest river in Asia. The Mekong basin also boasts the second highest level of biodiversity of any river system in the world, behind the Amazon. The richness of plants and animals in the basin has not even been fully discovered and described yet. The question, however, is whether this wealth can be sustained. The management of the river is in the hands of the Mekong River Commission (MRC). This commission includes representatives from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Netherlands supports the MRC and Dutch consultants are doing work commissioned by the MRC.


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    Saying NO! to free trade agreements

    2 April 2014

     

    Today, on the 2nd of April, activists from Africa and Europe are staging a protest action in front of the European Parliament in Brussels to make the voices of the poor and marginalised citizens heard. Holding banners and chanting slogans to the beat of djembe drums, they asked the African and European governments to prioritise peoples’ rights and interest in their trade deals and particularly, in the EU trade and development policies with Africa. Why do they protest at this particular moment and what is Burghard Ilge of Both ENDS doing there?


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    A green and fair recovery from the crisis?

    2 April 2014

    In the run up to the European elections of 22 May, the Fair, Green & Global Alliance is organizing a debate in which several Dutch party leaders for the European elections are challenged to answer the following questions.

     

    How will our continent look like in the near future and, above all, how do we want to improve Europe? What is the role of European trade policy and tax evasion? Can Europe emerge from the crisis fair and green? In short, what is the future of Europe?



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    EU Loan takes Tunisia from frying pan into fire

    28 March 2014

     

    The European Union wants to grant a EUR 300 million loan to Tunisia, under the guise of development assistance. This is a very bad idea, according to Both ENDS and other European and North-African civil society organisations.

     

    Around 85% of the loan would immediately be used to repay the already existing debts Tunisia has to the EU Member States and the European Investment Bank (EIB). These debts have been generated by the regime of dictator Ben Ali, but the common people of Tunisia -  already empoverished  - will have to meet the costs.


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    An edible forest in the Netherlands!

    27 March 2014

    Our first edible forest is a fact! On Saturday the 29th of March, the first Dutch ‘Analog Forestry food forest’ will be opened by Rich Forests (an initiative of Both ENDS and others)  together with Sustainsville on the Welna estate. With ‘analog forestry’, a method used by our Southern partners for years now, forests and forest landscapes are not only restored to their original condition, but enriched in such a way that they produce food products that can be used and sold by local residents.

     

     


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    Like Sochi, like Brazil

    20 March 2014

    Recently, the 'Environmental Watch on the Northern Caucasus "(EWNC), a Russian NGO supported by our partner Bankwatch, issued a report on the social and environmental impacts of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The EWNC strongly opposed the Olypics from the beginning and is now warning Brazil for the consequences of hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. A year ago, our partner Bankwatch organised a workshop ‘storytelling’ which was part of Both ENDS ' project ‘An Untold Story’. The workshop was attended by a large number of organisations in the Caucasus and Central Asia that Bankwatch supports, and EWNC was one of these.


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    Frozen Ukrainian millions in the Netherlands

    12 March 2014

    Hundreds of millions of euros from Ukraine found their way in recent years through Dutch letterbox companies, many of them registered at the Amsterdam Zuidas. The purpose: invisible and beneficial laundering of funds that lined the pockets of a handful of oligarchs in Ukraine by means of corruption and illegal practices - including the son of President Yanukovych. Fortunately, the Dutch government has now put a stop to this practice. Last week, Parliament decided to investigate suspicious Ukrainian assets and freeze them: a small triumph for Both ENDS and their partners!


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    Parliamentary questions about the construction of the Barro Blanco Dam in Panama

    3 March 2014

    Yesterday Jasper van Dijk, MP of the Socialist Party (SP), submitted written parliamentary questions to Minister Lilianne Ploumen for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation about the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama. The construction of this controversial dam continues despite violent protests in Panama against human rights violations and environmental damage. What does the Netherlands have to do with it? At the end of 2012 the SP also asked parliamentary questions about this issue. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS explains why.


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    The World Cup in my backyard

    28 February 2014

    We’re only a few months away from the start of the World Cup festivities. For a period of four weeks, starting mid-June, the eyes of the world will be focused on 12 Brazilian football stadiums in which it will be decided which country may call itself World Champion Football for the coming four years. However, for a large number of people, there is little to celebrate. During the preparations for the big event people are evicted from their land and expelled from their homes to make way for stadiums, hotels and infrastructure. These people will have to a way to try to build up a new life somewhere else, without being adequately compensated for their losses.


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    Aksi! Indonesian organisations at Board Meeting Green Climate Fund

    20 February 2014

    Currently,  the board members of the UN-backed Green Climate Fund (GCF) are meeting in Indonesia. It is the sixth board meeting since its establishment in 2011: the members, coming from 12 Western and 12 Southern countries, meet every three or four months to discuss what should be done with the huge sum of money (up to $ 100 billion a year!) that is going to be made available by the international community for climate projects in developing countries. Both ENDS, together with a group of delegates from various Southern organisations, has attended every board meeting so far.


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    Situation tense for indigenous Ngäbe people near Barro Blanco in Panama

    18 February 2014

    The construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama is entering the final stage. Project developer Genisa is planning to bring the dam into operation in May. The indigenous Ngäbe people that live in the area, a tribe of about two hundred thousand, are opposed to the construction of the dam. They have entrenched themselves in the areas where the building of the dam is being completed. All of them are afraid of the security forces, who acted with a lot of violence in the last confrontation.


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    Filing a complaint with the FMO

    14 February 2014

    Our own Dutch development bank FMO recently introduced a complaints mechanism. This means that anyone adversely affected by a project supported by the FMO may file a complaint.

     

    Amnesty International, Bank Track, Both ENDS and SOMO have contributed to the design of the complaints mechanism and have now issued a response to the final result.

     

    Anouk Franck of Both ENDS has provided input into the complaints mechanism and explains why it is so important for institutions to have a good complaints mechanism.


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    Africa on the Dutch IJssel River

    17 February 2014

    “I will not go!” Sena Alouka yells in the bus along the highway as we pass a desolate farm that is totally surrounded by bulldozers and soil that has been turned and ploughed. A familiar sight for most of the riders in the bus, which includes nine Africans, an Indonesian and a handful of Dutch people. Evictions and land expropriations are an almost daily occurrence in Africa and Indonesia. And then the whole group spontaneously chants: “I will not go! We will support you!”

     

     

     


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    Our African partners in water ‘software’ have arrived

    3 February 2013

    We welcome Dickens Kamugisha (AFIEGO), Sena Alouka (JVE Togo), Christian Hounkannou (JVE Benin), Ken Kinney (The Development Institute), Robert Kugonza (NAPE), Serah Munguti (Nature Kenya), Halinishi Yusuf (ELCI) and Abby Onencan (Nile Basin Discourse). They have all been working on participatory watermanagement in the countries they come from, and we've invited them to come to the Netherlands to see how they can join forces. 


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    US congress takes landmark decision for rivers and rights

    17 January 2013

    Today, we received some unexpected but positive news: the US congress has instructed the US government to oppose the construction of large dams through international financial institution from now on. The Congress also called for justice for the victims of human rights abuses as a result of the projects of these financial institutions.  The US will oppose any loan, grant, strategy or policy of such institutions supporting the construction of large hydroelectric dams, as defined by the World Commission on Dams.

     


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    Oil, water, justice and environment. The puzzle of Uganda

    16 January 2014

    Thirza and Remi are currently working on the first steps towards a more sustainable future in Uganda after the discovery of oil in 2006. The oil was found on different locations close to Lake Albert. About 6 to 8 million people, mostly fishers and farmers, are dependent on this region to survive and the biodiversity in this region is very rich. For example, 7 of the 10 most important bird species in Uganda brood in this area.


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    The polluter pays... but who pays the polluter?

    13 december 2013

    ‘The polluter pays’ is a good principle, but what about the institutions that financially support polluting companies and projects?  Shouldn’t banks, that are often major investors in unsustainable activities, take their responsibility and pay as well? In the end, these banks also cash in. Pieter Jansen of Both ENDS contributed to research about the ‘Green Credit Policy’ of Chines banks, executed by the Chinese NGO ‘Green Watershed’. Pieter Jansen of Both ENDS and Chen Yu of Green Watershed have launched the report 'Green Credit Footprints of Chinese Banks'.


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    Ugandan NGO gets prestigious Human Rights Award

    12 December 2013

    Congratulations to our brave colleagues from the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) from Uganda! At last, their work received official recognition, as on International Human Rights Day, NAPE was awarded a prestigious Human Rights Award by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), endorsed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).  To Frank Muramuzi, executive director of NAPE, the award is a tribute to the organisation’s long time work in fighting for the sustainable use of Uganda’s natural resources and the rights of communities affected by large scale development processes in the country.


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    Stephen Law from EMG, South-Africa: in memory of Mandela

    10 December 2013

    There have been so many tributes from so many people, that anything I write seems insignificant. After all, I can’t say I knew him or ever met him, and I don’t have a memorable “Mandela and Me” moment to share.  But like me, there are millions of ordinary people in this country and all around the world, who never met him, yet could not help being touched in some profound way by his extraordinary life.

     


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    Burghard Ilge joins minister Ploumen on the ministerial WTO conference 2013

    2 December 2013

    This week, representatives of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are meeting during the Ministerial Conference in Bali. There is a lot to negotiate, as many countries have conflicting interests. Although the WTO is good for trade and economic development of rich countries, it doesn’t seem to be beneficial for developing countries. Our Both ENDS colleague Burghard Ilge is in Bali as the official NGO-adviser to Minister Ploumen. He will inform the minister about views and interests of civil society organizations worldwide.



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    It's time for fair and sustainable trade!

    3 December 2013

    Last week, the Alternative Trade Mandate (ATM) was officially launched in Brussels. The ATM is an alliance of over 50 organisations from across Europe, reacting to the current European trade and investment policies. As the name suggests, the ATM comes up with an alternative: fairer and more sustainable trade policies that truly respect people, the environment and democracy. Trade policies that take into account the interests of all stakeholders, including trade unions, farmers, activists in the field of environment and/or human rights, and networks that are committed to fair trade. In the run-up to the European elections an active European campaign will bring the Alternative Trade Mandate to the attention of organisations, the public and parliamentarians. SOMO, TNI and Both ENDS, united in the ‘Fair Green and Global Alliance,’ are joining the campaign in the Netherlands.

     


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    Philippines don’t need more debt with ABD

    30 November 2013

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank will donate $23 million to the Philippines, but will also provide a loan of $500 million to this country for the reconstruction of the areas damaged by the storm. According to ‘NGO Forum on ADB,’ Both ENDS’ partner organisation, these banks abuse this crisis. The debt will have to be repaid with interest and Philippine society will end up paying the price.

     


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    Palm oil problems still to be solved

    25 November 2013

    Last week the 11th Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil was held in Medan , Indonesia. One of the issues central to the discussions was the increasing conflict over land use, especially in Indonesia, but increasingly elsewhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America . The cause: the poorly controlled production of palm oil, a raw material for a wide range of products such as food and cosmetics, and as biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuels.


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    A little help for the victims in the Phillippines

    12 November 2013

    The horrible disaster in the Philippines has shocked us deeply, and we would like to express our sympathy with all the people that have seen their lives ruined within the blink of an eye. We cannot begin to imagine what it must feel like to lose literally everything. Not only your house, belongings and means of living, but also loved ones, friends and family.  

     


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    Dutch export credit agency: ample opportunity for money laundering and tax avoidance

    8 November 2013

    Press Release

     

    Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB provides ample opportunity for money laundering and tax avoidance.

     

    A structural lack of control on the part of Dutch export credit agency Atradius Dutch State Business (DSB) gives leeway to its customers and their partners to launder money and dodge taxes. This is the main conclusion of the study ‘Cover for What?’ done by researchers of the Dutch NGO Both ENDS. Displaying this lack of control Atradius, which is working exclusively for the Dutch State, undermines policies designed by the very Dutch State to counteract money laundering and tax evasion. The study shows three transactions backed by Atradius in which multinationals choose a seat in tax havens and handle affairs from there, using non-transparent business structures. Atradius does nothing to counter these strategies. The lack of control displayed by Dutch ECA Atradius might very well apply to similar export credit agencies in other countries.


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    Dutch Good Growth Fund under attack

    08 November 2013

    On Monday 11 November the Dutch Parliament debated  on the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), which was initially launched in 2012 under Minister Ploumen for Foreign Trade and Development. The fund aims to promote ‘development relevant trade’: imports and exports which are beneficial not only for the Netherlands, but also for the population in (poor) countries they invest in. However, the question is whether in practice it will work this way. According to Anouk Franck of Both ENDS,  the DGGF focuses too much on trade, and economic factors. This is reflected in critical report which was recently published by ActionAid, SOMO and Both ENDS.


