On World Water Day 2012 (22nd of March) the United Nations awarded two environmental organisations with a "Water for Life" award for their efforts to improve water management in their region. Both ENDS' partner Environment Support Group (ESG) received an award in category 1 for "Best water management practices", for a project on protecting the Bangalore lakes in India. A second award was handed out to Soluciones Simples Que Salvan Vidas (Sodis) for developing new communication strategies to improve water management in Bolivia.
"This is a turning point in global water management," said Both ENDS colleague Tobias Schmitz. He was in Geneva for a UN meeting on the future of water management or ‘the world after 2015’, when the term for the current Millennium Development Goals has passed. The conference had a special focus on the management of water resources and of waste water. We asked Tobias why he was attending the meeting and what were – and should be- the main issues in his view.
“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!”
Was the discovery of oil in Uganda in 2005 a blessing or a curse for its poor population? Meanwhile, it's become clear that oil exploitation is a great threat to people and the environment through corruption and misuse of natural resources. Frank Muramuzi of the Ugandan organisation NAPE visited Both ENDS on January 28th to talk about the threatened lakes in the Albertine oil rift. A number of western oil companies have a permit for mining in and around Lake Albert, resulting in large scale erosion. Chances are that Uganda will suffer from the lack of regulation and legislation around this topic, and like many African countries, will go down in the battle for oil. As members of the Ecosystem Alliance, NAPE, Both ENDS, IUCN NL and Friends of the Earth are actively involved in protecting this area.