Both ENDS works with partners around the world to ensure that land is governed fairly and inclusively and managed sustainably with priority for the rights and interests of local communities.
Driving the Ugandan roads two months ago, Allan (who wortks with Ugandan organisation NAPE) came up with a wonderful idea to promote tourism to Uganda and add a special exiting and adventurous feature to it. “What”, he told me, “if we would hire an amphibious car and do the Pothole Experience. We load the car with tourists and drive at selected Ugandan roads along the potholes in the road and disappear in the biggest ones at one side and come up at the other side. As an encore we could ultimately experience a water filled pothole, dive into it with the car and see if we manage to come out the water at the other side. If not, we at least had a wonderful time in the previous potholes!”
It has been planned for several years, but had so far been postponed: the Korean steel company POSCO wants to build and operate on a large scale in Orissa, an Indian state. Local people, environmental organizations and experts strongly resisted the plan, with all the consequences that entailed. Local police and militias cracked down the protests and recently there were four deaths. Wiert Wiertsema points out the responsibility of ABP, the Dutch pension fund that invested in POSCO. Wiertsema and ABP talked recently about the issue following an official complaint by the FGG Alliance on violations of the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.
A year ago, the Senegalese NGO Takkom Jerry filed a complaint with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Dutch Development Bank FMO, with support from Both ENDS. These banks finance the Sendou coal power station, right next to the fishing village of Bargny. The AfDB has now recognized the complaint. FMO is already processing the complaint and will publish an official response shortly.
Hundreds of millions of euros from Ukraine found their way in recent years through Dutch letterbox companies, many of them registered at the Amsterdam Zuidas. The purpose: invisible and beneficial laundering of funds that lined the pockets of a handful of oligarchs in Ukraine by means of corruption and illegal practices - including the son of President Yanukovych. Fortunately, the Dutch government has now put a stop to this practice. Last week, Parliament decided to investigate suspicious Ukrainian assets and freeze them: a small triumph for Both ENDS and their partners!
From 2011 to 2015, Both ENDS took part in the Ecosystem Alliance to improve the livelihoods of the poor and create an inclusive economy, through participatory and responsible management of ecosystems.