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    BIT-treaty between the Netherlands and South-Africa cancelled

    31 October 2013

    November the 1st is the deadline for the amendment or withdrawal of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the Netherlands and South Africa. The intention of the treaty was to expand and strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries, to promote the exchange of capital and technology and to strengthen the economic growth. The question is what will happen next;  Burghard Ilge of Both ENDS explains.


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    Green Climate Fund one step closer

    15 October 2013

     

    October 10th the fifth board meeting of the Green Climate Fund took place, this time in Paris. The Green Climate Fund is an international fund set up and commissioned by the United Nations in order to help developing countries combatting the negative effects of climate change. Possibly, developing countries are granted with an amount of $100 billion a year! Although the financial support is very promising, opinions differ widely on how that money should be spent. Therefore Anouk Franck and Annelieke Duma of Both ENDS attended, along with Titi Soentoro of the Indonesian organization Aksi! and Jorge Daneri of M'Bigua from Argentina, to make sure that the money gets where it is most needed.


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    The World Bank is a development bank... for whom?

    12 October 2013

    It's October, time for the annual meeting of the World Bank in Washington DC in which the annual results and future plans will be presented to the outside world. It also gives NGOs from all over the world an oppotunity to talk with World Bank’s administrators and relevant staff on future policies. Pieter Jansen of Both ENDS travelled to Washington together with three representatives of local organisations in the South: Yu Chen of Green Watershed from China, Mayra Tenjo of ILSA from Colombia and Ram Wangkheirakpam of NEPA from India. Their main purpose is to highlight the importance of social- and environmental requirements that the investments of the World Bank should meet, the so-called 'safeguards'.


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    Letter to Ploumen about her trade mission to Brazil

    10 October 2013

    Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is visiting Brazil on a trade mission for the second time this year. On the government website she says: ‘for Dutch companies there are a lot of trade opportunities in Brazil. Foreign trade also creates domestic jobs.’ The Netherlands is one of the top 5 export partners of Brazil. But who profits from this solid trade relation in Brazil? To make the minister and her travel companions aware of this question, Both ENDS sent her a letter.


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    Soy from the Netherlands!

    4 October 2013

    Recently Both ENDS and agricultural and horticultural cooperative Agrifirm organised a field visit for members of the Dutch Soy Coalition. The group visited  two farmers in the province of Drenthe who have been participating in the first practice test to grow Soy in Netherlands. One of them is an organic poultry farmer and the other a conventional dairy farmer. Both use soy in animal feed on the farm. Tamara Mohr of Both ENDS was there and explains about this initiative.


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    Agrochemical producer Syngenta becomes observer UNCCD

    4 October 2013

    Syngenta , global producer of seeds and agrochemicals, will become an ' observer ' within the UN Convention to Combat Desertification ( UNCCD ). This was decided last week during the annual meeting in Windhoek , Namibia and caused indignation among civil society groups. Groups that were present started a joint diplomatic protest. Our Both ENDS-colleague Nathalie van Haren took a leading role in this protest and was the spokeswoman towards the media. She explains what it was all about.


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    Stop violations by multinationals

    26 September 2013

     

    The Government of Ecuador offered a petition to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations on September 13th. In this petition, which was signed by Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru, the African Group and the Arab Group, Ecuador stresses the need for binding international regulation for transnational corporations. This action is warmly welcomed and supported by more than 100 social movements and civil society organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of workers, farmers and members of indigenous communities. Both ENDS strongly supports this action and our colleague Lieke Ruijmschoot explains why.


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    'Posco case' closed by Dutch NCP

    24 September 2013

    Last week  the NCP, the Dutch National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines (on corporate social responsibility) issued a press release titled "Parties come to understanding in the POSCO case”. What is the issue, what agreement is reached and between whom? We ask our colleague Wiert Wiertsema, who has been involved in this case from the beginning.


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    Will EBRD cease coal funding?

    13 September 2013

    Last June, President Obama called upon the national and international community to give no more public support to foreign coal. Shortly after this, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank EIB followed the example, setting stricter criteria for loans to energy companies, which will make it nuch more difficult, if not impossible for new coal plants to get financing from these banks. 


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    Both ENDS on World Water Week

    1 September 2013

    Just like last year, the Stockholm International Water Institute organises the World Water Week  which is starting this weekend. The overall theme of this year is cooperation between all stakeholders which are somehow involved with water. As this is one of the main themes in Both ENDS' work, of course we are present as well. Our colleagues Izabella Dias and Thirza Bronner  are organising a panel discussion in the Water Week and Izabella Dias tells us exactly what it is about:


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    World Cup tickets for sale: who profits?

    26 August 2013

    Last week, the first tickets for the World Cup in Brazil went on sale. A total number of around 3.3 million tickets will be available, costing between $90 and $990 each. But who will benefit? Recent demonstrations in Brazil have revealed that the World Cup in 2014 is not all good news, as the majority of the Brazilians seemed to have believed for a long time. Our colleagues from CASA, a Brazilian small grants organisation focusing on environmental issues and sustainable development, are looking for practical ways to turn the tide and make a positive contribution.


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    Anouk Franck on visit UN Rapporteur James Anayo to Panama

    13 August 2013

    We were very pleased that James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, visited Panama to speak with the indigenous Ngäbe Buglé community and to take a close look at the developments around the Barro Blanco dam.


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    Success at European Investment Bank

    2 August 2013

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) will clean up its act regarding coal plants. In recent years, the bank invested around 2 billion euro’s in polluting power plants which emit huge amounts of CO2. The EIB, which had a total capital base of 242 billion at the end of 2012, is doing business in 150 countries outside Europe.


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    Urgent letter to World Bank

    12 July 2013

    On July 23rd  the World Bank board of directors will discuss the Bank’s safeguards review: In the coming months, the World Bank revises its social and environmental safeguards and according to Both ENDS programme officer Pieter Jansen this offers opportunities to encourage the Bank to strengthen them . This would improve the level of protection of people and the natural resources they depend on in World Bank projects. But if the Bank decides to make the safeguards more flexible instead, its investments could have more negative consequences for local populations and their habitat. Civil society organisations have repeatedly expressed their concerns, and since it’s almost the 23rd, Pieter makes a last attempt to make the World Bank aware of its  responsibility: on behalf of Both ENDS he sent a letter with recommendations to Frank Heemskerk, the Dutch executive director  at  the World Bank. Pieter explains.


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    Stop unsafe and unsustainable energy policies in Ukraine!

    5 July 2013

    Ukraine has recently renewed the license for two old nuclear reactors that were supposed to close in 2020. As this involves risks, Ukraine should have conducted research and at least have consulted neighbouring countries. The Ukrainian government didn’t do any of this, while intends to keep in business  a total of  up to twelve old reactors after 2020. Both ENDS has major objections to these plans and appeals to the European Commission to take action.


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    Intended energy policy of Europe's 'house bank' is disappointing

    28 June 2012

    This week the European Investment Bank (EIB), or ‘Europe’s house bank’, presented a concept policy note which outlines future policies on loans in the energy sector provided by the bank. Network organisations CEE Bankwatch and Counter Balance, both of which Both ENDS is a member, monitor policies and investments of the EIB. They find the new proposal very disappointing and have therefore sent a press release. Huub Scheele from Both ENDS, who has been working with our colleagues from CEE Bankwatch and Counter Balance for years, explains why.


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    Voluntary Commitments

    21 June 2013

    Exactly a year ago the United Nations organised the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. Over 45.000 representatives of states, companies and civil society organisations were present, including Nathalie van Haren of Both ENDS. The conference will go into history as a failure. But there was a bright spot: the voluntary commitments made by individual governments, companies and CSOs. Ban Ki Moon called them ‘bricks and cement for sustainable development’. What are these commitments, what was promised, and what are the results, one year later? Peter Zomer, intern at Both ENDS, looked into the matter.


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    Will UN-rapporteur Anaya investigate Barro Blanco dam in Panama?

    19 June 2013

    And will James Amaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, ask the Panama government to halt the construction of the disastrous dam for the time being? This is what Both ENDS calls for in a letter to mr. Anaya, together with 12 civil society organizations, including four from Panama. It’s urgent because the Barro Blanco Dam, planned in the Tabasará river, is destructive to the Ngäbe indians.


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    Who will pay for it?

    7 June 2013

    At the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, an important discussion is now being held. The discussion is about the question if strict rules will be imposed on the least developed countries for the protection of intellectual property. These regulations are meant to protect investments in the development of new products, but they also block the development of the poorest countries. Thus far, these countries were therefor excepted from regulations for developed (i.e. rich) countries, but this agreement ends July 1st this year. Both ENDS’ Burghard Ilge has been working to make sure the agreement will be prolonged. ‘I fear many people in these countries will no longer have access to medicine and study books.’


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    Negotiated Approach in Africa: motivation without funds

    11 June 2013

    Recently six volunteers travelled to Africa to conduct a research for Both ENDS on how the Negotiated Approach is put into practice within Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).The Negotiated Approach is an approach that enables local communities to defend their rights and to propose strategies that fight poverty and ensure a viable ecosystem in the long run. The succes of the approach was already proven in India, yet little is known about Africa. But the report the volunteers are writing can bring about a change.


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    Native communities' forests no longer ‘state forests’

    6 June 2013

    I’m very happy about the judgement of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, which has ruled on May 16 that woodlands of native communities may no longer be indicated as state forests. This means that the Forest Act, which says all woodlands are owned by the state, has to be adjusted. Because of this law, it was easy for large companies to get permission to start large-scale palm oil and acacia plantations on woodlands that often have been managed by local communities for decades.


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    Both ENDS partner in the middle of protest on Taksim square

    4 June 2013

    Few will have missed the recent uprisings in Turkey. What began as peaceful protests when one of Istanbul’s last green areas had to make way for the construction of a new shopping mall, has developed into violent clashes between the Turkish police and protesters. TEMA, a Turkish partner of Both ENDS, was right in the middle of protest.


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    Possible bad start for the EBRD in the Arab world

    29 May 2013

    The European Bank voor Reconstruction and Development wants to provide $40 million to a Kuwaiti company that is going to start doing oil drilling in Egypt. Huub Scheele from Both ENDS together with Egyptian NGOs urges the EBRD to postpone the decision, as the money is not going to contribute to any positive changes for the Egyptian people.

     


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    FGG alliance: Ploumen, stop the cuts on development aid and start guaranteeing social return

    22 May 2013

    That's the message of the Fair, Green and Global Alliance (ActionAid, Both ENDS, Clean Clothes Campaign, Milieudefensie (Friends of the Eart Netherlands), SOMO and Transnational Institute) to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. On Thursday afternoon the minister will speak to the House of Representatives in a General Consultation. Our coalition has worked hard to convince the political parties that the view of minister Ploumen is not right.


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    Finally! Rich Forests kick-off

    21 May 2013

    On Wednesday 22 May is the official launch the Rich Forests Initiative: an exciting moment for Both ENDS and its partners after months of hard work. Roos Nijpels from Both ENDS explains what the Rich Forests initiative is and why the initiative is needed right now.


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    We proudly present Drynets results!

    25 April 2013

    In 2007, fifteen organisations from all over the world joined forces in a programme called DRYNET. The goal was to work together to counter the degradation of drylands. DRYNET believes that local organisations and communities living in drylands should be at the heart of this effort. Yet, these organisations and communities are often not adequately involved in designing and implementing the projects and policies that affect their livelihoods. To change this, DRYNET’s programme provides a supportive framework that link local organisations around the globe. 


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    NEW VIDEO: 'Mapping our Future' for survival of local communities in Indonesia

    22 April 2013

    Between 2010 and 2013, Both ENDS, within an alliance of Indonesian and Dutch organisations and universities, conducted a pilot project to improve the spatial planning in the district of Sanggau in West-Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, Indonesia, to help local communities with the recognition of their land rights. We can show you a beautiful documentary about one of the villages in this district, Terusan.


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    NGO report busts the myths of the Emissions Trading Scheme

    16 April 2013

    How can companies be stimulated to use cleaner production methods and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases? In Europe the answer was thought to be found in a system called the ‘EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)’, implemented in 2005.  Within this system, European companies get a fixed maximum number of ‘emission rights’ which they may either use themselves or sell to other companies – for example in case they emit less than they’re permitted to. Unfortunately the system has only had contrary effects, which is the reason why many organisations including Both ENDS, want it to stop immediately.


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    Paul Wolvekamp in board RSPO

    8 April 2013

    Last week Both ENDS’ deputy director, Paul Wolvekamp, was elected board member of the RSPO, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Until November, when new elections will take place. “I hope that after the next elections my place will be taken by a social NGO from the South, because that group is not represented well enough in the RSPO.” Therefore Paul, within the RSPO, aims for a stronger voice of NGO’s, plantation workers and small-scale palm oil producers in the South.


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    How to keep the world turning: advice to Ban Ki-moon

    5 April 2013

    A lot of talking is going on about what should be done after 2015, when the Millennium Development Goals will come to an end and new agreements must be made to stimulate global sustainable development. But that’s easier said than done. Nathalie van Haren from Both ENDS attended a so-called 'post-2015 conference’ in Bonn, Germany. Why was it held and what did Nathalie do there?


