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Fair Green and Global Alliance (FGG)

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.

Communities worldwide experience on a daily basis how Dutch, international or local policies and practices lead to violations of human rights and environmental destruction. Both ENDS has joined forces with Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), ActionAid Netherlands, Schone Kleren Campagne (Clean Clothes Campaign), SOMO and TNI in the Fair Green and Global Alliance, to address these problems and provide alternative policies and practices that protect human rights, people's livelihoods and the environment.

The FGG Alliance members and partner organisations link local realities to national and global policy processes, and challenge existing rules and regulations that maintain or exacerbate the power imbalances that characterise our current economic system. These power imbalances are often most visible and tangible in Low- and Lower-Middle Income Countries, where lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate change, declining biodiversity, and scarcity of resources.

In order to realise change, the FGG Alliance focuses on three main areas of work: improved corporate conduct, improved international trade and investment, and improved financial and tax systems.

Improved corporate conduct

Through globalisation, corporations have acquired greater power and legal rights, but without a parallel increase in accountability. To close this gap, rules, regulations and enforcement are required on the one hand, and improvements in corporate governance, business models and business practices on the other hand.

For Both ENDS, the palm oil industry is one of the main sectors where we work together with our local partners to pressurise corporations to improve their conduct, but we also devote attention to other bulk agricultural products, including soya and sugarcane. All of these sectors are facing similar problems, such as deforestation, land-grabbing and water and soil pollution caused by the use of agro-chemicals.

At the same time, we promote sustainable alternative ways to use and manage land and water, and we work to support the recovery of areas damaged by large-scale agriculture and/or climate change. Examples of these activities include local agro-ecological initiatives, participatory land-use planning and analog forestry. We work with local partners who strengthen these sustainable alternatives in practice and create space for them in Dutch and international policy.

Improved trade and investment

The current global trade and investment regime has expanded the rights of corporations, while diminishing the policy options available to governments. There is an urgent need to redress this imbalance, to enable governments to fulfil environmental and social objectives, including increased gender equality and respect for human rights.

Both ENDS therefore works to achieve fair trade and investment agreements, in which the social and environmental rights of local populations weigh as heavily as the rights of international corporations and foreign investors. Together with local partners, we call for bilateral agreements between the Netherlands and other countries to be cancelled or renegotiated. We also look closely at the multilateral trade agreements of the European Union and other regions, and advocate for special investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses in investment agreements to be scrapped. These clauses allow investors to evade national courts and lodge complaints against countries if they introduce legislation that erodes their profits. We also work with our partners on trade and investment agreements that allow space for the use of local seeds and greater participation by local farmers in decision-making.

Improved financial and tax systems

The current financial system has increased inequality and injustice, especially in Low- and Lower- Middle Income Countries. A large part of global capital is controlled by a small group of individuals, companies and (public) institutions. In addition, international financial institutions hardly take human rights or the environment into account. The FGG Alliance seeks to contribute to policy coherence for development by helping ensure that financial regulations, tax systems, and the functioning of (public) international financial institutions are geared towards sustainable and inclusive development and equity within and across borders.

Both ENDS therefore calls on international financial institutions like the World Bank, regional development banks and the Dutch development bank FMO to adopt effective social and environmental standards. We do the same in the case of other institutions that use taxpayers' money, such as export credit agencies or funds like the Green Climate Fund. We devote special attention to infrastructure projects like ports and dams, which are often financed by the financial institutions referred to above. Together with our local partners, we work to increase the participation of local communities in decision-making on natural resources, especially water.

Mutual Capacity Development and joint lobby and advocacy

The members and partner organisations of the FGG Alliance have two main strategies to work on a fair and sustainable world: mutual capacity development and lobby and advocacy. Mutually (FGG members and partner organisations) developing capacity to lobby and advocate for improved corporate conduct, improved trade and investment and improved financial and tax systems is at the heart of the FGG Alliance. The FGG Alliance defines mutual capacity development as a process of strengthening skills, knowledge and network contacts, involving partner organisations, FGG Alliance members, and key networks and their members as equal partners. FGG partners and members combine their complementary roles and expertise to achieve their joint goals.

Our joint lobbying and advocacy objectives are based on the priorities and agendas of our Southern partners. To ensure 'fair' and 'green' development, the Alliance works with local NGOs, civil society organisations, community-based organisations, communities, and individuals, that face challenges relating to labour and human rights, the use of and control over natural resources, and the global financial system.

Both ENDS works closely with organisations in the Global South on joint advocacy, both towards their local government and on an international level. In addition, Both ENDS lends its support to the existing and emerging networks of organisations working on sustainable development models. Both ENDS is the lead agency of the FGG Alliance.

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(Wijngaard2.jpg, 10/06/2008)