Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
The counterpower does not accept 'business as usual' because it is not fair. The race after the big money is not leading to happiness for everyone, and is usually not good for, for example, the environment or women.
September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.
This is the text of the speech given by Danielle Hirsch on the 'Nacht van de Tegenmacht' (Night of Countervailing Power)
We congratulate Joan Carling, member of the permanent commission on indigenous peoples of the UN, for having received the Lifetime Achievement Award as 'Champion of the Earth' by the UN Environment! This is the UN's highest environmental honor, given to six of the world's most outstanding environmental change makers once a year.
To me, our partner organisations are a significant counterpower. Both ENDS supports them to raise their voices in policy discussions. This way I also see myself as a 'counterpower' against the current economic system.
The JWH Initiative aims to stimulate leadership of young people in environmental organisations by giving small grants to individuals to expand their knowledge, experience and training.
Whenever I see pictures of the people in the Dutch province of Groningen whose houses are collapsing because of gas extraction and who, even if they wanted to move somewhere else, would never be able to sell them, I can't help but think of all the people worldwide who have been experiencing the same problems, sometimes for decades. Every time I see the anger and powerlessness of the people of Groningen, the comparison to the many people we have been working with for many years in many parts of the world comes to my mind.
We are very proud that our director Daniëlle Hirsch has been included again in the ‘Sustainable 100’ (an annual ranking list published by Dutch newspaper Trouw), and has gone up more than 40 spots compared to last year! Danielle was included in the list because of the many things she does with her organisation as a whole, but she got the higher ranking for the way she combines her criticism of the destructive role of the Netherlands as a trading nation and large cause of CO2 emissions in the world (often supported by the Dutch government), with a constructive attitude when it comes to finding alternatives and solutions.