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    World Water Day 2013: cooperation is more important than ever

    2 April 2013

    Competition over water access is growing. With water as the key to sustainable development, it is very important that in de coming months clear agreements are made about world wide water cooperation. On World Water Day, held on March 22nd in The Hague, important decisions were made and goals were set.


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    Balancing aid and trade

    26 March 2013

    Trade and aid are the new pillars of international cooperation. But does it make sense to link these two together? There’s nothing wrong with finding out whether trade and aid can complement each other, but let’s not overdo it.


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    Joint forces against Suape expansion activities

    23 March 2013

    Last week Both ENDS’ Wiert Wiertsema attended the launch of Forum SUAPE in Brazil. During this second fact finding mission Wiert talked to Forum SUAPE and local residents about the social and ecological effects of the dredging activities in Suape carried out by a Dutch company.


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    The POSCO story: 4 deaths and a dialogue

    20 March 2013

    It has been planned for several years, but had so far been postponed: the Korean steel company POSCO wants to build and operate on a large scale in Orissa, an Indian state. Local people, environmental organizations and experts strongly resisted the plan, with all the consequences that entailed. Local police and militias cracked down the protests and recently there were four deaths. Wiert Wiertsema points out the responsibility of ABP, the Dutch pension fund that invested  in POSCO. Wiertsema and ABP talked recently about the issue following an official complaint by the FGG Alliance on violations of the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.



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    What is happening at the Green Climate Fund Board meeting?

    14 March 2013

    To ensure that everyone on the planet will be protected against the impacts of climate change, a lot of money will have to be made available. By now, most scholars do agree on this. All this money (ultimately about $ 100 billion per year) will be put into one large fund: the Green Climate Fund. But what's going to happen with all that money and who will benefit from it?


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    Environmental regulations of the World Bank have to be better

    11 March 2013

    Recently, the World Bank announced to change its social and environmental regulations, the so-called 'safeguards'. These safeguards do not only apply to investments of the World Bank, but are often adopted by other banks and credit institutions all over the world. "If the World Bank changes the regulations, there will be significant global consequences!", Pieter Jansen warns. Last Tuesday he was in Brussels on behalf of Both ENDS for a consultation of the World Bank with European civil society organisations to give his view on the proposed changes.


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    Ode to strong female leaders

    7 March 2013

    What would the world look like if men and women around the world would have the same opportunities in life? What would politics look like if half of the world's leaders would be female? What would development look like if men and women would have equal access to and control over the natural resources they depend upon?


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    Both ENDS partner murdered on Philippine tourist island

    5 maart 2013

    We are deeply shocked about the murder on Dexter Condez, the 26-year-old leader of the Ati tribe, an indigenous group in the Philippines. He was shot dead Friday night February 22nd on the tourist island of Boracay. While no suspects have been arrested, the police thinks the motive could involve a dispute between de Ati tribe and developers over a piece of land. Our sympathy goes to the family, friends and the people he worked with.


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    EIB says ‘no’ to coal! Or….?

    4 March 2013

    For a moment it appeared that the European Investment Bank (EIB) decided to stop investments in coal fired power plants. The bank even seemed to have issued a press release on the matter. But, unfortunately, the message was not real. During the annual press conference of the bank the activists, who were the source of the fake press release, stroke again. In the name of ‘the citizens of Europe’, EIB president Werner Hoyer was awarded with the ‘World Coal Down Award’. Hoyer, who was confused for a second, did not accept the award. The EIB fiercely denied the rumors surrounding the investment stop on coal with the term 'pure nonsense'.


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    Tobias Schmitz at UN on water: 'This is a turning point'

    1 March 2013

    "This is a turning point in global water management," said Both ENDS colleague Tobias Schmitz. He was in Geneva for a UN meeting on the future of water management or ‘the world after 2015’, when the term for the current Millennium Development Goals has passed. The conference had a special focus on the management of water resources and of waste water. We asked Tobias why he was attending the meeting and what were – and should be-  the main issues in his view.


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    IFC: investment of $45 billion blindfolded

    26 February 2013

    “Quite shocking”, said Anouk Franck from Both ENDS. “The International Finance Corporation is unaware of the social and environmental consequences of their investments in private enterprises in developing countries and emerging economies. This was observed by the Ombudsman of the IFC itself.”


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    The 'Right to CO2 emission'

    22 February 2013

    Everything is tradable, even the right to CO2 emissions. In the European Union this has been common practice for some years now. EU countries have agreed to a maximum amount of CO2 emissions, and this 'right' is divided amongst companies in EU countries that produce a lot of CO2. Theoretically, CO2 emissions should be reduced this way. But are they? Both ENDS, together with a number of other organizations, signed a letter calling to stop this system. Wiert Wiertsema, specialist on international capital flows, explains why.


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    Partner in dire straits

    18 February 2013

    The work of the partners of Both ENDS can be dangerous. The story of Odey Oyama, director of the Rainforest Resource Development Centre in Calabar, Cross River State in Nigeria, gives proof to this. Since a few weeks he is hiding. Just in time he heard – indirectly – that he is wanted, and three weeks ago the police suddenly invaded his house. Odey is afraid to return to his family. It seems that his work has engendered too much resistance[1]. He writes to us: "Absolutely without any warrant whatsoever, men and officers of the police forced their way into my residence on Sunday January 27th, 2013, through one of my bedrooms. Previously I had actually reported to the police that I was in need of protection by reason of some of the things I heard and perceived around. "


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    Half a billion of European tax money well spent in Brazil?

    15 February 2013

    What is the reason behind the European Investment Bank’s 500 million loan to the Brazilian development bank BNDES? The money, paid for by the European taxpayer, comes from the ‘climate funds’ intended for projects to stop climate change. Does this make BNDES the most logical choice? Anouk Franck went to Brazil to find out more about this loan.


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    Small farmers are the future!

    24 January 2013

    Our Deputy Director Paul Wolvekamp joins in the discussion on food security. Together with Aad Kessler and Coen Ritsema he wrote an article in 'the Broker', in which he argues that the current (Dutch) policy is detrimental to small-scale agriculture worldwide. That's a shame, because, according to the authors, small-scale agriculture can contribute greatly to global food security in the future. Wolvekamp: "Small-scale farming produces at least half of the global food supply, offers most of the employment in rural areas and provides local people with a fall-back option in times of economic crisis and shortages.”

    Prioritizing small scale farming


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    New struggle for last patch of rainforest in Uganda?

    18 January 2013

    In 2007 five protesters perished in demonstrations against the 'give away' of Mabira forest in favor of sugar cane production. Last week president Museveni called for a 'solution' and named demonstrators 'economic saboteurs'. Both ENDS partner NAPE and it's director Frank Muramuzi are ready to continue the struggle for Mabira.


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    Launch of Soy Barometer 2012

    5 December 2012

    Today, the Soy Barometer 2012 will be released. The Soy Barometer gives insight on the amount of soy imported, processed and consumed by the Dutch, and which part of it can be called 'responsibly produced'.  In the Soy Barometer 2012, data is compared with the Soy Barometer 2009.


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    Both ENDS congratulates Fair Flowers Fair Plants with new cooperation

    3 December 2012

    Altough you might not notice right away, a bitter scent sticks to most flower bouquets. The cultivation of flowers mostly happens in developing countries where it is often associated with poor working conditions, excessive water consumption and pollution. Both ENDS is therefore very pleased about the announced cooperation between sustainability label Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP) and the Milieu Programma Sierteelt (MPS) foundation. Because of this cooperation, consumers will be able to consciously choose for a fair, well-scented bouquet of flowers at an ever growing number of retailers.


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    Report from Ghana: 'the pothole experience'

    23 November 2012

    Driving the Ugandan roads two months ago, Allan (who wortks with Ugandan organisation NAPE) came up with a wonderful idea to promote tourism to Uganda and add a special exiting and adventurous feature to it. “What”, he told me, “if we would hire an amphibious car and do the Pothole Experience. We load the car with tourists and drive at selected Ugandan roads along the potholes in the road and disappear in the biggest ones at one side and come up at the other side. As an encore we could ultimately experience a water filled pothole, dive into it with the car and see if we manage to come out the water at the other side. If not, we at least had a wonderful time in the previous potholes!”


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    Public money used to support agricultural giant Monsanto in Eastern Europe

    19 November 2012

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to give multinational Monsanto 40 million dollars to sell seeds and pesticides in Eastern Europe. Farmers and environmental groups from all around the world are shocked, since Monsanto is known for promoting genetically modified crops and pesticides. Today Both ENDS and partners from Eastern Europe requested the EBRD to stop this project.


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    Both ENDS in Benin newspaper

    12 November 2012

    On November 6th 2012 ‘La Nation’ covered a workshop organised by Both ENDS and partner organisation JVE-Benin. The workshop aimed at bringing together policymakers and NGOs that are active in various river basins throughout Africa, and to familiarize them with the so-called ‘Negotiated Approach’. Professor Vijay Paranjpye of Gomukh Trust, a local organisation from India that has been at the base of the development of this alternative approach to managing natural resources, was present to inspire African delegates with experiences from the Indian practice.


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    “On the ground reporter” game nominated for the “Prix Europa”

    10 October 2012

    The third game in the series “on the ground reporter” was launched in spring this year. Both ENDS’ Nathalie van Haren has a part in the game, in which the food cricis in Uganda is the point of focus. Both ENDS is pleased that this educational game is nominated for the “Prix Europa”, a festival in which the   best television, radio and new media productions are selected by an open jury.


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    Complaint against Korean steel company POSCO

    9 October 2012

    South Korean company POSCO uses violence against the local population and violates human rights in a controversial mining project in India. Dutch pension fund ABP has shares in POSCO and should therefore put pressure on the company to act according to the rules. This is argued by Fair, Green & Global, an alliance of Dutch civil society organizations. The alliance has therefore submitted a complaint about POSCO violating the OECD Guidelines (on corporate social responsibility) for multinational companies.


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    Both ENDS signs request for restriction of emission allowances

    4 October 2012

    Both ENDS, the World Wildlife Fund and CDM watch are signatory to a letter  sent to Secretary Joop Atsma of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, drawing attention to the problem of surplus emission allowances. These allowances permit countries and companies to emit greenhouse gases and other harmful gases. Emission trading stems from the Kyoto Protocol that was drawn up in 1997 and will expire by the end of this year. Many countries have not used all their emission allowances and want to transfer them to the future. According to the three organizations this will be damaging: new investments in climate-friendly development will lose urgency for many countries.


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    Ground-breaking agreement on (fire) safety in Bangladeshi garment factories

    27 September 2012

    The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) together with international and Bangladeshi labour rights groups and unions, has reached an agreement with the German-based retailer Tchibo on an ambitious safety programme in garment factories in Bangladesh. Earlier this year, PVH (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) committed to the programme.


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    Adaptation to climate change? A practical guide from Vietnam

    26 September 2012

    How do local people already arm themselves against the consequences of climate change? And what can other local communities and policy makers learn from them? The Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD), a CSO from Vietnam and a partner of Both ENDS, produced an easy-to-read, practical guide to implementing various local adaptation measures.


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    Invitation: EPA-negotiations: 10 years is enough?

    27 September 2012

    Invitation
    On the 27 September 2012, the negotiations for European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries mark their 10 year anniversary. But it is not really a time for celebration. 10 years on, EPAs negotiations continue to be fraught with concerns that when it comes to supporting development efforts and promoting regional integration, the EPAs will do more harm than good. Please join us for a debate on: "EPA negotiations: 10 years is enough?" at the Residence Palace, Brussels, 27 September 2012 from 9:30 to 11:30 am.


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    Report on Impacts of Dams on Riverine Fisheries in India.

    20 September 2012

    With over 5100 big dams and hundreds more in the offing, India is in the forefront of global dam building. While impacts of dams on displacement, ecosystems, water security, etc., are well documented, their impacts of fisheries and livelihoods are yet to receive any attention. That is why the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) launched a report on Impacts of Dams on Riverine Fisheries in India.


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    Both ENDS' Tobias Schmitz on Ugandan television

    17 September 2012

    The human right to water and sanitation is a topical theme. A workshop which was recently held on this right in Uganda, even got the attention of the Ugandan television. Tobias Schmitz, programme officer at Both ENDS and co-organizer of the workshop, was interviewed by them.


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    Civil Society Organizations express concerns about Summit on Agriculture in Vietnam

    6 September 2012

    Last week the Hunger 4 Action Conference’ , the Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change took place in Hanoi. More than one hundred Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including Both ENDS, signed a letter in which they express their concern about the conference. Crucial topics would hardly be addressed, and the voice of small farmers, cattle-breeders and fishermen would not be heard while they are responsible for about 70 percent of global food production. The letter, which also contains suggestions about how it should be, was sent to the outgoing minister Maxime Verhagen, one of the organizers of the conference.


