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.
Today, more than 340 organisations from both South America and Europe, including Both ENDS, have sent a joint open letter to European Union leaders calling for the EU to cease negotiations on the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement. The organisations and their constituencies are seriously concerned about increasing violations of indigenous human rights and damage to nature and the environment in Brazil.
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.
At the Goed Geld Gala 2012, a National Lottery benefit ball, Both ENDS received money for the project 'an unheard story'. For this project, we'll be working together with five networks of environmental organisations in South-Africa, Brazil, India, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. Together we reinforce small local organisations and help them share their stories about the changes they would like to see. These stories show what consequences political and industrial decisions in the North have for people living alongside the Mekong river, or in the Brazilian forests. That way we jointly take action in search for a more sustainable world.
In the three-part series Struggle Over the Nile, Al Jazeera examines the historical roots and present-day realities of conflicts regarding the Nile. The Nile is the world's longest river: a 7,000 km life-line for almost 400 million people. It is a source of sustenance, but also of tension - and even potential conflict.