Sustainable and inclusive water management • Climate adaptation • Human rights
I have a background in academia and before I started at Both ENDS I had worked for seven years as a researcher on various topics related to the political-economy of land and water governance. During this time I always sought to build bridges between the separate worlds of (academic) research and 'real-world' practice, which led me to work with various national and international organizations. Slowly but gradually, my interest in the world of practice took over and I became increasingly engaged in concrete environmental justice challenges. It is this journey that eventually brought me to Both ENDS, an organization whose vision and approach lie close to my heart.
At Both ENDS I work together with partners in various countries to support locally-driven water governance that is both inclusive and sustainable. We focus on specific practices and interventions as well as the policy processes that shape water governance more broadly. I am convinced that water governance is a particularly urgent issue against the current background of global climate change, which has increasingly manifested itself locally through either too much or too little water. The way in which these water-related challenges are responded to, however, is a deeply political issue, and it is ultimately societal power dynamics that determine who the winners and losers of water governance are. The goal of my work at Both ENDS is therefore to contribute to a shift in these power dynamics towards a more just governance of natural resources.
A Negotiated Approach envisages the meaningful and long-term participation of communities in all aspects of managing the water and other natural resources on which their lives depend. It seeks to achieve healthy ecosystems and equitable sharing of benefits among all stakeholders within a river basin. This inclusive way of working is an essential precondition for the Transformative Practices that are promoted by Both ENDS and partners.
Event / 23 March 2023, 09:00 - 11:00
Online side event at the UN Water conference in New York
This event will present The Transformative Water Pact (TWP), an innovative framework for water governance that has been developed by environmental justice experts from around the world. The TWP will serve as a starting point for dialogue between representatives of the government of Colombia, academia, regional and international NGOs in relation to Colombia's current ambitions in multi-scalar water governance.
Publication / 21 March 2023
News / 21 March 2023
Water is literally life, the lifeblood of ecosystems, of nature, of humans. However, in many places the distribution and use of water is unjust and unsustainable. Water management is generally focused on short-term economic interests, on maximizing the profit of a well-connected few at the expense of people and nature. This dominant view of water and water management has its origins in the European industrial revolution, which became the global norm through colonialism and globalization. But according to Melvin van der Veen and Murtah Shannon, water experts at Both ENDS, this view will have to give way to equitable, sustainable and inclusive water management. Both ENDS cooperates with and supports communities and organisations worldwide who are working to this end.
Press release / 20 March 2023
Academics and civil society representatives from around the world came together to articulate an alternative vision and framework for water governance, in the run-up to the UN Water Conference 2023 in New York. The Transformative Water Pact was developed in response to the continued exploitation of nature, neglect of human rights and the extreme power-imbalances that characterize contemporary water governance throughout the world. It details an alternative vision of water governance based on the tenets of environmental justice, equality and care.
News / 22 March 2022
These past weeks we have been joining the #WeWomenAreWater campaign to put the spotlights on just climate solutions of and for women, girls, trans, intersex and non-binary people around the world. The campaign started on International Women's Day (March 8th) and ends today, on World Water Day. Just climate solutions already exist but these initiatives are grossly underfunded, and the people implementing them are also those most impacted by climate change and climate-related water scarcity. Therefore, we would like to highlight, especially today on World Water Day, some of these solutions below. And we also have a special message from the colleagues at Both ENDS working on inclusive water governance.