Both ENDS devotes special attention to a number of issues. We often work closely with local partners for many years on these dossiers or, through worldwide networks, we call for changes in policy. Below is a selection of our most prominent dossiers.
Elections are soon to be held in the Netherlands. The political parties are sharpening their knives and have outlined their plans in hefty manifestos. Not surprisingly, they mainly focus on domestic issues. International themes are primarily addressed in terms of opportunities for Dutch companies and threats in areas like health, privacy and competition that we need to protect ourselves against. But if we want to make the Netherlands sustainable, we especially need to look at our footprint beyond our own borders and make every effort to reduce it. In the weeks leading up to the elections, Both ENDS looks at where the parties' manifestos offer opportunities to achieve that.
In these times of worldwide lockdown all attention is focused on the care sector, on the sorrow of those who are losing their loved ones, on children getting home-schooling and the neighbour who can no longer go the supermarket herself. Politicians and civil servants are hard at work trying to control the COVID-19 crisis and the economic crisis it has caused.
In 2011 one of the world’s largest gas reserves was found in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado, in the north of Mozambique. A total of 35 billion dollars has been invested to extract the gas. Dozens of multinationals and financiers are involved in these rapid developments. It is very difficult for the people living in Cabo Delgado to exert influence on the plans and activities, while they experience the negative consequences. With the arrival of these companies, they are losing their land.
Indigenous communities in Paraguay saw their attempts to regain their ancestral lands thwarted by German investors. In Indonesia, US-based mining companies succeeded to roll back new laws that were meant to boost the country’s economic development and protect its forests. This is the level of impact that investment treaties can have on social, environmental and economic development and rights. Why? Because of the ‘Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement’ clauses that are included in many such treaties.
The rising demand for soy is having negative consequences for people and the environment in South America. Both ENDS reminds Dutch actors in the soy industry of their responsibilities and is working with partners on fair and sustainable alternatives.
Globally, the area that is suffering desertification and land degradation is ever expanding. Unsustainable and often large-scale agricultural practices, including the copious use of pesticides and fertilisers, are a major driver of land degradation, aprocess that is further exacerbated by climate change, causing more erratic rainfall patterns, longer periods of drought and unpredictable growing seasons. This is very problematic not only for the hundreds of millions of people who directly depend on land and water for their livelihoods, but also for life on earth as a whole. It is clear that this process must be stopped and reversed, better sooner than later. But how to go about it?
Both ENDS is co-plaintiff in the climate lawsuit being brought by Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth The Netherlands) against Shell to stop the company from causing harm to the climate. Shell has known about the severity of the climate problem for many years but continues with the climate-polluting extraction of oil and gas. By doing so, it undermines efforts to achieve the climate goals. Companies have a responsibility not to cause serious harm to society and the climate. Because Shell refuses to take that responsibility itself, we are taking the company to court. In brief, we demand that Shell has zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and adapts its activities to be fully aligned with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.
Small grants funds offer an effective, alternative way to channel big money from large donors and funds to local groups and organisations that are striving for a sustainable and just society everywhere around the world.
GAGGA rallies the collective power of the women's rights and environmental justice movements to realize a world where women can and do access their rights to water, food security, and a clean, healthy and safe environment.
Together with civil society organisations from all over the world, the Fair Green and Global (FGG) Alliance aims for socially just, inclusive and environmentally sustainable societies in the Netherlands and the Global South.
In 2015, the member states of the United Nations committed themselves to the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unlike their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs recognise the importance of equality within and between countries, of decision-making processes in which all people are included and heard, and of legal systems that are independent and accessible to all.
Pension funds have a lot of influence because of their enormous assets. Both ENDS therefore wants pension funds such as the Dutch ABP to withdraw their investments from the fossil industry and to invest sustainably instead.
Development banks should comply with strict environmental and human rights rules to ensure that their projects benefit and do not harm the poorest groups. Both ENDS monitors the banks to make sure they do.
Local organisations and groups must be given access to climate finance from the Green Climate Fund. They know exactly what is happening in their local context and what is required for climate adaptation.
Almost two-thirds of the export credit insurances that Atradius DSB provided in the 2012-2018 period went to the fossil energy sector. That is contrary to the climate agreements that the Netherlands signed in Paris.
Indigenous Hondurans are resisting the construction of the Agua Zarca hydrodam. Their fight has cost several lives, including that of Berta Cáceres. After considerable public pressure, Dutch development bank FMO withdrew from the project.
Soil health is of great importance for both ecosystems and agricultural and food-production systems. Both ENDS promotes sustainable land use and fair land governance, this way contributing to better soil health.
Large-scale infrastructural projects have detrimental effects on local people and the environment, while their benefits are felt elsewhere. Both ENDS is working to ensure that local people have a greater say in decision-making and is investigating the way these projects are funded.
International trade agreements often have far-reaching consequences not only for the economy of a country, but also for people and the environment. It is primarily the most vulnerable groups who suffer most from these agreements.
The Barro Blanco dam project in Panama, which has Dutch financial support, is causing indigenous lands to disappear under water. Both ENDS is working to protect the rights of indigenous communities living near the dam.
Both ENDS and some partners started a four-year project Upholding Human Rights, bridging the gender-environment divide in 2014, with the aim to empower women and human rights defenders, to improve sustainable resource management and to further explore the potential of the human rights system to enhance the position and protect the rights of women.
In and around the rapidly growing cities of the Ganges Delta in India and Bangladesh, there is a serious threat of groundwater shortages. The Negotiated Approach is intended to offer a fair and sustainable solution.
A protected nature reserve, better waste processing, restricted mining and participation of local residents in water management: these are the results of eight years of working on a Negotiated Approach to integrated water management in five river basins in Indonesia.