Halls filled with booths, stands, professionally set up corners, wifi-spots. Big rooms where lectures, interactive sessions and workshops are held. People from all corners of the world and from different kinds of sectors (companies, government, and social organisations) are gathering here for five days. They have one thing in common: they are talking about water. The sixth World Water Forum in Marseille is about 'solutions'. For water issues, that is. Almost a billion people worldwide have to cope without clean drinking water.
Both ENDS has won the Innovation Award organized by the Dutch NGO PSO (Association for Staff Cooperation with Developing Countries). The Both ENDS project 'South-South learning through a new approach for River Basin Management' was one of three initiatives shortlisted from a total of 23. On 28 November a committee of experts congratulated Both ENDS with the prize.
Large-scale soy production is causing continuous problems in South America such as land seizure, public health issues and loss of valuable natural areas. The Ecosystem Alliance - a cooperation of Both ENDS, IUCN NL and Wetlands International - enabled twenty South American civil society organisations to compose a plan together. The organisations are all directly or indirectly involved in soy issues. Both ENDS attended a meeting in Brazil at the end of March: participants from Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the Netherlands gathered to identify communal problems and work towards a combined strategy to combat these.
Civil society organisations from around the world condemn the statements by representatives of palm oil companies during a meeting with the Malaysian government. In this meeting, the company representatives called critical NGOs "toxic entities" and asked the Malaysian government to not let these NGOs into the country. Both ENDS' partners have published a reaction in which they defend their right "to expose the realities we face in their communities about the impacts of the palm oil sector".
Like many in the field of international development aid, Both ENDS eagerly awaited the recent publication of the WRR (Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy) report, "Less Pretention, More Ambition". Both ENDS was especially interested in the areas relevant to its own mission and core competencies, i.e. supporting civil society organisations working in the fields of ecological sustainability and social justice.
Both ENDS is co-hosting two sessions on the conference of the EFC (European Foundation Centre). This year, the conference is held from Thursday the 26th until Saturday the 28th of May in the town of Cascais, Portugal.
The Dutch news programme Netwerk will be broadcasting two items called 'Stroom stinkt!' (Power stinks) today and on Thursday about the origin of coal used in the Netherlands. Many Dutch energy companies use coal from developing countries like South Africa and Colombia to generate electricity. The working conditions in mines are often very bad and coal mining has tremendous impact on the environment and local living conditions. Farmland is destroyed and ground- and drinking water become polluted with chemicals used in the mines. Both ENDS' partners from South Africa and Colombia tell their story in the broadcast.