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’ (ISDS) clauses that are included in many such treaties.
The South American La Plata Basin is the largest freshwater wetland in the world. Monoculture, ranching, mining and infrastructure projects are among the many threats to the wetland system, its forests and rivers, and the livelihoods of the many people who depend on them. Our partners in the region work tirelessly to preserve the basin.
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.
Covering an area of 5.5 million km², the Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. At least 12% of the forest has been lost in the last decades, and deforestation is still continuing at a rapid pace. Illegal logging, land grabbing and intimidation for agriculture, animal husbandry and mining are daily business, and impunity rules. Recent developments, such as the election of the new Bolsonaro government in Brazil, make the future of the Amazon region and the people living there even more uncertain than it already was.
We have good news from our partner organisation Gram Swaraj in India! In light of the Ecosystem Alliance India Programme, Both ENDS and the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) have nominated Gram Swaraj for the ‘Paul K. Feyerabend Award – A World of Solidarity is Possible’. This organization is committed to fighting for the rights of tribal communities in rural India. Due to increased mining and other industrial activities in India, the culture, living environment and overall existence of such communities are being threatened.
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.
The Cauvery, a large river that runs through west and southeastern India, is home to a varied and vibrant wildlife and communities. The video documentary team of Dusty Foot Productions had initially been working on a research project on wildlife – mainly otters – of the Cauvery. While documenting the vibrant and diverse ecosystem around the river, the Dusty Foot team however realised that it could not ignore the problems that were present in the area: illegal gill netting, sand mining and the construction of mini hydels (hydroelectric power plants).The story about the Cauvery’s wildlife could therefore not be told without also focusing on the negative effects of industrial projects on the environment.
Biju Mathew, an American professor from India who is also active for the 'Mining Zone Peoples Solidarity Group (MZPSG), visited Both ENDS' office in Amsterdam on January 19th. He was returning from a 'fact-finding mission' in the province of Orissa in India, where Korean steel company POSCO has plans for building a steel plant, several iron ore mines, roads, a railroad and a private harbor.