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    Small grants: little bureacracy, big impact

    3 September 2012

    By supporting small grants funds in the Global South, Both ENDS effectively helps people and organisations in their peaceful struggles to keep the bond between them and nature alive. Alliance, the leading magazine for philanthropy and social investment worldwide, published an article on Both ENDS’ policy in its September edition.


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    Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto wins Ramon Magsaysay Award

    9 August 2012

    The Ramon Magsaysay Award, internationally referred to as the 'regional Nobel Prize of Asia' is a recognition for people who fight against poverty and injustice in a sustainable way. One of the winners of this year is Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto of the Indonesian organization Telapak, with has been a partner of Both ENDS for years. Ruwindrijarto has been campaigning against illegal logging in Indonesia for years, despite threats and violence against him from the companies he fights against.


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    Land grabbing by pension funds and other financial institutions must be stopped

    2 July 2012

    Last week the Agricultural Investment Summit took place in London, seeking to promote land as an emerging and expanding investment opportunity. Civil society organisations are concerned that this could lead to further land grabbing, threatening the livelihoods and food security of countless local communities in the global South. In a joint civil society statement Both ENDS urges pension funds and other financial institutions to stop such damaging investment practices.


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    Does large scale infrastructure address the needs of the poor?

    25 June 2012

    Infrastructure has become a buzzword of the current development debate. But will the recent infrastructure strategies of the World Bank and the G20, which favour large centralized projects, address the needs of the poor? This is the central question in International Rivers' report "Infrastructure for whom?". Strategic infrastructure projects such as large dams and transport corridors promoted by the World Bank and G20 are funded with public money. In order to make these projects attractive to private investors, they are supported by public guarantee schemes. One of the examples mentioned in the report is the Grand Inga Dam in the Congo River (DRC) which - if ever realised - would be the largest dam in the world.


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    Initial public offering of the world’s biggest palm oil corporation threatens livelihood of 113,000 farming families

    22 June 2012

    The planned initial public offering (IPO) of Malayan state-owned enterprise Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) will take place this month (28th June). It will be underwritten by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley; with an expected valuation of around 2.5 billion Euro this will be the second biggest IPO ever, trailing Facebook. A significant detail is that FGVH is controlled by the governing part UMNO, led by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak. The upcoming privatisation might be prompted by a need to generate capital for the upcoming elections.


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    Jane Lingbawan from CDPC shares her expectations for RIO+20

    Jane Lingbawan is Executive Director at Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC), a Pilipino organisation linked to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA). We spoke with her about her expectations for the RIO+20 conference.


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    Kick-off Global Campaign against Corporate Power

    21 June 2012

    A global campaign against the power of corporations widely violating, human rights was launched during the Peoples Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Both ENDS is one of the dozens of national and international organizations supporting the campaign and the contents of the press release below.


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    Vice Versa interview of Nathalie van Haren about RIO+20

    20 June 2012

    Nathalie van Haren, senior policy officer at Both ENDS, is participating in the RIO+20 conference that officially started today. Whilst the draft text presented last March was no reason for optimism, Van Haren remains hopeful that the international community will take the necessary decisions. In an interview by Vice Versa (A Dutch magazine on development cooperation) she explains why a strict focus on the environment, seen in the draft text, is problematic.


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    What does ASA from Surinam expect from Rio+20?

    14 June 2012

    <p >The Association of Saramaccan Authorities (ASA) is an organisation consisting of 61 Saramaccan village leaders from Suriname, fighting large scale land rights violations. Logging companies are exerting great pressure on the area and the Surinam government does little about it. ASA campaigns for the protection of the region and the enhancement of inhabitants' influence. We spoke with Hugo Jabini from ASA about his expectations for RIO+20.


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    VRN facilitates troubleshooting leaking Song Trangh 2 Dam

    12 June 2012

    Song Trangh 2 Dam in Quang Nam (Vietnam) is leaking. This poses a serious danger to local communities and their livelihood. There is little room for any public debate about the problems, despite the local populations' deep concerns. To try and find a solution, Both ENDS' partner organisation Vietnam Rivers Network (VRN) organised a workshop in cooperation with authorities and experts.


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    What does FARN from Argentina expect from Rio+20?

    11 June 2012

    FARN (Environment and Natural Resources Foundation) is one of Both ENDS' partner organisations. FARN pressures the Argentinian authorities to make its policies more sustainable, through existing national and international law and legislation. We spoke with Ana di Pangracio, a lawyer specialised in environmental law and working at FARN.


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    Janet Awimbo presents visionaries’ booklet to HRH Prince Willem-Alexander

    31 May 2012

    Janet Awimbo, a Kenyan ecologist, presented the first copy of the booklet 'Imagining sustainability' to HRH Prince Willem-Alexander yesterday. In the booklet, which is a co-production of Both ENDS and Cordaid, are seven interviews with thinkers from the southern hemisphere. They all envision a green and fair economy in the future. Awimbo and the Prince of Orange met at the Rio aan de Maas event in Rotterdam. At the event, Both ENDS also organised a workshop where Janet Awimbo, Paul Wolvekamp (Both ENDS) and Maarten Hajer (Bureau for Environmental planning) spoke with each other and with the audience.


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    Civil society organisations in South America are positive about combatting the increase of soy production together

    23 May 2012

    Large-scale soy production is causing continuous problems in South America such as land seizure, public health issues and loss of valuable natural areas. The Ecosystem Alliance - a cooperation of Both ENDS, IUCN NL and Wetlands International - enabled twenty South American civil society organisations to compose a plan together. The organisations are all directly or indirectly involved in soy issues. Both ENDS attended a meeting in Brazil at the end of March: participants from Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the Netherlands gathered to identify communal problems and work towards a combined strategy to combat these.


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    Both ENDS attends ‘Rio aan de Maas’

    16 May 2012

    In preparation of Rio+20 - the June 2012 UN summit on sustainability - the Dutch National Platform Rio+20 organises the pre-event, 'Rio aan de Maas'. On the 30th of May policy makers, entrepreneurs and citizens will share and experience local initiatives for global sustainability in the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam. Both ENDS and Cordaid are organising the workshop 'Visions from the South' and will launch the book 'Imagining Sustainability'.


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    Launch of ‘good gold’ in the Netherlands

    16 May 2012

    The Netherlands follow the United Kingdom and became the second country where 'good gold' is being sold. On May 7th the official launch of 'Fairtrade-Fairmined gold' took place in Amsterdam. Highlight was the handover of the first golden bracelet with this certificate to Katja Römer-Schuurman by a Peruvian miner. The bracelet is symbolic for good gold and will be worn with pride by Römer-Schuurman. "The circle is now complete", says Lina Villa, director of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), who was involved in the project since the beginning.


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    European Investment bank should reform before expanding

    15 May 2012

    As negotiations were held by European policymakers today about a possible capital increase of the European Investment Bank (EIB), a press release was issued by Counter Balance: a coalition of Both ENDS and European NGO's that monitor the EIB. As long as it's not clearly evident where the loaned money goes and no conditions are set for advancing the support of sustainable projects, the EIB is not ready for such an expansion according to the involved organisations.


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    ‘Indigenous Youth Leaders’ are working together to maintain their natural environment

    09 May 2012

    Megaprojects in South America like large dams and mines are a threat to the natural habitat of indigenous tribes. Cross Cultural Bridges - in cooperation with Both ENDS - therefore started a two-year project to encourage young indigenous leaders in the Amazon and Andes area to defend their rights. Ralph Schreinemachers of Cross Cultural Bridges came to visit Both ENDS to report on the project that he participated in as a trainer.


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    Climate change threatens red bush tea production

    04 May 2012

    Since the nineties, the production of red bush tea in South Africa has grown enormously: over 4500 people now live off of tea production. Red bush can only be grown in South Africa because of its unique ecosystem. The entire world market for red bush tea depends on South Africa. However, climate change causes increasing heat and drought which endangers red bush production. The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG) from Cape Town - a Both ENDS partner - supports farmers who aim to develop sustainable production techniques.


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    National Heritage Month Event in the Philippines

    1 May 2012

    For small-scale farmers in development countries it's getting increasingly more difficult to compete with large-scale agricultural companies that have popped up all around the world in the past decades. The exhibition Sanlog! will be on display in the city of Bacolod in the Philippines until the end of May. This exhibition offers insight into the way in which the indigenous population uses its natural habitat in a sustainable manner. The photos and artifacts show how sustainable production techniques have been used for centuries and may serve as an inspiration for the rest of the population.


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    Policy research on regional sustainability and global production chains

    26 April 2012

    Sustainable trade and production initiatives are interesting steps on the way to sustainability. In the past years, Both ENDS has been involved in several sustainability initiatives, such as Fair Flowers and Fair Plants, Forest Garden Tea and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Likewise, through our network of locally-based partner organizations, we monitor the consequences of global trade in general and the development of sustainability initiatives in particular. Both ENDS and partner organizations have in-depth knowledge about the diversity of challenges that sustainability initiatives face


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    Ikal Angelei wins prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize

    18 April 2012

    Ikal Angelei, founder of Friends of Lake Turkana in Kenya, a partner organisation of Both ENDS, received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize this week for her battle against the construction of the infamous Gibe 3 dam in Ethiopia. The construction of this dam would severely damage the ecosystem around Lake Turkana and have disastrous consequences for the indigenous people and their natural habitat.


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    ADAPTS method is working!

    13 April 2012

    The governmental body that is responsible for the management of water resources in Ghana, the Water Resources Commission (WRC), praises the ADAPTS method in which Both ENDS and partners are actively involved. In the preface of the Dayi River Basin Plan that was launched at the end of 2011, the commission expresses hopes for the extension of this method, currently being tested in a pilot in the Dayi river basin, to other river basins in Ghana.


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    No second nuclear power plant in Belene, Bulgaria

    6 April 2012

    Plans to open a second nuclear power plant in Bulgaria have been cancelled. On March 28, Minister for finance Vladislav Goranov announced that instead of a nuclear plant, a gas plant will be built in the small town of Belene. This is good news: In the past years, Both ENDS and other civil society organisations have strongly resisted the possible construction of the power plant.


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    NEW VIDEO: Criticism on international investment treaties

    5 April 2012

    International investment treaties grant transnational investors too many privileges and thus compromise the rights of citizens and states, critics say. The video No more corporate privileges gives an impression of the concerns of experts and activists. Not only the EU, but developing countries as well, should reconsider their positions. For example by leaving the main arbitration panel for investment disputes ICSID, like Venezuela announced recently.


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    “Water for Life” awards for environmental organisations

    4 April 2012

    On World Water Day 2012 (22nd of March) the United Nations awarded two environmental organisations with a "Water for Life" award for their efforts to improve water management in their region. Both ENDS' partner Environment Support Group (ESG) received an award in category 1 for "Best water management practices", for a project on protecting the Bangalore lakes in India. A second award was handed out to Soluciones Simples Que Salvan Vidas (Sodis) for developing new communication strategies to improve water management in Bolivia.


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    In memory of Peter Simi

    3 April 2012

    We are shocked by the sudden death of Peter Simi. Since 2005 Both ENDS has been working closely with Peter and his organization ELCI. After an illness of a few weeks Peter died on Saturday, March 31 in a hospital in Nairobi.


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    Environmental permit for steel project in India suspended

    2 April 2012

     

    Years of heavy protests from the local population, environmental organizations and experts have led to the suspension of the permit for the construction of a huge steel plant and port by the Korean steel company POSCO in an environmentally sensitive area in Orissa (India). This decision was taken by the Indian National Green Tribunal, a special court for the Environment.


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    Human rights council of UN recognizes relation human rights and environment

    28 March 2012

    In the final days of March, the human rights council of the United Nations declared they will install an 'Independent Expert on Human Rights and Environment'. The effect of climate change on human lives is becoming more obvious, and by making this decision, the council acknowledges the importance of the relationship between human rights and the environment. This is good news right before the Rio+20 conference in June; Both ENDS and other civil society organisations are advocating incorporation of human rights into sustainable development policy.


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    People Summit announces counter pressure Rio+20

    23 March 2012

    The People Summit strives to critically analyse the goals and propositions of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, and present actual sustainable alternatives. These goals were recently confirmed at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.


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    What did Both ENDS do at the World Water Forum?

    22 March 2012

    Halls filled with booths, stands, professionally set up corners, wifi-spots. Big rooms where lectures, interactive sessions and workshops are held. People from all corners of the world and from different kinds of sectors (companies, government, and social organisations) are gathering here for five days. They have one thing in common: they are talking about water. The sixth World Water Forum in Marseille is about 'solutions'. For water issues, that is. Almost a billion people worldwide have to cope without clean drinking water.


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    Plan Atsma causes more CO2 emission, more food-scarcity and higher gas prices

    14 March 2012

    By 2020, all EU countries must blend 10% of their transport fuels with renewable energy. In practice, these are mostly biofuels. Minister of State Joop Atsma is now trying to reach this percentage by 2016, even though a lot of studies show that biofuels made out of agricultural crops decrease food provision and cause deforestation. Four civil society organisations, including Both ENDS, are asking the Dutch Parliament to try and halt the Minister of State.


