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.
Years of heavy protests from the local population, environmental organizations and experts have led to the suspension of the permit for the construction of a huge steel plant and port by the Korean steel company POSCO in an environmentally sensitive area in Orissa (India). This decision was taken by the Indian National Green Tribunal, a special court for the Environment.
Last week, the first tickets for the World Cup in Brazil went on sale. A total number of around 3.3 million tickets will be available, costing between $90 and $990 each. But who will benefit? Recent demonstrations in Brazil have revealed that the World Cup in 2014 is not all good news, as the majority of the Brazilians seemed to have believed for a long time. Our colleagues from CASA, a Brazilian small grants organisation focusing on environmental issues and sustainable development, are looking for practical ways to turn the tide and make a positive contribution.
“I will not go!” Sena Alouka yells in the bus along the highway as we pass a desolate farm that is totally surrounded by bulldozers and soil that has been turned and ploughed. A familiar sight for most of the riders in the bus, which includes nine Africans, an Indonesian and a handful of Dutch people. Evictions and land expropriations are an almost daily occurrence in Africa and Indonesia. And then the whole group spontaneously chants: “I will not go! We will support you!”