On Friday, the long awaited policy note by Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag was published. The note was the outcome of a process of consultation, scientific analysis and much discussion within and outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We searched for the spirit underlying it: What trends does this minister consolidate and deepen? What is new? Are those new aspects a superficial change of discourse or a genuine break with the past? On what issues is the paper silent and what do those silences tell us?
"My idea of 'good' is that people can make decisions about their own development; that they are able to decide what happens to their environment. That we all respect the boundaries of our ecosystems and that women, just like men, are able to develop in the way that they want". Daniëlle Hirsch is responding to a question from the audience where she just gave a lecture on her views for a future sustainable economy.
From 2011 to 2015, Both ENDS took part in the Ecosystem Alliance to improve the livelihoods of the poor and create an inclusive economy, through participatory and responsible management of ecosystems.
This week the brand new South-African website ‘EMG’s Untold Stories’ was launched. On the website, author Leonie Joubert gives a voice to different people who work to improve their environment, together with the South African organization ‘Environmental Monitoring Group’ (EMG). Each of the four stories collected by Joubert focuses on a different aspect of the work EMG does to ensure that South African natural resources are managed in a sustainable and equitable way. The online book has been published as part of the Both ENDS’s project ‘An Untold Story’, which gives human rights and environmental organisations from four different corners of the world a chance to tell their story about the impact the global economy has on their local environment.
The past months, weeks and final hours were without a doubt exciting. Last Friday afternoon, the announcement finally came in: the proposals for partnerships that were submitted by Both ENDS, have both been approved by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are incredibly happy that we can bring this great news to our colleagues from Southern partner organisations, who are dedicated to making the world a better place to live in.
Saturday morning, call time at the office is five o'clock. The group of ten people arriving is still half asleep. Like almost every weekend Kalikasan PNE, the organisation where I'm conducting my internship, organizes a field trip. Today, we will we visit one of the fisher communities in Bulakan, where the new airport of Manila is planned.