The governmental body that is responsible for the management of water resources in Ghana, the Water Resources Commission (WRC), praises the ADAPTS method in which Both ENDS and partners are actively involved. In the preface of the Dayi River Basin Plan that was launched at the end of 2011, the commission expresses hopes for the extension of this method, currently being tested in a pilot in the Dayi river basin, to other river basins in Ghana.
Plans to open a second nuclear power plant in Bulgaria have been cancelled. On March 28, Minister for finance Vladislav Goranov announced that instead of a nuclear plant, a gas plant will be built in the small town of Belene. This is good news: In the past years, Both ENDS and other civil society organisations have strongly resisted the possible construction of the power plant.
International investment treaties grant transnational investors too many privileges and thus compromise the rights of citizens and states, critics say. The video No more corporate privileges gives an impression of the concerns of experts and activists. Not only the EU, but developing countries as well, should reconsider their positions. For example by leaving the main arbitration panel for investment disputes ICSID, like Venezuela announced recently.
On World Water Day 2012 (22nd of March) the United Nations awarded two environmental organisations with a "Water for Life" award for their efforts to improve water management in their region. Both ENDS' partner Environment Support Group (ESG) received an award in category 1 for "Best water management practices", for a project on protecting the Bangalore lakes in India. A second award was handed out to Soluciones Simples Que Salvan Vidas (Sodis) for developing new communication strategies to improve water management in Bolivia.
We are shocked by the sudden death of Peter Simi. Since 2005 Both ENDS has been working closely with Peter and his organization ELCI. After an illness of a few weeks Peter died on Saturday, March 31 in a hospital in Nairobi.
Years of heavy protests from the local population, environmental organizations and experts have led to the suspension of the permit for the construction of a huge steel plant and port by the Korean steel company POSCO in an environmentally sensitive area in Orissa (India). This decision was taken by the Indian National Green Tribunal, a special court for the Environment.
In the final days of March, the human rights council of the United Nations declared they will install an 'Independent Expert on Human Rights and Environment'. The effect of climate change on human lives is becoming more obvious, and by making this decision, the council acknowledges the importance of the relationship between human rights and the environment. This is good news right before the Rio+20 conference in June; Both ENDS and other civil society organisations are advocating incorporation of human rights into sustainable development policy.
The People Summit strives to critically analyse the goals and propositions of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, and present actual sustainable alternatives. These goals were recently confirmed at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Halls filled with booths, stands, professionally set up corners, wifi-spots. Big rooms where lectures, interactive sessions and workshops are held. People from all corners of the world and from different kinds of sectors (companies, government, and social organisations) are gathering here for five days. They have one thing in common: they are talking about water. The sixth World Water Forum in Marseille is about 'solutions'. For water issues, that is. Almost a billion people worldwide have to cope without clean drinking water.
By 2020, all EU countries must blend 10% of their transport fuels with renewable energy. In practice, these are mostly biofuels. Minister of State Joop Atsma is now trying to reach this percentage by 2016, even though a lot of studies show that biofuels made out of agricultural crops decrease food provision and cause deforestation. Four civil society organisations, including Both ENDS, are asking the Dutch Parliament to try and halt the Minister of State.