Pak Japin is a quiet, slim, and softly-spoken man from the village of Silat Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. I met him at a recent documentary screening in Bali on the fringe of the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) annual conference, where he spoke about his community's nine year-long conflict with palm oil company Golden Agri Resources Ltd (GAR).
By 2020, the EU wants a larger percentage of fuel used for transportation to consist of renewable sources, such as biofuel. Many European countries have therefore made the blending of biofuels in diesel and gasoline mandatory. A large proportion of this biofuel is now palm oil.
A year ago, the Senegalese NGO Takkom Jerry filed a complaint with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dutch Development Bank FMO, with support from Both ENDS. These banks finance the Sendou coal power station, right next to the fishing village of Bargny. The AfDB has now recognized the complaint. FMO is already processing the complaint and will publish an official response shortly.
On 30 September 2017 Both ENDS submitted a position statement on the draft Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil National Action Plan. The draft National Action Plan purports to represent a blue print for improving the sustainability of the Indonesian palm oil industry. However, Both ENDS has significant concerns about the logic, rationale and purpose behind the draft National Action Plan and its legitimacy as a benchmark for a sustainable palm oil industry.
As of today, 1 September 2016, Paul Engel is Chair of the Board of Both ENDS. During his professional life Paul has always been seeking to contribute to global sustainable and inclusive development. His experience and knowledge of the field in which Both ENDS works therefore is of great added value.
On Monday September 5, together with the Dutch Party for the Animals, Both ENDS organised a Masterclass Dutch Export Credit Facility. The goal of the Masterclass was to inform Dutch parliamentarians and their staff on the functioning of the Dutch export credit facility.
On November 6th 2012 ‘La Nation’ covered a workshop organised by Both ENDS and partner organisation JVE-Benin. The workshop aimed at bringing together policymakers and NGOs that are active in various river basins throughout Africa, and to familiarize them with the so-called ‘Negotiated Approach’. Professor Vijay Paranjpye of Gomukh Trust, a local organisation from India that has been at the base of the development of this alternative approach to managing natural resources, was present to inspire African delegates with experiences from the Indian practice.
Both ENDS' Niels Hazekamp and Daan Robben are joining the Climate CoP in Bonn to actively follow the negotiations, with a special focus on certain topics such as subsidies and support for fossil fuels, climate finance, climate adaptation, and gender. Both ENDS also co-organises a side event together with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
In March the Indonesian government announced that it will terminate the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the Netherlands as of July 1st, 2015 (for more information, see the press release of 24 March at the bottom of this post). Several organizations, including Both ENDS, have been raising questions about these controversial international trade agreements for a long time and think they should be drastically revised or even terminated. The Socialist Party and GreenLeft have asked parliamentary questions about the effects of these treaties following Indonesia’s decision. Both ENDS is curious about the answers to these parliamentary questions and about the consequences they will have for Dutch policy in this area.