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    NEW MOVIES: Gender and management of sustainable resources: Bangladesh, Togo and Colombia

    13 March 2012

    Both ENDS has developed a method to integrate gender issues into managing natural resources like land and water. Partner organisations AMICHOCÓ in Colombia, ANCE in Togo and BARCIK in Bangladesh have been using this method in their areas since 2010. Although women in these and many other areas are doing the same work as men, equal control of the production and management of resources doesn't yet exist. The approach Both ENDS uses is aimed towards expanding awareness of gender relations and the importance of equality by defining the problem and applying practical exercises.


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    Dare to dream about a sustainable economy, Daniëlle Hirsch shares her vision

    9 March 2012

    "My idea of 'good' is that people can make decisions about their own development; that they are able to decide what happens to their environment. That we all respect the boundaries of our ecosystems and that women, just like men, are able to develop in the way that they want". Daniëlle Hirsch is responding to a question from the audience where she just gave a lecture on her views for a future sustainable economy.


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    World Water Forum 6 in Marseille

    9 March 2012

    Almost a billion people worldwide have to survive without clean drinking water and millions of people don't have proper sanitary provisions. This causes a lot of health risks. Managing water is a source of conflict in many areas and ill water management is one the biggest problems in providing clean water. From 12 until 17 March, Both ENDS will be attending the sixth World Water Forum (WWF) in Marseille which is held every three years since 1997. The theme this year is 'Time for Solutions'. At the WWF, deputies from local communities, together with NGO's, policy makers and companies will be searching for solutions for worldwide water issues.


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    Threatened lakes in the Albertine Oil Rift in Uganda

    6 March 2012

    Was the discovery of oil in Uganda in 2005 a blessing or a curse for its poor population? Meanwhile, it's become clear that oil exploitation is a great threat to people and the environment through corruption and misuse of natural resources. Frank Muramuzi of the Ugandan organisation NAPE visited Both ENDS on January 28th to talk about the threatened lakes in the Albertine oil rift. A number of western oil companies have a permit for mining in and around Lake Albert, resulting in large scale erosion. Chances are that Uganda will suffer from the lack of regulation and legislation around this topic, and like many African countries, will go down in the battle for oil. As members of the Ecosystem Alliance, NAPE, Both ENDS, IUCN NL and Friends of the Earth are actively involved in protecting this area.


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    UN Special Rapporteur warns for mega coalmine in Phulbari, Bangladesh

    1 March 2012

    This week, a special rapporteur of the United Nations spoke out against the opening of an open-pit coalmine in Phulbari in the northwestern part of Bangladesh. He did this because of the enormous human rights violations this project might lead to. A year ago, the International Accountability Project (IAP) presented a proposal for research on this subject to a number of UN Special Rapporteurs. Olivier de Schutter (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food) has worked on the proposal since then. From the start, Both ENDS has been active within several networks that are trying to prevent the opening of this coalmine.


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    The social aspects of turning the Sahel green

    24 February 2012

    In Niger, farmers have turned no less than 5 million ha. of the Southern Sahelian provinces Maradi and Zinder green. They protected and assisted spontaneous regeneration of trees in and around their agricultural fields. Between January 12th and 20th, Both ENDS colleague Marie José van der Werff ten Bosch accompanied Chris Reij (CIS, VU University Amsterdam) to the south of Niger, to find out how farmers were able to regreen at such a large scale, and how their experiences can benefit other villages in the Sahel. Both ENDS, VU-CIS and the Centre Régional d'Enseignement Spécialisé en Agriculture (CRESA) have a joint project to spread the approach to the region of Dogondoutchi.


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    IT IS GREEN IN NIGER!

    21 February 2012

    Between January 12th and 20th, Both ENDS colleague Marie José van der Werff ten Bosch accompanied Chris Reij (CIS, VU University Amsterdam) to the south of Niger, to see with her own eyes what Chris has been advocating for many years now: farmers have turned this dry part of the Sahel green.


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    A rights based analysis of the zero draft of the Rio+20 document

    17 February 2012

    In preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, which will take place in June, Both ENDS published a document in February to start the discussion on the progress of events. In this policy note, Both ENDS has made some suggestions to improve "the Future we want" which is the 'zero' draft of the negotiating document, in an effort to maximize the chance of a successful outcome of the conference.


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    National Lottery grant helps Both ENDS to tell stories of partner organisations

    9 February 2012

    At the Goed Geld Gala 2012, a National Lottery benefit ball, Both ENDS received money for the project 'an unheard story'. For this project, we'll be working together with five networks of environmental organisations in South-Africa, Brazil, India, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. Together we reinforce small local organisations and help them share their stories about the changes they would like to see. These stories show what consequences political and industrial decisions in the North have for people living alongside the Mekong river, or in the Brazilian forests. That way we jointly take action in search for a more sustainable world.


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    Reduced access to information about pollution in Czech republic

    3 February 2012

    The Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic is planning to reduce access to information about the Integrated Pollution Register (IPR), which has been functioning very well for the last 6 years. With that register, the Czech Republic—unlike some other countries—has an efficient instrument to control the implementation of international conventions regarding environmental protection, such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).


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    NEW VIDEO: Both ENDS introduces African NGO’s to the Negotiated Approach

    31 January 2012

    In November 2011 Both ENDS organized a Negotiated Approach workshop in Entebbe, Uganda. Participants from Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya were introduced to the negotiation method which guarantees that the local population will keep their access to natural resources such as water and land. When disputes over the use of rivers, lakes or land occurs the Negotiated Approach unites policy makers, researchers, companies and local NGO's. Together they will work towards sustainable solutions for the use of natural resources.


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    Steel company POSCO violates human rights in India: ABP invests 64 million.

    26 January 2012

     

    Biju Mathew, an American professor from India who is also active for the 'Mining Zone Peoples Solidarity Group (MZPSG), visited Both ENDS' office in Amsterdam on January 19th. He was returning from a 'fact-finding mission' in the province of Orissa in India, where Korean steel company POSCO has plans for building a steel plant, several iron ore mines, roads, a railroad and a private harbor.


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    NEW MOVIES: small farmers and Jatropha PART 3

    19 January 2012

    In the Beginning of in October 2011 Tim Senden traveled to Arusha, Tanzania for Both ENDS. There he interviewed a number of organisations engaged in small-scale jatropha production. The two next clips show the advantages of the small-scale production model and the way in which the farmer groups sell their seeds. Watch the movies and see for yourself, if you want to respond please leave a message on our Youtube channel, or on Facebook and Twitter.


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    Cassia Co-op: a bridge between cinnamon farmers in Indonesia and consumers

    18 January 2012

    "We are open about prices to farmers. We have nothing to be ashamed of," says Patrick Barthelemy, founder of Cassia Co-op. By removing middlemen from the supply chain, the Dutch-Indonesian company is able to pay more to small-scale cinnamon farmers in Kerinci, Sumatra. With the help of the Communities for Change Alliance between Cordaid and Both ENDS, Cassia Co-op promotes sustainable agriculture and self-organisation of farmers.


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    Suriname urged to implement "Saramaka verdict”

    10 January 2012

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has pointed out to the Surinam Government that it must obey the "Saramaka verdict". On November 28th, 2008 Suriname lost the case that was brought against the government by the Saramaka community, led by - amongst others - Steward Hugo Jabini, presently a member of the Parliament of Suriname. Jabini is very active in the struggle against the exploitation of the territory of the Saramaka.


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    Exporting goods or exporting debts?

    29 December 2011

    Exporting goods or exporting debts? Eurodad, the European network on debt and development of which Both ENDS is a member, released a new research about the often disastrous effects of Export Credit Guarantees.


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    A message from Both ENDS to you

    21 December 2011

    This year Both ENDS exists 25 years. What started as a project to offer support and guidance to local organisations working on environment and development, has become a professional network organisation. Please watch our video message in which Both ENDS' director Daniëlle Hirsch reflects on the past 25 years and tells you about our vision for the future.



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    NEW MOVIES: small farmers and Jatropha PART 2

    20 December 2011

    In the Beginning of in October 2011 Tim Senden traveled to Arusha, Tanzania for Both ENDS. There he interviewed a number of organisations engaged in small-scale jatropha production. The two next clips show the advantages of the small-scale production model and the way in which the farmer groups sell their seeds. Watch the movies and see for yourself, if you want to respond please leave a message on our Youtube channel, or on Facebook and Twitter.


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    Political Café - Defuse the debt crisis

    16 December 2011

    On December 16th Jubilee Netherlands is organising a Political Café in collaboration with Both ENDS and Oxfam Novib. The purpose of the meeting is to connect the debt problems of developing countries to the current debt crisis in Europe. What lessons can be learned from past debt relief initiatives and in which way were they successful?


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    NEW FILMS ONLINE: small farmers and jatropha, does it work?

    12 December 2011

    In the beginning of October 2011, Tim Senden travelled to Tanzania for Both ENDS. In Tanzania he interviewd a number of organisations that are working on small-scale jatropha production. Thousands of small-scale farmers grow the jatropha seeds - which give a rich oil that can be used for energy production - along sides their food crops. Most of the seeds are sold to a company that exports the oil to Europe. From the remaining seeds they make soap which is sold on the local market. Is this a sustainable production model - unlike the big jatropha plantations - from which Tanzanian small-scale farmers can profit? Watch the clips and place your reactions on our Youtube channel, or on our Facebook or Twitter page.


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    Human Development Report 2011 in the spirit of Rio+20

    14 December 2011

    Early November the UN Development Programme UNDP launched the Human Development Report 2011. On December the 2nd, the Dutch presentation of the report was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Daniëlle Hirsch, director of Both ENDS, attended the presentation as one of the panelists commenting on the content of the report.


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    This year Both ENDS exists 25 years!

    7 December 2011

    In the past quarter of a century we have become a strong, professional network organization, working with many partners in countries around the globe on environmental and development issues. We are very proud that we were given the opportunity to work with inspiring people all over the world who, often in very difficult circumstances, are taking small steps to create a fairer and greener world.


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    Churches want ni-Vanuatu participation in decision-making on WTO-membership

    6 December 2011

    Churches, NGOs and local communities in Vanuatu have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the accession of the country to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) under current conditions. However, the Government has gagged opposition groups and without consultation decided to join.


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    ‘This is what Democracy looks like’ - Film and debate -

    11 December 2011

    On the 11th of December at 19:00 hrs. in Bajesdorp in Amsterdam, Burghard Ilge from Both ENDS will give an introduction to the documentary 'This is what Democracy looks like' by Jill Friedberg and Rick Rowley (2007). Afterwards there is room for debate. This is one of the many films shown during the free alternative documentary film festival Bajesdoc, held on diverse locations in Amsterdam from 8-11 December.


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    “Tackling Tax havens can tackle crisis”

    5 December 2011

    Tax evasion costs 145 countries, representing over 98% of world GDP, more than US$3.1 trillion annually. This is concluded by the Tax Justice Network in a recently published report. With their campaign 'Tackle Tax Havens' the network wants to inform the public of the negative impact of tax havens on the global economy.


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    ‘No more corporate privileges’ - Week of Action on Investment Treaties

    28 November 2011

    More than 100 international experts and social activists gathered from 5-8 November in Brussels, Belgium, for a 'Week of Action' to call attention to the negative effects of International Investment Treaties (IIA) on human rights and the environment.


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    NEW VIDEO: could P4R replace some of the World Bank's safeguards?

    14 November 2011

    Before the end of this year, the World Bank will vote on whether to introduce a new lending instrument called "Programme for Results" (abbreviated as P4R), which aims to better meet the needs of developing countries while increasing the World Bank's reach by bringing funds from public and private donors together in sectoral programmes. NGOs from around the world have expressed concern about P4R, as has the business community and various governments. These parties are concerned that a large number of standards, which may have significant adverse effects on humans and the environment, will be released. A number of organisations have therefore voiced their concerns about P4R in a letter to the World Bank.


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    Results of five years of small grants

    7 November 2011

    Small grants are a relatively new phenomenon, especially when they are fundraised and managed by local foundations. Both ENDS promotes small grants funds such as CASA, as they are able to cater directly to the demands and needs of local organisations that stay invisible for international donors and private foundations. For an example of the impressive reach and effectiveness of small grants, please check out CASA's first Five Year Report


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    Sign the petition to protect the Mekong

    2 November 2011

    Regional governments in Asia will soon decide whether to proceed with the construction of Xayaburi Dam in northern Laos. This will be the first of eleven dams that are planned for the Lower Mekong Mainstream. Both ENDS asks your support in protecting The Mekong River and the millions of people who depend on it by signing the petition.

    Click here to sign the petition


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    Catching waste from river on Java

    1 November 2011

    How to get people to collect waste from a river? By granting an award for the person collecting most. A waste-collecting competition organised last Saturday in the district of Bogor on Java, Indonesia, proved this formula tho be effective. No less than a thousand local people collected 8650 kilograms of waste from the Cilliwung River.


