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.
Both ENDS and Forest Peoples Program have formally requested the European Parliament, Commission and Council and the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, to consult indigenous and local communities impacted by EU trade in palm oil and other agricultural commodities in formal EU policy deliberations on these topics. Why did we decide to do so and what's it all about? Our colleague Michael Rice sheds some light on the matter.
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.
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.
'Water for development' was the topic of the annual World Water Week (WWW), which was held last week in Stockholm for the 25th time. Thirza Bronner, Sanderijn van Beek and Cindy Coltman of Both ENDS were present, together with partners Serah Munguti of ‘Nature Kenya’ in Kenya, and Suu Lam from the ‘Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD)’ in Vietnam. In light of this year’s theme, Both ENDS decided to invite these two outspoken women leaders to this conference to bring strong civil society voices to the table. They took part in a roundtable session that was marked by enthusiastic participation of policy makers, donors and NGOs. During the session, Munguti and Lam told us about their organisational objectives, their experiences and how ‘water for development’ translates into their practice.
Just like last year, the Stockholm International Water Institute organises the World Water Week which is starting this weekend. The overall theme of this year is cooperation between all stakeholders which are somehow involved with water. As this is one of the main themes in Both ENDS' work, of course we are present as well. Our colleagues Izabella Dias and Thirza Bronner are organising a panel discussion in the Water Week and Izabella Dias tells us exactly what it is about:
For the very first time, the expert panel of the independent complaints mechanism of the Dutch development bank FMO will handle a complaint. It was filed on May 5 by residents of the area where the Barro Blanco dam is currently being built. These people form part of the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé tribe. They feel that FMO has not adhered to its own social and environmental standards when they lent 25 million US dollars to build the dam. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS has been keeping a close eye on the situation.
Our partner Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS) from Bangladesh has won third prize in the Water Showcase competition at the World Water Forum. We congratulate them with this magnificent result! Besides receiving a considerable sum of money, the award is an important recognition for LEDARS’ innovative approach. The seventh edition of the World Water Forum takes place in Daegu, South Korea.