Nathalie van Haren, senior policy officer at Both ENDS, is participating in the RIO+20 conference that officially started today. Whilst the draft text presented last March was no reason for optimism, Van Haren remains hopeful that the international community will take the necessary decisions. In an interview by Vice Versa (A Dutch magazine on development cooperation) she explains why a strict focus on the environment, seen in the draft text, is problematic.
We are deeply shocked about the murder on Dexter Condez, the 26-year-old leader of the Ati tribe, an indigenous group in the Philippines. He was shot dead Friday night February 22nd on the tourist island of Boracay. While no suspects have been arrested, the police thinks the motive could involve a dispute between de Ati tribe and developers over a piece of land. Our sympathy goes to the family, friends and the people he worked with.
In the past quarter of a century we have become a strong, professional network organization, working with many partners in countries around the globe on environmental and development issues. We are very proud that we were given the opportunity to work with inspiring people all over the world who, often in very difficult circumstances, are taking small steps to create a fairer and greener world.
Altough you might not notice right away, a bitter scent sticks to most flower bouquets. The cultivation of flowers mostly happens in developing countries where it is often associated with poor working conditions, excessive water consumption and pollution. Both ENDS is therefore very pleased about the announced cooperation between sustainability label Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFP) and the Milieu Programma Sierteelt (MPS) foundation. Because of this cooperation, consumers will be able to consciously choose for a fair, well-scented bouquet of flowers at an ever growing number of retailers.
Stuart Hugo Jabini, a Saramakan who was raised on the Upper Surinam River, made a stand against the plans of the Surinam government to cut down the forest in which his community lives. On his behalf the Forest People Programme (FPP), a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for the rights of indigenous forest people, won a case against the Surinam government at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The court forbid the plans of exploiting the Saramakan territory for industrial development. This resulted in an international landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal communities to prevent exploitation of their livelihoods.
The Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic is planning to reduce access to information about the Integrated Pollution Register (IPR), which has been functioning very well for the last 6 years. With that register, the Czech Republic—unlike some other countries—has an efficient instrument to control the implementation of international conventions regarding environmental protection, such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
Today, more than 340 organisations from both South America and Europe, including Both ENDS, have sent a joint open letter to European Union leaders calling for the EU to cease negotiations on the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement. The organisations and their constituencies are seriously concerned about increasing violations of indigenous human rights and damage to nature and the environment in Brazil.