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    Green gold: demand exceeds supply

    1 November 2011

    'At the moment we produce six kilos of gold per year, we cannot meet the demand,' María Luisa Villa of AMICHOCÓ from Colombia says. In the last couple of years, AMICHOCÓ has worked hard to organise small-scale sustainable gold miners and to make certification possible. Under the brand name 'Oro Verde' the Fairtrade Fairmined gold is now available on the market. 'We are ready to expand production, but the preservation of biodiversity and the protection of the rights of ethnic groups remains our priority,' Villa stresses.


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    EU crisis pocket guide

    28 October 2011

    The Transnational Institute (TNI) published a useful pocket guide regarding the euro crisis. They believe a crisis that started in Wall Street was actually made worse by EU policies. The pocket guide describes how the crisis has enriched the 1% to the detriment of the 99% and it outlines some possible solutions that prioritise people and the environment above corporate profits. This Pocket Guide is published as part of TNI's Economic Justice, Corporate Power and Alternatives programme.


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    50 years of OECD. Export credit agencies: Any role left?

    20 October 2011

    This year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. On this occasion it published a book focusing on 50 years of export credits. Wiert Wiertsema (Both ENDS) writing on behalf of ECA Watch, however, thinks that this is a momentum that asks for reforms, rather than hurrays.


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    Both ENDS Political Café: Climate Funding going South?

    28 October 2011

    It can be hard to establish small-scale adaptation projects in developing countries, because governments, development banks and donors generally prefer to finance larger initiatives. Of course, a single large project is more visible and easier to manage than ten small ones. But it is extremely important that the very small-scale initiatives, which are based on the knowledge and needs of local communities, are supported. How can we ensure that these - often very effective - local projects find their way to the appropriate funds and vice versa?


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    Pit stop Swedish activists on their way to Brussels

    11 October 2011

    All the way from Sweden, packed in a van, nine activists travelled to Brussels to raise awareness on the negative impact of European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between EU and ACP countries for local communities in Africa. According to NGO Afrikagrupperna, based in Stockholm, this was a good conclusion of the campaign they conducted in Sweden these last months.


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    An Assessment of EU’s New Mandate on International Investments

    6 October 2011

    On 12th September 2011, the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) officially approved negotiating mandate for investment protection measures under the proposed free trade agreements with India, Singapore and Canada. The secretive manner in which the negotiating mandate was approved raises several legitimate questions about the entire process.


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    Both ENDS Political Cafe on Adaptation

    12 October 2011

    The ADAPTS consortium - Both ENDS, ACACIA Water, IVM and our Southern partners - invite you to join our Political Cafe in Cafe Dudok in the Hague on Wednesday October 12th from 16.00-18.00 hr:

    The debate centers around the question how to better integrate local actors in the development and implementation of adaptation policies. We see a gap between the many initiatives that support mainly central governments and their adaptation plans and what happens or should happen at the local or district level. These two arenas are insufficiently linked and the majority of funds is invested in the first option.

    With panelists from the Dutch Parliament, the 'Water Resources Commission' in Ghana, the 'Center for Social Research and Development' in Vietnam, the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Water Partnership.

    ADAPTS is a practical, bottom-up approach to integrate climate change and adaptation in the water sector. See also the adapts website

    For more information on our Political Café, see our Invitation.


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    Election John Mathew on Board of IFOAM

    5 October 2011

    John Mathew, co-founder and director of the Keystone Foundation and Last Forest Enterprises Ltd, India, has been elected as a member of the board of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Mathew is a close partner of Both ENDS who is working relentlessly to improve the position and production conditions of small scale producers, notably remote indigenous communities.


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    30 million trees against poverty and injustice

    5 October 2011

    As you may well know already: on September 25th Kenyan activist Wangari Muta Maathai died at the age of 71. For years she fought against poverty, destruction of nature, corruption and discrimination against women, through an integrated approach to these interrelated problems. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and was an example to many African women.

     


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    Both ENDS supports Stuart Hugo Jabini

    5 October 2011

    Stuart Hugo Jabini, a Saramakan who was raised on the Upper Surinam River, made a stand against the plans of the Surinam government to cut down the forest in which his community lives. On his behalf the Forest People Programme (FPP), a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for the rights of indigenous forest people, won a case against the Surinam government at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The court forbid the plans of exploiting the Saramakan territory for industrial development. This resulted in an international landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal communities to prevent exploitation of their livelihoods.


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    Indians rally against India-EU Free Trade Agreement

    27 September 2011

    Last week, another round of trade negotiations between the EU and India took place in Brussels, Belgium. Local organisations in India are concerned that the outcome of these negotiations will have a negative impact on their livelihoods and access to natural resources. They also worry about its effect on political conflicts and the maintenance of human rights in their country. Recent public demonstrations such as a rally last month in the border town of Moreh, Manipur, North East India, reflect these concerns.


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    Annual Report 2010 online: looking back to 2010

    27 September 2011

    Both ENDS saw a lot of positive changes happen in 2010. Governments, research institutions, NGOs and businesses have a growing focus on 'green' strategies. Still, sustainability is not a matter of course in the current global economy. In order to reach that goal, a lot of work still needs to be done. Both ENDS intends to continue its work and efforts and show that change is possible. Many small steps can make great change. For more details on our activities in 2010 take a look at our Annual Report.


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    Towards gender equality in Africa, Asia and Latin America

    27 September 2011

    On the 14th of September, in the Public Library of Amsterdam, three partner organisations of Both ENDS presented their experiences with a method, developed by Both ENDS, to integrate gender equality in their work on access to natural resources. The presentations of the three organisations from Togo, Colombia and Bangladesh, showed the result of a process they each started in the beginning of 2010. They formed the starting point for a broader debate with other environmental and development organisations.


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    Interview with Sukanta Sen (BARCIK)

    21 September 2011

    Pieter Jansen, programme officer at Both ENDS, interviewed Sukanta Sen from the Bangladesh Resource Center for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK). BARCIK is an NGO that works in the field of environment, biodiversity conservation and development. They have been promoting the significance of local and indigenous knowledge in development initiatives as well as the empowerment process of local and indigenous communities.


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    [New movie] Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change

    19 september 2011

     Both ENDS' deputy director Paul Wolvekamp attended the 10th Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change which was hosted by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and Oxfam Novib and took place in The Hague on the 7th of september.


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    European legislation forces export credit agencies to be more transparent

    13 September 2011

    With an overwhelming majority - 643 votes in favour, 20 against and 9 abstentions - a new law, which forces European export credit agencies (ECAs) to be more transparent about the environmental and social effects of transactions supported by ECAs, has just been approved of in the European Parliament. As of next year, all ECAs will have to deliver a report about this to the European Commission and the European Parliament on a yearly basis.
    Both ENDS is a member of the ECA-Watch network, which monitors ECAs and stimulates more transparent, sustainable and socially just ECA-supported transactions. Clearly we are very pleased with the current developments and we hope that this will be a first step towards greener and fairer investment policies in the EU.


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    Government of Uganda seems to soften position on clearing Mabira rainforest

    16 September 2011

    Last week, President Museveni announced that the government will not necessarily stick to its plan to clear one third of Mabira rainforest for the cultivation of sugar cane. The president said that his government is open to alternative ways to increase Uganda's sugar production. Before, Museveni had said that his decision was final, but pressured by national and international environmental activists (including Member of Parliament Beatrice Anywar) he agreed to consider other options.


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    Both ENDS invites you to gender workshop on 14 September 2011, Amsterdam

    1 September 2011

    Both ENDS and partner organisation Amichocó (Colombia), BARCIK (Bangladesh) and ANCE (Togo) acknowledge the important role of gender inequality in our work on environmental and development issues. We jointly set out to test a practical approach to mainstream gender in our work on natural resources management, each in its specific context and based on its specific ambition.


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    New highway between China and Vietnam affects local communities

    18 August 2011

    Currently a new highway is being constructed which will connect Hanoi (Vietnam) to Kunming (China). The project, partially financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), aims to stimulate economic development in the region throughout the construction of this "economic corridor".


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    Illegal construction Xayaburi dam

    5 August 2011

    Despite the fact that Laos recently let its neighboring countries know that the construction of the Xayaburi dam on the Mekong River would officially be put on hold, illegal construction activities appear to be taking place. In April this year, due to massive national and international protests, the Government of Laos felt obliged to suspend construction until the social and environmental impacts of the dam would be clearly examined. Around the spot where the dam was to be constructed however, people are being driven away from their land, a road has been built for the supply of building materials and forest is chopped down.


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    West Seti dam has been put to a stop

    2 August 2011

    After 15 years of massive campaign by many organisations from Nepal and abroad, led by Nepalese NGO WAFED, the plans for the construction of the West Seti Dam in Nepal have been shelved. In 2010 the campaign had already forced the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to pull out from this project for its failure to comply with its own policy on information disclosure, public participation, environment, and the rights of indigenous people living in the affected area. The decision of the government of Nepal not to grant permission for construction to Australian construction company Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) is yet another success.


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    Small Grants, two days for a brighter future

    21 July 2011

    Replanting a watershed with trees made possible by a micro loan of € 1000: ten years later, this investment still ensures that an entire community has clean drinking water. This small success was further discussed last April at 'Small Grants', a two-day event organized by Both ENDS.


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    Organic tea has good possibilities in Sri Lanka

    25 July 2011

    In the course of centuries, traditions around the serving and drinking of tea have become a permanent feature of different cultures around the world. The production of tea however causes many problems: deforestation, soil and water pollution because of excessive use of pesticides, and tea pickers often working in bad working conditions with very low wages. On the 18th of July, a symposium called "Transforming Sri Lanka's Tea Sector To Meet New Market Realities" was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.


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    Frank Muramuzi (NAPE) warns about the danger of hydro-power stations in the Nile

    21 July 2011

    In the three-part series Struggle Over the Nile, Al Jazeera examines the historical roots and present-day realities of conflicts regarding the Nile. The Nile is the world's longest river: a 7,000 km life-line for almost 400 million people. It is a source of sustenance, but also of tension - and even potential conflict.


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    New video: foreign views on the Greek debt crisis

    21 July 2011

    The debt crisis which Greece is currently experiencing is not unique. In the last century, countries like Peru and the Philippines have suffered from enormous debt as well, the result of excessive borrowing from foreign banks. In 2001, Argentina got in deep trouble when the debt became impossible to carry and the country's currency devaluated heavily.


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    Council of the European Union briefed on animal husbandry conference

    14 July 2011

    EU Agriculture Ministers have been officially briefed by the Hungarian Presidency on the outcome of a 3-day conference on how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can promote sustainable animal husbandry. The conference was organized with the support of Both ENDS by a consortium of European NGO's & Fair Trade organizations. 80 Civil Society representatives from 15 European countries were brought together to Debrecen (Hungary) to discuss how the future Common Agricultural Policy can contribute to a sustainable animal husbandry sector in Europe.


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    Will a Free Trade Area benefit the Eastern African Community?

    7 July 2011

    In June 2010 the East African Community (EAC) decided to hold off the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU). Such an agreement would eventually constitute a Free Trade Area (FTA) between the EU and the EAC. It seems that the Eastern African countries would benefit from such an agreement, but is this really the case? Benjamin William Mkapa, Chairman of the South Centre and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania (1995-2005), says it would bring the EAC mostly disadvantages compared to the EU.


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    Both ENDS is co-hosting sessions at conference European Foundation Centre

    26 May 2011

    Both ENDS is co-hosting two sessions on the conference of the EFC (European Foundation Centre). This year, the conference is held from Thursday the 26th until Saturday the 28th of May in the town of Cascais, Portugal.


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    European Parliament demands export credit agencies (ECAs) to open up

    6 April 2011

    The European Parliament in its plenary session on the 5th of April, adopted a proposal to regulate Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) that will force them to become more transparent on where their funds come from, and go to, as well as how they count social and environmental risks. Furthermore, the Parliament requires ECAs to comply with EU human rights objectives in their activities, and to phase out the subsidising of fossil fuel projects in line with commitments adopted by the G20 in 2009.


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    Both ENDS Political Cafe

    15 March 2011

    On Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, Both ENDS Foundation is hosting a so-called 'Political Café, or debate, on the new international role of Dutch water utilities in Developing countries. The State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Ben Knapen, would like to see a more direct involvement of Dutch companies in development cooperation. The Netherlands is internationally well known for its water expertise and both the government and the private sector would like to make this a focal point of foreign policy in the realm of international cooperation. Dutch water companies such as Evides and Vitens are already working with water companies in Ghana, Mozambique, Vietnam and Suriname.


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    Brazilian higher court overrules decision on construction Belo Monte dam

    10 March 2011

    An order, issued by a Brazilian court against the construction of the Belo Monte dam, has been overruled by a higher court. The dam will have disastrous effects on the environment and the population in the area. Moreover, it is questionable whether the supposed benefits will outweigh the high costs and the damage done.


