The Ramon Magsaysay Award, internationally referred to as the 'regional Nobel Prize of Asia' is a recognition for people who fight against poverty and injustice in a sustainable way. One of the winners of this year is Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto of the Indonesian organization Telapak, with has been a partner of Both ENDS for years. Ruwindrijarto has been campaigning against illegal logging in Indonesia for years, despite threats and violence against him from the companies he fights against.
Last week the Agricultural Investment Summit took place in London, seeking to promote land as an emerging and expanding investment opportunity. Civil society organisations are concerned that this could lead to further land grabbing, threatening the livelihoods and food security of countless local communities in the global South. In a joint civil society statement Both ENDS urges pension funds and other financial institutions to stop such damaging investment practices.
Infrastructure has become a buzzword of the current development debate. But will the recent infrastructure strategies of the World Bank and the G20, which favour large centralized projects, address the needs of the poor? This is the central question in International Rivers' report "Infrastructure for whom?". Strategic infrastructure projects such as large dams and transport corridors promoted by the World Bank and G20 are funded with public money. In order to make these projects attractive to private investors, they are supported by public guarantee schemes. One of the examples mentioned in the report is the Grand Inga Dam in the Congo River (DRC) which - if ever realised - would be the largest dam in the world.
The planned initial public offering (IPO) of Malayan state-owned enterprise Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) will take place this month (28th June). It will be underwritten by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley; with an expected valuation of around 2.5 billion Euro this will be the second biggest IPO ever, trailing Facebook. A significant detail is that FGVH is controlled by the governing part UMNO, led by Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak. The upcoming privatisation might be prompted by a need to generate capital for the upcoming elections.
Jane Lingbawan is Executive Director at Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC), a Pilipino organisation linked to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA). We spoke with her about her expectations for the RIO+20 conference.
A global campaign against the power of corporations widely violating, human rights was launched during the Peoples Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Both ENDS is one of the dozens of national and international organizations supporting the campaign and the contents of the press release below.
Nathalie van Haren, senior policy officer at Both ENDS, is participating in the RIO+20 conference that officially started today. Whilst the draft text presented last March was no reason for optimism, Van Haren remains hopeful that the international community will take the necessary decisions. In an interview by Vice Versa (A Dutch magazine on development cooperation) she explains why a strict focus on the environment, seen in the draft text, is problematic.
<p >The Association of Saramaccan Authorities (ASA) is an organisation consisting of 61 Saramaccan village leaders from Suriname, fighting large scale land rights violations. Logging companies are exerting great pressure on the area and the Surinam government does little about it. ASA campaigns for the protection of the region and the enhancement of inhabitants' influence. We spoke with Hugo Jabini from ASA about his expectations for RIO+20.
Song Trangh 2 Dam in Quang Nam (Vietnam) is leaking. This poses a serious danger to local communities and their livelihood. There is little room for any public debate about the problems, despite the local populations' deep concerns. To try and find a solution, Both ENDS' partner organisation Vietnam Rivers Network (VRN) organised a workshop in cooperation with authorities and experts.
FARN (Environment and Natural Resources Foundation) is one of Both ENDS' partner organisations. FARN pressures the Argentinian authorities to make its policies more sustainable, through existing national and international law and legislation. We spoke with Ana di Pangracio, a lawyer specialised in environmental law and working at FARN.