We’re only a few months away from the start of the World Cup festivities. For a period of four weeks, starting mid-June, the eyes of the world will be focused on 12 Brazilian football stadiums in which it will be decided which country may call itself World Champion Football for the coming four years. However, for a large number of people, there is little to celebrate. During the preparations for the big event people are evicted from their land and expelled from their homes to make way for stadiums, hotels and infrastructure. These people will have to a way to try to build up a new life somewhere else, without being adequately compensated for their losses.
Trade and aid are the new pillars of international cooperation. But does it make sense to link these two together? There’s nothing wrong with finding out whether trade and aid can complement each other, but let’s not overdo it.
Although the Panamanian government decided to suspend the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in February of this year, it now appears that construction will be resumed after all. This has been announced by the government on Monday May 4th. The contract with the original developer, Genisa, will most probably be terminated, and other project developers will be sought. However, according to representatives of the indigenous Ngöbe Buglé community, new developers will not solve the problem: the dam will inevitably damage their territory and surroundings. Out of protest, they left the roundtable dialogue with the Panamanian government which started in February with the aim to find a solution to the problem of the controversial dam.
What would the world look like if men and women around the world would have the same opportunities in life? What would politics look like if half of the world's leaders would be female? What would development look like if men and women would have equal access to and control over the natural resources they depend upon?
The Dutch development bank FMO and the Finnish FinnFund announced this week that they are seeking ‘a responsible and legal exit’ from the Agua Zarca project in Honduras. Last week, it was reported that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the murder of human rights activist Berta Cáceres, who opposed the project for many years. One of those arrested is the manager for social and environmental affairs of DESA, the company implementing the Agua Zarca project. Because the company is a direct client of FMO and FinnFund, the banks consider the arrest good reason to take action.