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    Donor funds for creation of Great Green African Wall.

    3 March 2011

    Various donors and funds promised to make donations to support the pan-African Great Green African Wall (GGW) against the desert. This became clear during a meeting of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the last week of February. In sum, these donations could mount up to around 3 billion US dollars. The envisaged 15 kilometers wide and up to 8000 kilometers long wall consisting of plants and trees will cross 11 countries south of the Sahara. The difference between failure and success will depend on the way the project is executed.


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    Joint Civil Organizations call for fair investment policies.

    3 March 2011

    On 28 February 2011, a letter signed by 120 NGOs was sent to the members of the Committee on International Trade. With this letter, the undersigned organizations call upon the European Parliament to support a more balanced investment policy.


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    Atradius DSB considers support for expansion Panama canal

    18 February 2011

    The official Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB in November 2010 announced to consider support for the expansion of the Panama canal. According to the local Gatún Lake Defense Committee the project in its current shape will not only be uneconomic, but also very harmful to the environment. Recently Both ENDS informed Atradius DSB of these concerns. The ECA is currently assessing the significance of these concerns for its eventual decision to issue an insurance policy.


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    European Parliament will vote on Bilateral Investment Treaties

    17 February 2011

    The European Commission is about to take important decisions about Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). These agreements are designed to protect corporations that invest in a foreign (often developing) country. These international agreements are binding, but often undermine the social and environmental regulations that developing countries want to implement. On march 3, the European Parliament will vote on reforming these policies.


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    Brazilian government says yes to the construction of the Belo Monte Dam

    7 February 2011

    Despite vehement protests from the local community and the ban from the federal government of the state Pará, on 26 Januari 2011 the Brazilian government gave its assent to the construction of the Belo Monte Dam in the River Xingu.


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    The EIB complaints mechanism is only a green washing machine

    25 January 2011

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) disbursed an additional EUR 40 million for the Bujagali dam in Uganda while complaints from the local communities are still waiting for a response. The dam is controversial because of its tremendous social and environmental impact. "By neglecting its own complaint mechanism, the EIB proves that its policy is nothing more than a green washing machine", several civil society organisations state.


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    Ugandan Public Prosecutor withdraws indictment against protesters

    25 January 2011

    In April 2007, a number of environmentalists organized a demonstration in the Ugandan capital of Kampala. They were protesting against the Ugandan government's plans to grant a permit to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), a sugar manufacturer, for the felling and exploitation of large parts of the ancient Mabira forest. The peaceful protest was forcefully put to an end by the Ugandan military and police, and protesters were charged. However, international media uproar forced the Ugandan government to withdraw the charges against the protesters and to nullify the logging concession.


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    Young Indian leaders committed to the future of the Amazon

    25 January 2011

    Felsi Gonzales from Bolivia and Gamaniel Lopez from Peru both run the risk of losing their land because of the planned construction of large dams in the Amazon. They are part of a group of some twenty young indigenous leaders from Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia who participated in a training programme organized by Both ENDS and Cross Cultural Bridges, which forms part of a larger two-year course. The unique training programme was held from 19 to 29 November at a location near Santarém in the Brazilian rainforest. Sanderijn van Beek of Both ENDS briefly attended the event.


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    Draft UN resolution removes references to human rights

    22 November 2010

    In July this year, 120 nations voted in favour of a UN resolution confirming the rights to water and sanitation as human rights. Recently, however, all references to human rights have been removed from the draft text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution on a separate drive for sanitation. This change in the text removed the obligation of states under international law to report to the UN on progress in providing their citizens with access to clean water and sanitation. On November 23, the final version of the text is due to be completed.


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    Gibe 3 project will have serious impact on local population

    11 November 2010

    A large hydropower dam is threatening the Omo river basin in Ethiopia and the surroundings of lake Turkana in Kenya. Completion of the dam will have devastating effects on the environment and on hundreds of thousands of mostly tribal people who live in the area. As a result of ongoing protests and studies on the impact of the dam, several funders have already withdrawn their loans. Unfortunately, the Industrial Commercial Bank of China has now offered to further fund the project. This week, the Kenian organisation 'Friends of Lake Turkana' (FoLT) will send a petition to the Chinese ambassador in Kenia to stress the need for intervention.


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    Telapak joins hands with Indonesian government

    14 October 2010

    Written by: Boy Mochran and Sheila Kartika, Telapak, Indonesia


    For the first time in Indonesian history, a public committee has been established to assist the government in water resource management. The Lamasi River Basin Committee is a platform for governmental and non-governmental representatives in the Luwu District in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Together with the local government, this committee will plan and monitor policy implementation, as well as coordinate water resource management.


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    Right to Water Legally Binding

    13 October 2010

    The Dutch MFS-2 WASH coalition on water and sanitation - of which Both ENDS is a member - welcomes the decision taken by the Human Rights Council to interpret the human right to water and sanitation as legally binding under international law.


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    ECOA and Probioma celebrate their 20th anniversary, congratulations!

    6 October 2010

    Both ENDS, the Brazilian ECOA and the Bolivian Probioma started working together over 15 years ago. This year, the environmental organisations from Latin America celebrate their 20th anniversary. The collaboration with the Netherlands has continued for such a long time because of a great mutual trust, and shared views and methods. Tamara Mohr and Nathalie van Haren, both employed at Both Ends, tell about a special relationship


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    Latest agrofuels no better for environment

    30 June 2010

    According to European Union rules, 10% of agrofuel should be added to every litre of petrol or diesel in 2020. However, current agrofuels like palm oil, soy and rapeseed are no better for the environment.


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    Dutch TV broadcast: ‘Power stinks!’ Both ENDS partners speak out.

    28 June 2010

    The Dutch news programme Netwerk will be broadcasting two items called 'Stroom stinkt!' (Power stinks) today and on Thursday about the origin of coal used in the Netherlands. Many Dutch energy companies use coal from developing countries like South Africa and Colombia to generate electricity. The working conditions in mines are often very bad and coal mining has tremendous impact on the environment and local living conditions. Farmland is destroyed and ground- and drinking water become polluted with chemicals used in the mines. Both ENDS' partners from South Africa and Colombia tell their story in the broadcast.


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    Green Wall for the Sahara: opportunity local regeneration initiatives?

    18 June 2010

    Yesterday, the World Bank Global Environment Facility announced at a meeting of African leaders in Chad to devote 96 million Euros to the "Great Green Wall of the Sahara" initiative: a barrier of trees 7000 kilometer long and 15 kilometer wide which will be planted across 11 African countries, from Senegal to Djibouti. This Green Wall will have to slow down wind erosion and enhance rainwater infiltration. The idea for this Wall emerged five years ago. In July 2005, President Obasanjo, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, proposed to the Fifth Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU), an initiative for the establishment of a "Green Wall for the Sahara". At the time, the Heads of State requested the African Union Commission (AUC) to facilitate its formulation and implementation. However, because of lackof funds implementation had not yet begun.


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    World Day to Combat Desertification

    17 June 2010

    Today, the 17th of June 2010, it's World Day to Combat Desertification. This year's theme is "Enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere", in line with the International Year dedicated to Biodiversity. With this theme, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification aims to sensitize the public to the fact that desertification, land degradation and drought dramatically affect the biodiversity resident in the soil.


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    How to Save the Mekong

    1 June 2010

    The Mekong is one of the world's major rivers. From Tibet this river runs through China's Yunnan province, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong basin is after the Amazon the second richest area of biodiversity in the world. More than 1200 species of fish have been identified. It is also the home of the rare freshwater dolphin. But the region is in danger because of numerous dams being build. Come join us in a debate: 22 June 2010, 17:30 to 19:30, Nieuwspoort, The Hague.


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    Civil society and Dutch energy companies discussing coal mining

    6 May 2010

    On the 25th of March 2010, Both ENDS organised a Political Café on the social and environmental effects of coal mining in developing countries. Matthews Hlabane of the Green Revolutionary Council was our special guest of the evening. Coming from the mining city of Witbank, South Africa, he could share his first hand experience on the devastating effects of coal mining.


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    Political Café: A Burning Issue

    25 March 2010

    On March 25th Both ENDS from 18 - 20h Both ENDS organises a Political Café in het Nutshuis in The Hague. With interesting guests we will debate on Dutch energy and the effects of coal mining in developing countries. It is widely known that coal energy is bad for the environment. What many people don't realise is that Dutch used coal comes mainly from South Africa, Colombia and Indonesia, where mining causes great damage to people and the environment. That is why Both ENDS would like to debate this issue, you are more than welcome to join us!


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    The New World Bank Group Environment Strategy: Both ENDS responds

    11 March 2010

    The World Bank Group is currently undertaking two major consultations one on their new Environment Strategy and the other on their Energy Strategy. Both ENDS has been asked to contribute feedback on these two policies. In  follow up to its dialogue with the WBG Both ENDS delivered it's written response.


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    Both ENDS’ response to the WRR report

    28 January 2010

    Like many in the field of international development aid, Both ENDS eagerly awaited the recent publication of the WRR (Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy) report, "Less Pretention, More Ambition". Both ENDS was especially interested in the areas relevant to its own mission and core competencies, i.e. supporting civil society organisations working in the fields of ecological sustainability and social justice.


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    Hungary prohibits use of cyanide in mining

    21 January 2010

    On 7 December 2009 the overwhelming majority of the Hungarian Parliament voted to oppose the use of cyanide in gold mining. So doing, Hungary has set a new global environmental standard and can thus play a leading role in banning the use of cyanide in the European mining sector.


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    In Memory of Glenn Switkes

    5 January 2010

    On December 21st our dear colleague and friend Glenn Switkes from International Rivers passed away very unexpectedly shortly after he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Only two months ago he contributed to a political café organised by Both ENDS in the Netherlands about the impact of infrastructural projects in the Amazon. He was strong as ever, full of energy, making a strong case clearly showing his years of experience.


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    Europe's climate ambitions not consistent with EIB investments

    23 December 2009

    Both ENDS organised a Political Cafe in The Hague on Friday, 20 November in anticipation of the climate summit in Copenhagen. Here, Both ENDS and its Southern partners, GAMBA and NAPE took an in-depth look at the European Investment Bank's (EIB) investments. To what extent do they take the impacts of climate change into account? And, how consistent is their climate policy compared with the ambitions that the EU has for Copenhagen?


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    Always Coca-Cola? Film & Debate

    22 December 2009

    22 December, 20:30 at OT301, Overtoom 301, Amsterdam
    Films and debate on globalisation and resistance.


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    NEW: watch documentaries on investments and climate!

    20 November 2009

    A paper pulp factory in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil and a hydro power dam in the source of the Nile in Uganda, don't seem to have much in common. Nevertheless, both projects are financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and both have a significant impact on the environment of the poor local population.


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    A New Climate Bank? World Bank on Thin Ice…

    9 November 2009

    The World Bank, an institution that aspires to achieve global sustainable development, now wants to position itself as an environmental bank. This role does not seem like a natural fit and is inconsistent with the implementation of its policies. So, for example, its climate investment funds' criteria are not ambitious enough to realise a transition to (real) renewable energy.


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    Political Cafe: The Cold Fish

    20 November 2009

    Friday 20 November 2009 - 17h30 - 19h30 - Het Nutshuis - The Hague.
    A new global climate treaty, which aims to counteract further global warming, is set for December. The European Union is said to have great ambitions for this climate summit in Copenhagen. However EU member states, such as the Netherlands, annually invest billions of euros through the European Investment Bank (EIB) in environmentally unfriendly industries, like oil, gas and mining, in developing countries. How can the Netherlands achieve its sustainable goals and incorporate climate considerations into its investment decisions?


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    Europe’s Controversial Investment Climate: A Documentary

    10 November 2009

    At first glance, a dam in Uganda and a paper mill in Brazil don't seem to have much in common. Nevertheless, both projects are financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and both projects have a significant impact on the environment and the local population. The European Union is said to have great ambitions for the climate summit in Copenhagen, to be held in December.


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    Climate Change and the Right to Water

    9 November 2009

    Take yourself on a trip back in time. Go to Mar del Plata, Argentina, in the year 1977. A high profile international conference is taking place under the auspices of the United Nations, full of hope and burdened with lofty aims. In that year, only 20% of the world's rural population in developing countries had access to safe drinking water.


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    World Bank halts investment in palm oil

    20 October 2009

    The World Bank has agreed to suspend all new investments in the palm oil industry by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) - an independent body within the World Bank focused on the private sector - with immediate effect. In a letter to Both ENDS' partner Forest Peoples Programme, Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, writes that all existing investments will be re-examined, pending a number of guarantees that must limit damage to humans and the environment.


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    G-20 summit: Balkenende goes for sustainable money

    20 October 2009

    Within the context of the upcoming G-20 summit in the United States, Both ENDS, SOMO, Tax Justice and Oxfam Novib wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Balkenende. On September 24-25 he will represent the Netherlands in meetings with nineteen world leaders and heads of international financial institutions about combating the global crisis.


