The Both ENDS vision is a world where long-term environmental sustainability and social equity take priority over short-term profits.
In order realise this vision, it is our mission to strengthen global civil society in order to gain decisive influence on the use of nature and the environment, thus contributing to societies that stay within our planetary boundaries and respect all human rights, including the rights to water, food and a safe living environment.
|We have a unique approach to restore the imbalance. We actively search for people and organisations in developing countries who are working on a local level in the field of poverty reduction and environmental management. These people and organisations often develop good ideas to improve their own living standards and their natural habitat. With only a few minor adjustments, their ideas and plans can often be used in other areas, other developing countries and in Western countries.
Farmers in the Sahel desert have been successful using minimal water to grow crops and refertilise large tracts of arid land. Local communities in Kalimantan have conducted successful negotiations with the government and palm oil companies for their right to land. Both ENDS sets up networks so that these local ideas can spread to the rest of the world where they can be used. Within these networks, local and international environmental organisations exchange information and support each other to achieve results. So doing, smart local ideas that benefit people and nature get a global platform.
The exchange of knowledge and experience alone is not enough. Major decisions are taken in Western countries that affect people in developing countries. These consequences are not sufficiently considered. We find it important for people in developing countries to get a say in what happens to their own lives and with the nature from which they get their food and water supply. After all, they are dependent on it. Therefore, we place these alternative ideas on the agendas of Western decision-makers, whether politicians, businesses or banks. It is possible for a local idea to lead to a change in international policy.
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In 1986, representatives from 15 Dutch environmental organisations met to discuss the daily reality that thousands of nature- and environmental organisations in developing countries have to cope with. All these organisations contribute to the wellbeing of people and their natural environment in their own way, often in crucial ways: preventing roads from being built in endangered rain forests or protecting coral reefs in valuable fishing waters. These organisations often operate within a context of political repression and lack information, contacts and financial, political and moral support.
In reaction to this serious issue, Dutch environmental organisations created Both ENDS: Environment and Development Service. The former IUCN-ledencontact (now IUCN Netherlands) adopted Both ENDS as a project and gave it a home. The project's goal was to offer support and guidance to organisations around the world. It also wanted to find a way to bring the worlds of development cooperation and environmental protection together. By 1990 Both ENDS was strong enough to continue its mission as an independent foundation.
Since 1986, Both ENDS has supported many hundreds of environmental organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and countries in Central- and Eastern Europe. We have offered help in fundraising, in creating networks in and outside the Netherlands and in collecting relevant information. We also brought issues of groups of people in developing countries to the attention of policymakers and the corporate world on a local, national and international level.
Together with local organisations we've initiated programs that were specifically focused on the management and protection of river stream flow areas, forests, wetlands and dry areas.Cooperation on policy dialogue has become increasingly important over the last few years. This dialogue originates from regularly organised 'political cafes' with members of the Dutch Second Chamber (the lower house of the Dutch parliament), decision makers form companies, scientists and other civil organisations.