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.
'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.
Yesterday Jasper van Dijk, MP of the Socialist Party (SP), submitted written parliamentary questions to Minister Lilianne Ploumen for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation about the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama. The construction of this controversial dam continues despite violent protests in Panama against human rights violations and environmental damage. What does the Netherlands have to do with it? At the end of 2012 the SP also asked parliamentary questions about this issue. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS explains why.
Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is visiting Brazil on a trade mission for the second time this year. On the government website she says: ‘for Dutch companies there are a lot of trade opportunities in Brazil. Foreign trade also creates domestic jobs.’ The Netherlands is one of the top 5 export partners of Brazil. But who profits from this solid trade relation in Brazil? To make the minister and her travel companions aware of this question, Both ENDS sent her a letter.