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.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced a worrying change in their policy on transparency. One of the changes would result in EU citizens no longer being able to access internal EIB documents, even if they are of public interest. Several campaigners, including Both ENDS’ Pieter Jansen, have therefore urged the the Dutch Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem to speak out against these plans on the next board meeting on September 16th.
'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.
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.
On Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, Both ENDS Foundation is hosting a so-called 'Political Café, or debate, on the new international role of Dutch water utilities in Developing countries. The State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Ben Knapen, would like to see a more direct involvement of Dutch companies in development cooperation. The Netherlands is internationally well known for its water expertise and both the government and the private sector would like to make this a focal point of foreign policy in the realm of international cooperation. Dutch water companies such as Evides and Vitens are already working with water companies in Ghana, Mozambique, Vietnam and Suriname.
In preparation of Rio+20 - the June 2012 UN summit on sustainability - the Dutch National Platform Rio+20 organises the pre-event, 'Rio aan de Maas'. On the 30th of May policy makers, entrepreneurs and citizens will share and experience local initiatives for global sustainability in the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam. Both ENDS and Cordaid are organising the workshop 'Visions from the South' and will launch the book 'Imagining Sustainability'.
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:
Large-scale plans made by governments or companies can often have profound effects on small communities and their environment. Countless people have to move if a dam is built, forests are cleared for new highways, airports or palm oil plantations. Promised compensation is often incomplete or not given at all. For local communities, objecting to such plans is not easy. Nevertheless a community in Uganda has managed to receive fair compensation from the government. Together with the organisations NAPE and AFIEGO, partners of Both ENDS and IUCN NL, the community has persuaded the government to buy new land for those who are forced to move.