In the course of centuries, traditions around the serving and drinking of tea have become a permanent feature of different cultures around the world. The production of tea however causes many problems: deforestation, soil and water pollution because of excessive use of pesticides, and tea pickers often working in bad working conditions with very low wages. On the 18th of July, a symposium called "Transforming Sri Lanka's Tea Sector To Meet New Market Realities" was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
In the three-part series Struggle Over the Nile, Al Jazeera examines the historical roots and present-day realities of conflicts regarding the Nile. The Nile is the world's longest river: a 7,000 km life-line for almost 400 million people. It is a source of sustenance, but also of tension - and even potential conflict.
The debt crisis which Greece is currently experiencing is not unique. In the last century, countries like Peru and the Philippines have suffered from enormous debt as well, the result of excessive borrowing from foreign banks. In 2001, Argentina got in deep trouble when the debt became impossible to carry and the country's currency devaluated heavily.
EU Agriculture Ministers have been officially briefed by the Hungarian Presidency on the outcome of a 3-day conference on how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can promote sustainable animal husbandry. The conference was organized with the support of Both ENDS by a consortium of European NGO's & Fair Trade organizations. 80 Civil Society representatives from 15 European countries were brought together to Debrecen (Hungary) to discuss how the future Common Agricultural Policy can contribute to a sustainable animal husbandry sector in Europe.
In June 2010 the East African Community (EAC) decided to hold off the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU). Such an agreement would eventually constitute a Free Trade Area (FTA) between the EU and the EAC. It seems that the Eastern African countries would benefit from such an agreement, but is this really the case? Benjamin William Mkapa, Chairman of the South Centre and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania (1995-2005), says it would bring the EAC mostly disadvantages compared to the EU.
Both ENDS is co-hosting two sessions on the conference of the EFC (European Foundation Centre). This year, the conference is held from Thursday the 26th until Saturday the 28th of May in the town of Cascais, Portugal.
The European Parliament in its plenary session on the 5th of April, adopted a proposal to regulate Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) that will force them to become more transparent on where their funds come from, and go to, as well as how they count social and environmental risks. Furthermore, the Parliament requires ECAs to comply with EU human rights objectives in their activities, and to phase out the subsidising of fossil fuel projects in line with commitments adopted by the G20 in 2009.
On Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011, Both ENDS Foundation is hosting a so-called 'Political Café, or debate, on the new international role of Dutch water utilities in Developing countries. The State Secretary for Development Cooperation, Ben Knapen, would like to see a more direct involvement of Dutch companies in development cooperation. The Netherlands is internationally well known for its water expertise and both the government and the private sector would like to make this a focal point of foreign policy in the realm of international cooperation. Dutch water companies such as Evides and Vitens are already working with water companies in Ghana, Mozambique, Vietnam and Suriname.
An order, issued by a Brazilian court against the construction of the Belo Monte dam, has been overruled by a higher court. The dam will have disastrous effects on the environment and the population in the area. Moreover, it is questionable whether the supposed benefits will outweigh the high costs and the damage done.
Various donors and funds promised to make donations to support the pan-African Great Green African Wall (GGW) against the desert. This became clear during a meeting of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the last week of February. In sum, these donations could mount up to around 3 billion US dollars. The envisaged 15 kilometers wide and up to 8000 kilometers long wall consisting of plants and trees will cross 11 countries south of the Sahara. The difference between failure and success will depend on the way the project is executed.