A highly critical report on the Bujagali Dam was recently released by the World Bank Inspection Panel - the independent investigation body of the World Bank. The controversial Bujagali Dam, a US$860 million hydropower dam under construction in Uganda, is co-financed by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Unfortunately the report of the Inspection Panel has done little to change the commitment of the World Bank in funding the dam. Nor will it implement any fundamental changes in response to the indicated problems.
The Biodiversity and Natural Resources Task Force, led by Hans Alders, was launched on January 23. Daniëlle Hirsch, Director Both ENDS, will be taking on the challenge with top professionals from the business world, the science sector, the civil government and civil society organisations. The Task Force would like to develop a vision for how the Netherlands can reduce its impact on natural resources.
Life & Garden, a Dutch national garden centre, will be presenting the first sustainably produced orchid to Minister Cramer, the Dutch Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning on January 26.
Both ENDS introduced process to develop a land Dispute Settlement Facility under the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil during RSPO Round Table 6 in Bali.
Together with our colleague organisations BankTrack; OxfamNovib; Tax Justice Nederland; Milieudefensie and the Vereniging van Beleggers voor Duurzame-Ontwikkeling Both ENDS wrote an open letter to Dutch Minister Bos. The daily newspaper `de Volkskrant', published a summary of this letter on December 19th (in Dutch):
Both ENDS really means ENvironment and Development Service but we could also say:
Each year Both ENDS organises Political Cafés and expert meetings on development issues. Our work with Southern Civil Society Organisations often makes us aware of the negative effects of the policies of Multi Financial Institutions (MFIs), such as the World Bank and the IMF. The Political Cafés and expert meetings often focus on making these institutions more transparent. Working with our Southern partners we recently addressed the issue of the human right to water and sanitation, by holding a Political Café on this issue at the World Bank's headquarters in Washington DC.
Both ENDS has won the Innovation Award organized by the Dutch NGO PSO (Association for Staff Cooperation with Developing Countries). The Both ENDS project 'South-South learning through a new approach for River Basin Management' was one of three initiatives shortlisted from a total of 23. On 28 November a committee of experts congratulated Both ENDS with the prize.
There are still over one billion people who have no access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The increasing scarcity of water around the world makes the problem all the more urgent. However, the growing international recognition of the right to water and sanitation is the first step in the right direction. This right gives poor and vulnerable groups the ability to stand up to political neglect. It empowers them to approach national and international courts of justice to demand clean drinking water.
On December 15th 2008, Both ENDS organizes together with the Society for International Development (SID) the first Joke Waller-Hunter lecture. Both ENDS partner Professor Vijay Paranjpye will talk about `The contribution of agriculture and rural development to inclusive growth'.