When governments assign areas for development purposes such as mining or large-scale agricultural production, often women are affected most. Women are often responsible for their family's food security, relying on access to natural resources such as land and water. At the same time, women have little or no access to decision-making procedures. By empowering women in the Kenyan Tana Delta, Both ENDS' partner Nature Kenya has effectively build counterpower and convinced local and national decision makers of the necessity to include women in land use planning.
<p >The Association of Saramaccan Authorities (ASA) is an organisation consisting of 61 Saramaccan village leaders from Suriname, fighting large scale land rights violations. Logging companies are exerting great pressure on the area and the Surinam government does little about it. ASA campaigns for the protection of the region and the enhancement of inhabitants' influence. We spoke with Hugo Jabini from ASA about his expectations for RIO+20.
After the second shocking murder of an indigenous rights activist in Honduras in less than two weeks the Dutch development bank, FMO, and the Finish development bank, FinnFund, announced a suspension of all their operations in Honduras. They declare that they will no longer engage in new projects or disbursements in the country, including in new disbursements in the Agua Zarca Project.
Representatives of the Dutch and the German development banks (FMO and DEG) are in Panama today to discuss the future of the controversial Barro Blanco project with the government. Last May, the locks of the dam were closed to test the dam, in complete breach of all previous agreements. Part of the surrounding land is now flooded and some residents might soon have to be evacuated. Both ENDS, together with seven other organisations sent a letter to the directors of the two banks, urging them to assume their responsibilities as investors in the project.
The right to water is more important than economic gain. Last year, this has been defined by law in two municipalities in Honduras. Our partner organization ARCA worked long and hard to make this happen, but eventually succeeded. The ‘right to water’… what exactly does it entail in practice? Why is it so important, and why is this relatively small success still a true milestone? Sanderijn van Beek of Both ENDS was involved in this story.
Finally, some good news from Suape, Brazil! The Fórum Suape, an association of affected local people, has gained support from the official Bar Association in Pernambuco. The human rights commission of the Bar Association has decided that there is enough reason to file a complaint against the Suape Port Authority. On November 10, the first public hearing will be held to give impetus to the case.