John Mathew, co-founder and director of the Keystone Foundation and Last Forest Enterprises Ltd, India, has been elected as a member of the board of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Mathew is a close partner of Both ENDS who is working relentlessly to improve the position and production conditions of small scale producers, notably remote indigenous communities.
You can't eat gold, copper and gas
"The virus is spreading quicker than the information" – that was the first we heard in the Netherlands about COVID-19 in many African countries and the measures they were taking to tackle it. While states of emergency were announced, borders were closed and we saw image after image of violent police and army responses, many people outside the big cities did not know that what was going on. When the situation became clearer, serious concerns arose about the consequences of the measures that had been taken: the informal economy coming to a standstill, food shortages and internal migration flows.
More than six months after the Dutch elections took place, a long period of debates, negotiations and incertainty has finally come to an end. The new coalition of center-rightwing parties was sworn in last Thursday the 26th of October. Having Sigrid Kaag of the liberal-democratic party D66 as the new Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third Rutte government (Rutte III), we can look forward to where the opportunities lie in the new coalition’s plans to make the world fairer and more sustainable. The Coalition Agreement, which tries to build a bridge between the political centre and the centre-right, is a smart piece of work in terms of reaching compromises. In the current international climate of societies progressively growing apart, that is a striking achievement.
The Pantanal, the world's largest freshwater wetland, is suffering exceptionally devastating forest fires, mostly caused by human activities. Over the past few months, an area as big as Northern Ireland has burned down. Both ENDS's partner organisations call for attention for this ecological and social disaster.
Exactly a year ago the United Nations organised the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development. Over 45.000 representatives of states, companies and civil society organisations were present, including Nathalie van Haren of Both ENDS. The conference will go into history as a failure. But there was a bright spot: the voluntary commitments made by individual governments, companies and CSOs. Ban Ki Moon called them ‘bricks and cement for sustainable development’. What are these commitments, what was promised, and what are the results, one year later? Peter Zomer, intern at Both ENDS, looked into the matter.