Dutch development bank FMO did not sufficiently take into account the rights of the local population and effects on the environment before approving a $ 25 million loan for the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama. This is not in accordance with FMO’s own standards. This was revealed in the long-awaited report by the independent complaints mechanism (ICM) of the FMO and the German development bank DEG, released on May 29. The report was published in response to a complaint filed by the M-10, the movement representing the affected indigenous Ngöbe population, in May 2014. Both ENDS has been supporting the M-10 in its struggle against the dam for years, and was one of the organisations that supported the complaint.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has pointed out to the Surinam Government that it must obey the "Saramaka verdict". On November 28th, 2008 Suriname lost the case that was brought against the government by the Saramaka community, led by - amongst others - Steward Hugo Jabini, presently a member of the Parliament of Suriname. Jabini is very active in the struggle against the exploitation of the territory of the Saramaka.
Megaprojects in South America like large dams and mines are a threat to the natural habitat of indigenous tribes. Cross Cultural Bridges - in cooperation with Both ENDS - therefore started a two-year project to encourage young indigenous leaders in the Amazon and Andes area to defend their rights. Ralph Schreinemachers of Cross Cultural Bridges came to visit Both ENDS to report on the project that he participated in as a trainer.
We’re only a few months away from the start of the World Cup festivities. For a period of four weeks, starting mid-June, the eyes of the world will be focused on 12 Brazilian football stadiums in which it will be decided which country may call itself World Champion Football for the coming four years. However, for a large number of people, there is little to celebrate. During the preparations for the big event people are evicted from their land and expelled from their homes to make way for stadiums, hotels and infrastructure. These people will have to a way to try to build up a new life somewhere else, without being adequately compensated for their losses.
In April 2021, the Dutch development bank FMO announced that it is no longer involved in the Barro Blanco project, a controversial dam in Panama. GENISA, the Panamanian company that built the dam, unexpectedly paid off the multi-million dollar loan early. The question is to what extent, now that the bank is no longer actively financing the project, FMO can still be held responsible for the damage and suffering that was caused when this was still the case.
This week, a special rapporteur of the United Nations spoke out against the opening of an open-pit coalmine in Phulbari in the northwestern part of Bangladesh. He did this because of the enormous human rights violations this project might lead to. A year ago, the International Accountability Project (IAP) presented a proposal for research on this subject to a number of UN Special Rapporteurs. Olivier de Schutter (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food) has worked on the proposal since then. From the start, Both ENDS has been active within several networks that are trying to prevent the opening of this coalmine.
Both ENDS has developed a method to integrate gender issues into managing natural resources like land and water. Partner organisations AMICHOCÓ in Colombia, ANCE in Togo and BARCIK in Bangladesh have been using this method in their areas since 2010. Although women in these and many other areas are doing the same work as men, equal control of the production and management of resources doesn't yet exist. The approach Both ENDS uses is aimed towards expanding awareness of gender relations and the importance of equality by defining the problem and applying practical exercises.
In Manila Bay, a vulnerable coastal area next to the Philippine capital city, a new airport is being planned, with involvement of the Dutch water sector. Local civil society organisations raised their concerns about this airport, which has large impact on the lives of local residents and on the ecosystem.