In September this year the UN held its annual meetings in New York. The Dutch government was well represented: with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Development Aid all attending. Both ENDS was also in New York to call for the inclusion of the right to water and sanitation in the Millennium Development Goals. We spoke with the Dutch Prime Minister, attended high-level meetings, and published an opinion article.
On Tuesday 28 June, the Honduran organisation COPINH and the Global Justice Association filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in the Netherlands against Dutch development bank FMO. For COPINH, this is part of their continued efforts to bring to justice those involved in the murder of their leader Berta Cáceres. FMO financed the Agua Zarca project in Honduras in 2014. The new complaint is based on documents indicating that FMO's money has been used improperly.
This week we heard the sad news from Flint, Michigan, that Sandra Smithey has passed away. Sandra was for many years our pillar of support at the CS Mott Foundation. The foundation has supported the work of Both ENDS and of partners like Casa Fund and the NGO Forum on the ADB for more than 20 years, both financially and with its wide-ranging knowledge. One of Sandra’s ambitions was to make international money flows, such as development funding via the World Bank but also, for example, export credit insurance, fairer and more sustainable.
140+ organisations call on the European Ministers, Commissioners and members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products. As "trilogue negotiations" on this law begin, we ask you to support a law that lives up to the promises of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals and upholds the EU's commitments on climate, biodiversity and human rights.
Both ENDS and SOMO welcome the announcement done today by the Dutch and Finnish development banks, FMO and FinnFund, to exit the controversial Agua Zarca hydroelectric project in Honduras. Conflict about the project has led to violence in the region, including the murder of three leaders who opposed the project. In March 2016, renowned human rights defender Berta Caceres was murdered for opposing this project in indigenous Lenca territory.
On the 14th of April, Both ENDS wil host a workshop called 'Small Grants, Big Impacts' on the annual Africa day in Amsterdam. The workshop aims to demonstrate that so called 'small grants funds' effectively deliver (devopment and climate) money where it matters, to people that need it the most. Large development banks, funds, donors and governments could use small grants funds as alternative financing mechanisms to make sure their money benefits people and their environment now and it the far future.