Negusu Aklilu from Forum for Environment is voted one of Ethiopia's most influential people by Addis Neger, Ethiopia's largest newspaper. He is honoured for his work on putting Africa - the continent hardest hit by climate change - on the international climate calendar by coordinating the African Climate Appeal. This appeal states that African countries should be compensated for the effects of climate change, caused by green house gasses emitted by developed countries. He has been at the forefront in signing the Appeal together with the 2004 Peace Nobel Laureate and environmentalist Wangari Mathai.
On 25 and 26 May 2009 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a seminar on the interlinkages between human rights and the Millennium Development Goals. For many years, Both ENDS and allied organisations - such as the Freshwater Action Network, the Centrre on Housing Rights and Evictions and Simavi - have been advocating a human rights approach to development. This approach strengthens the rights of civil society in determining how natural resources are managed.
On Friday March 29 a special JWHi meeting took place at the Both ENDS offices, making the most of the unique situation having several grantees in Amsterdam for various reasons. The meeting facilitated the rare opportunity to bring together perspectives of the various actors in our fund: the advisory committee, the JWHi team of Both ENDS and last but not least the grantees from Kenya, Brazil and Colombia.
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.
Pension funds have a lot of influence because of their enormous assets. Both ENDS therefore wants pension funds such as the Dutch ABP to withdraw their investments from the fossil industry and to invest sustainably instead.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has published its new policy for energy investments. In the new draft policy, the bank states to stop investing in fossil fuel related projects from 2020. This is good news for the climate, so Both ENDS and partners are happy with this draft policy. The shareholders of the bank, the member states of the European Union, still have to approve it.
The EU is still one of the world’s largest importers of deforestation: EU demand for commodities like soy, palm oil, beef, coffee and cacao requires millions of hectares of tropical rainforest to be cleared. This deforestation has significant biodiversity and climate impacts, and is often linked to human rights violations and violence against local communities and indigenous peoples. Both ENDS and partners have been actively lobbying the EU Commission to adopt a robust action plan to address and prevent human rights violations and deforestation ‘embodied’ in EU imports of agricultural commodities.
The vast majority of climate finance is channelled to (and through) big institutions and large-scale projects, often without taking into account the wishes and interests of local communities. Both ENDS is working with diverse partners worldwide to address this problem, with a special focus on the Green Climate Fund (GCF).