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Land & water governance

In large parts of the world, people depend directly on the water and land around them for their livelihoods. Deforestation, mining, large-scale agriculture, and dams and other infrastructural projects have a serious impact on the quality and availability of land and water, which in turn affects the living environments of local communities. Both ENDS helps these communities to become involved in decisions affecting their living environments and promotes fair and sustainable methods of using and managing land and water.

Through their close relationship with their living environments, local communities often know best how to use and manage land, water and forests sustainably. They use natural resources without depleting them and pass the knowledge and practices they have accumulated over many years on to the next generation. Both ENDS supports and promotes these local methods of land and water management to offset unsustainable, large-scale projects imposed from outside. Examples of such local methods include food forests, participatory forms of land-use planning and water management, and farmer-managed natural regeneration, a way of regenerating areas suffering from drought.

In addition, we support communities that are losing access to and control over their land and water. We help them to engage in dialogue with companies, banks and government authorities whose projects have a direct impact on their living environments. We also inform local people of their rights and the opportunities to lodge objections to these projects at national or international courts or through other complaints mechanisms.

In the Netherlands and at international level, we lobby for policies that promote sustainable land and water management and prevent negative impacts. We engage in dialogue with the Dutch government on its water, land, climate, trade and investment policies and call on development banks to improve their sustainability and human rights policies. We ensure that the voices of Southern civil society organisations are heard in international platforms like the UNCCD and the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and that human rights, especially those of women and indigenous peoples, are respected.

Our work on the subject of Land & water governance

  • Transformative Practice

    Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration

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    In various countries in the Sahel, vast tracts of degraded land have been restored by the local population by nurturing what spontaneously springs from the soil. They do this using a method called 'Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)'.
  • Transformative Practice

    Agroecology

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    Agroecology is a diverse set of agricultural practices, a field of science and a social movement. It aims to transform food systems towards greater ecological sustainability, social justice, and resilience. Both ENDS and CSO-partners around the world support farmers and pastoralists practising agroecology, both on the ground and in gathering political and financial support.
  • Dossier

    Uganda’s Energy Future

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    Despite the existence of many hydropower dams, foreign investments and large government spending on energy, and new plans for hydropower, oil and gas projects, the vast majority of rural Uganda still remains without electricity. Together with our local partners we are striving towards a sustainable energy strategy for Uganda that starts from the needs and wishes of local communities.
  • Dossier

    Inclusive ways to sustainable and healthy food for all

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    All around the world small-scale farmers are using sustainable and inclusive methods to produce food. Working together with nature and each other, they provide their families and communities with sufficient and healthy food. But their production methods are under pressure from large-scale agriculture and the globally dominant system of industrial food production. Together with our partners, Both ENDS is trying to turn the tide in favour of sustainable, local practices that are mostly known as 'agro-ecological' or 'nature-inclusive'. Why are we focusing on these methods, ? Agro-ecological practices are climate-proof and inclusive and increase the opportunities for communities around the world to produce their food sustainably.
  • Dossier

    The Netherlands, the world and the elections

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    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.
  • Dossier

    Rights for People, Rules for Corporations – Stop ISDS!

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    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.
  • Dossier

    Soy: trade in deforestation

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    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.
  • Dossier

    The merits of community-based restoration

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    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?
  • Dossier

    Small Grants Big Impacts

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    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. 
  • Dossier

    Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)

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    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. 
 
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