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    Both ENDS partner Negusu Aklilu in top 25 most influential people Ethiopia

    29 September 2009

    Negusu Aklilu from Forum for Environment is voted one of Ethiopia's most influential people by Addis Neger, Ethiopia's largest newspaper. He is honoured for his work on putting Africa - the continent hardest hit by climate change - on the international climate calendar by coordinating the African Climate Appeal. This appeal states that African countries should be compensated for the effects of climate change, caused by green house gasses emitted by developed countries. He has been at the forefront in signing the Appeal together with the 2004 Peace Nobel Laureate and environmentalist Wangari Mathai.


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    30 September: Political Cafe – The Safe Harbour

    30 September 2009

    Soy, sugar and wood - the Netherlands and Brasil are riding the wave. Thousands of ships transport millions of tons of merchandise from the Amazon to Rotterdam harbour every year. The Rio Madeira basin, one of the main waterways in the Brazilian rainforest, is threatening to become overwhelmed by the large roads, big dams, and new ports and polluting factories. This infrastructure is intended to stimulate export, but economic development here is fast becoming completely out of balance with social and ecological integrity. As a major trading partner of Brazil, what can the Netherlands do? Wednesday, September 30 from 17h30 - 19h30 Both ENDS is organising a Political Cafe at the Nutshuis in The Hague.


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    Results at the CSD in New York?

    29 July 2009

    The 17th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UNCSD) took place in New York in May. This session, which commenced last year, was continued by Gerda Verburg, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The subjects on the agenda at this 17th session were Africa, Agriculture, Drought & Desertification, Rural Development and Land. Both ENDS was present in New York to follow the negotiations.


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    Both ENDS questions Koenders’s policy memorandum

    6 July 2009

    Last Wednesday, just before the summer recess, the Tweede Kamer (the Dutch Lower House) discussed Minister Koenders's policy memorandum: "Samen werken aan mondiale uitdagingen, Nederland en multilaterale ontwikkelingssamenwerking" (Working together on global challenges; the Netherlands and multilateral development cooperation). With 'multilateral' Koenders refers to the UN, Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and a number of global funds.


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    June 17th: World Day to Combat Desertification

    17 June 2009

    Today, June 17th, is the World Day to Combat Desertification. For this occasion, we have put together the following images illustrating the beauty, diversity and strength of drylands and their inhabitants. They come from different Drynet countries. Be inspired!


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    CERES Summer School: Workshop on Biofuel Production

    3 July 2009

    Friday the 3rd of July Both ENDS facilitates a CERES Summer School workshop on the Impact and Drivers of Biofuel Production. Session 1 from 10.00-12.00h and session 2 13.30 - 15.30h are held at the Spinoza Building of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.


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    Crisis in the Peruvian Amazon

    11 June 2009

    Friday 5 June 2009 was a tragic day for the future of the Peruvian Amazon. At least 31 people have died in clashes between the security forces and indigenous people in the Amazon region. Those killed included indigenous people and policemen. An unknown number of civil people are wounded, arrested or have disappeared. The fights took place at a jungle highway near the town of Bagua, as a result of an operation of Peruvian police forces to disperse the roadblocks formed by protesting indigenous people.


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    Both ENDS helps formulate Dutch policy on Human Rights and the MDG's

    9 June 2009

    On 25 and 26 May 2009 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a seminar on the interlinkages between human rights and the Millennium Development Goals. For many years, Both ENDS and allied organisations - such as the Freshwater Action Network, the Centrre on Housing Rights and Evictions and Simavi - have been advocating a human rights approach to development. This approach strengthens the rights of civil society in determining how natural resources are managed.


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    Both ENDS partner NTFP-EP wins Philippine Web Award

    6 April 2009

    Non Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP), one of Both ENDS' partners, won first prize at the Philippine Web Awards. It was the eleventh edition of this awards event. They were awarded first prize in the category 'best website by a non-profit organisation'. The NTFP EP network has long been helping local forest-dwelling communities who have found a sustainable way to make a living from the forest.


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    27 May POLITICAL CAFÉ: on Desertification and Sustainable Land Use

    27 May 2009

    A large part of earth's surface is covered by dry areas: some 40%, in fact, and over two thirds of Africa. Most of the poorest people on earth, some 70% of the undernourished - over 600 million people - live in these areas. Funding and initiatives to fight desertification and other forms of land degradation and to improve food productivity are of vital importance. However, there seems to be no urgency to do so within the international development cooperation world.


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    Heated debate on dam building

    6 April 2009

    In March 2009 Both ENDS attended the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, where we organised events on the right to water, the so-called 'negotiated approach' to catchment management, and the alignment of infrastructure related lobby of southern civil society groups.


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    Africa Day 2009 to be held on 25 April in The Hague

    6 April 2009

    On Saturday, 25 April the Evert Vermeer Foundation will be organising its annual Africa Day. This will be the day for putting Africa and development cooperation in the spotlight. Exciting debates, interesting classes, dozens of workshops and a fantastic cultural programme will form the most important components of the EVS Africa Day.


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    G20 London: a call for action

    2 April 2009

    Dear Mr. Balkenende,


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    Crisis Cafe March 25th, 2009

    25 March 2009

    On April 2, 2009 the G-20 - the 20 countries with the largest national economies in the world - will be meeting to discuss new, (mostly) short term solutions for the financial crisis. The Netherlands is not a member country, but will be allowed to sit in. But which long term changes should Balkenende be advocating? To inspire him Both ENDS organises on wednesday March 25th, 2009 a Crisis Café: 'De Duurzame Daalder'.


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    World Water Forum in Istanbul

    17 March 2009

    From the 16th till the 22nd of March Istanbul is the stage for the fifth World Water Forum. The World Water Forum is the main water-related event in the world, aimed at putting water firmly on the international agenda. A stepping stone towards global collaboration on water problems, the Forum offers the water community and policy-and-decision-makers from all over the world the unique opportunity to come together to achieve water security. Both ENDS is present at the Forum and participates on three levels.


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    Political Café Water and Sanitation: an Impression

    25 February 2009

    During the Political Café on the integration of the right to water and sanitation (RTWS) in European development policies, organised by Both ENDS on the 17th of December 2008, Southern NGO representatives from Umzabalaso We Jubilee (South Africa) and FANCA (Costa Rica) exposed the importance of a rights-based approach in the water and sanitation sector in the South.


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    Both ENDS on solar energy

    18 February 2009

    Recently Both ENDS is getting part of her energy directly from the sun. On the roof of the office in Amsterdam nineteen solar panels have been installed by Energieker. A young company specialized in alternative sustainable energy for the consumer market. The local Amsterdam broadcasting company AT5 made a short clip.


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    Report on Bujagali Dam ignored by World Bank

    3 February 2009

    A highly critical report on the Bujagali Dam was recently released by the World Bank Inspection Panel - the independent investigation body of the World Bank. The controversial Bujagali Dam, a US$860 million hydropower dam under construction in Uganda, is co-financed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Unfortunately the report of the Inspection Panel has done little to change the commitment of the World Bank in funding the dam. Nor will it implement any fundamental changes in response to the indicated problems.


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    Both ENDS in Dutch Advisory Committee on Biodiversity and Natural Resources

    29 January 2009

    The Biodiversity and Natural Resources Task Force, led by Hans Alders, was launched on January 23. Daniëlle Hirsch, Director Both ENDS, will be taking on the challenge with top professionals from the business world, the science sector, the civil government and civil society organisations. The Task Force would like to develop a vision for how the Netherlands can reduce its impact on natural resources.


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    First sustainably produced orchid for Minister Cramer

    22 January 2009

    Life & Garden, a Dutch national garden centre, will be presenting the first sustainably produced orchid to Minister Cramer, the Dutch Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning on January 26.


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    Minister Bos: Make a sustainable bank of Fortis-ABN AMRO!

    24 December 2008

    Together with our colleague organisations BankTrack; OxfamNovib; Tax Justice Nederland; Milieudefensie and the Vereniging van Beleggers voor Duurzame-Ontwikkeling Both ENDS wrote an open letter to Dutch Minister Bos. The daily newspaper `de Volkskrant', published a summary of this letter on December 19th (in Dutch):


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    Happy New Year!

    18 December 2008

    Both ENDS really means ENvironment and Development Service but we could also say:


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    Both ENDS wins Innovation Award

    2 December 2008

    Both ENDS has won the Innovation Award organized by the Dutch NGO PSO (Association for Staff Cooperation with Developing Countries). The Both ENDS project 'South-South learning through a new approach for River Basin Management' was one of three initiatives shortlisted from a total of 23. On 28 November a committee of experts congratulated Both ENDS with the prize.


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    17 December: Political Café Water right NOW!

    17 December 2008

    There are still over one billion people who have no access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The increasing scarcity of water around the world makes the problem all the more urgent. However, the growing international recognition of the right to water and sanitation is the first step in the right direction. This right gives poor and vulnerable groups the ability to stand up to political neglect. It empowers them to approach national and international courts of justice to demand clean drinking water.


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    First Both ENDS/Joke Waller-Hunter lecture at VU, Amsterdam

    17 November 2008

     

    On December 15th 2008, Both ENDS organizes together with the Society for International Development (SID) the first Joke Waller-Hunter lecture. Both ENDS partner Professor Vijay Paranjpye will talk about `The contribution of agriculture and rural development to inclusive growth'.


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    Land Dispute Settlement Facility under RSPO

    25 November 2008

    Both ENDS introduced process to develop a land Dispute Settlement Facility under the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil during RSPO Round Table 6 in Bali.


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    Expert meeting and Political Café: Testing the waters

    5 November 2008

    Each year Both ENDS organises Political Cafés and expert meetings on development issues. Our work with Southern Civil Society Organisations often makes us aware of the negative effects of the policies of Multi Financial Institutions (MFIs), such as the World Bank and the IMF. The Political Cafés and expert meetings often focus on making these institutions more transparent. Working with our Southern partners we recently addressed the issue of the human right to water and sanitation, by holding a Political Café on this issue at the World Bank's headquarters in Washington DC.


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    3 Both ENDS partners nominated for BBC World Challenge

    22 October 2008

    Both ENDS Partners EMG, South Africa, Keystone, India and Amichoco from Colombia are all three nominated for the prestigious World Challenge of the BBC.


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    Both ENDS at IUCN congress Barcelona

    3 October 2008

    In cooperation with partners Both ENDS will organize multiple workshops at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. During the event from 5-14 October more than 8,000 of the world's leading decision makers in sustainable development: from governments, NGOs, business, the UN and academia will share ideas and initiatives. Together they will debate, share, network, learn, commit, vote and decide. The objective: ideas, action and solutions for a diverse and sustainable world.


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    Political Cafe: Testing the Water

    9 October 2008

    Political Cafe in the Bank We Trust: Testing the water
    How can the right to water and sanitation enhance the World Bank's policy and practice in the sector?

    Thursday October 9th, 2008 / 5 pm to 6.45 pm
    Overflow room for Preston Auditorium, World Bank, 1818 H Street NW Washington D.C


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    All hands on deck for the Millennium Development Goals

    25 September 2008

    In September this year the UN held its annual meetings in New York. The Dutch government was well represented: with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Development Aid all attending. Both ENDS was also in New York to call for the inclusion of the right to water and sanitation in the Millennium Development Goals. We spoke with the Dutch Prime Minister, attended high-level meetings, and published an opinion article.


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    Reactie op artikel Telegraaf

    28 August 2008

    Reactie Danielle Hirsch, directeur van Both ENDS, op het artikel "Cramers subsidieparadijs" in de Telegraaf van 27 augustus 2008: "Het artikel is tendentieus. Het gaat over belastinggeld dat over de balk gesmeten zou worden. Niets is minder waar.


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    Both ENDS annual report 2007

    2 July 2008

    The annual report 2007 of Both ENDS can be downloaded as of now. Guided by three Both ENDS themes: land, water and capital, the annual report gives an overview of the work and projects of Both ENDS in 2007. A new clearly recognisable layout and the use of pictures with a story is characteristic of the new format.


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    Baobabconnections wins award on UN-Habitat conference in Durban

    2 July 2008

    Baobabconnections has won a 'Best Practices Award' at the UN-Habitat conference on International Youth & Crime Prevention. Baobabconnections - the youth programme of Both ENDS - was also taken up into the final resolution.


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    A puzzle tour on sustainability

    10 June 2008

    On the 29th of May Sjef Langeveld took leave from his office as director of Both ENDS and introduced Daniëlle Hirsch to replace him. The farm of Sjef in the beautiful surroundings of the village of Chaam was the setting for a day filled with memories, but above all ideas for the future.


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    Political Cafe forest management in the Congo big success

    16 April 2008

    Both ENDS' Political Cafe on forest management in the Congo, held on May 6, brought together two of Both ENDS' Congolese partners, Adolphine Muley (UEFA) and Alphonse Valivambene (Réseau CREF) with representatives from the World Bank, the European Commission, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



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