Although the Panamanian government decided to suspend the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in February of this year, it now appears that construction will be resumed after all. This has been announced by the government on Monday May 4th. The contract with the original developer, Genisa, will most probably be terminated, and other project developers will be sought. However, according to representatives of the indigenous Ngöbe Buglé community, new developers will not solve the problem: the dam will inevitably damage their territory and surroundings. Out of protest, they left the roundtable dialogue with the Panamanian government which started in February with the aim to find a solution to the problem of the controversial dam.
Currently, on the initiative of China, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is being set up. As the ‘Chinese alternative to the World Bank’, AIIB will focus on financing large-scale infrastructure projects in Asia. The bank promises to be ‘lean, clean and green’, or in other words: non-bureaucratic, non-corrupt and environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, civil society organisations fear there will be disastrous consequences for local populations and the environment, considering China’s poor track record in these areas. In a letter to AIIB and in a press release, our partner 'NGO Forum on ADB' calls on the bank to develop strong safeguards.
Our partner Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society (LEDARS) from Bangladesh has won third prize in the Water Showcase competition at the World Water Forum. We congratulate them with this magnificent result! Besides receiving a considerable sum of money, the award is an important recognition for LEDARS’ innovative approach. The seventh edition of the World Water Forum takes place in Daegu, South Korea.
For several decades, Both ENDS has been closely following the developments in this large water area in the centre of South America. We work closely with organisations which aim to ensure that the local population knows about these developments and, if necessary, protect it from these changes. But why is this area both so special and important for the whole of South America? And what exactly is threatening this area? C. Cornell Evers, independent photographer and writer, spoke with Tamara Mohr of Both ENDS and Sander van Andel of IUCN to find answers. The result of this meeting is an interesting interview.
Ten years after the start of the construction of the Nam Theun 2 dam in Central Laos, it is clear that this mega project has disastrous impacts on people and their environment. The project - originally the flagship of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) - did not achieve its intended development goals. In a press release which was sent out this week, Both ENDS and partner organisations call on these multilateral banks to withdraw from large scale hydro dams such as Nam Theun 2. The dam, which became operational in 2010, has profound negative effects on local communities, while they do not benefit from it.
The Rutu Foundation and Both ENDS will both organise a lecture about Opportunities for Forest Protection and Conservation of Native Culture in the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam.
Indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes like the Negrito in the Philippines, the Penan in Sarawak and the Ghonds in India have a wealth of knowledge of the rainforest, their natural habitat, and biodiversity. The history of the Negrito tribe goes back at least 40.000 years. However, due to the construction of dams, plantations and deforestation, their livelihoods and the survival of their culture and traditions are at stake. For this reason, there is the risk of loss of their valuable knowledge of the rainforest and local biodiversity.
Recently the third scientific meeting of the UNCCD took place in Cancun, Mexico. This conference aims to bring scientists, policy makers and NGOs together to fight against drought, land degradation and desertification. Nathalie van Haren of Both ENDS was there as one of the few official representatives of NGOs. At the closing session she presented a statement that had been drawn up together with the other civil society organisations present.
What opportunities will the Green Climate Fund (GCF) offer countries like Indonesia and Ghana? What decisions must be made now so that the money from the fund will reach the places it was intended for in the future? Since the UN decided to set up the Green Climate Fund in 2011, Both ENDS and several other NGOs from developing countries have been aiming to influence the way the fund is organized. This week, the ninth board meeting of the GCF will be held in Songdo, South Korea. Just like at earlier board meetings, Both ENDS is represented, this time in the person of Leonie Wezendonk. Along with Titi Soentoro from the Indonesian advocacyorganisation Aksi! and Ken Kinney of the Development Institute in Ghana, she traveled to
By now, TTIP, the new EU-US free trade agreement, has become a hot topic in the Netherlands too. There has been heavy protest against this trade deal from civil society organisations, scientists, lawyers and civilians, who all have set off a ‘TTIP-alarm’. How much truth is there in their concerns about TTIP? What are the implications of TTIP for the Netherlands? If you are curious to find out the answers to these questions, then come to ‘The Big TTIP Debate: The debate about the free trade agreement between the EU and US’ on Friday evening April 17th. Several speakers will discuss with each other and with the audience about the above (and many more) questions.
Under the pretext of a ‘Natural Resource Management Project’ funded by the World Bank, the Kenyan Forest Service has, again, started to forcibly evict the indigenous Sengwer people from their ancestral lands in the Kerangany Hills and to burn down their houses. This was documented on March 2nd, by a fact-finding team that was sent to the ground by the World Bank’s own inspection panel.