All the way from Sweden, packed in a van, nine activists travelled to Brussels to raise awareness on the negative impact of European Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between EU and ACP countries for local communities in Africa. According to NGO Afrikagrupperna, based in Stockholm, this was a good conclusion of the campaign they conducted in Sweden these last months.
On 12th September 2011, the General Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) officially approved negotiating mandate for investment protection measures under the proposed free trade agreements with India, Singapore and Canada. The secretive manner in which the negotiating mandate was approved raises several legitimate questions about the entire process.
John Mathew, co-founder and director of the Keystone Foundation and Last Forest Enterprises Ltd, India, has been elected as a member of the board of IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Mathew is a close partner of Both ENDS who is working relentlessly to improve the position and production conditions of small scale producers, notably remote indigenous communities.
As you may well know already: on September 25th Kenyan activist Wangari Muta Maathai died at the age of 71. For years she fought against poverty, destruction of nature, corruption and discrimination against women, through an integrated approach to these interrelated problems. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 and was an example to many African women.
Stuart Hugo Jabini, a Saramakan who was raised on the Upper Surinam River, made a stand against the plans of the Surinam government to cut down the forest in which his community lives. On his behalf the Forest People Programme (FPP), a non-governmental organisation that campaigns for the rights of indigenous forest people, won a case against the Surinam government at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The court forbid the plans of exploiting the Saramakan territory for industrial development. This resulted in an international landmark ruling for indigenous and tribal communities to prevent exploitation of their livelihoods.
The ADAPTS consortium - Both ENDS, ACACIA Water, IVM and our Southern partners - invite you to join our Political Cafe in Cafe Dudok in the Hague on Wednesday October 12th from 16.00-18.00 hr:
The debate centers around the question how to better integrate local actors in the development and implementation of adaptation policies. We see a gap between the many initiatives that support mainly central governments and their adaptation plans and what happens or should happen at the local or district level. These two arenas are insufficiently linked and the majority of funds is invested in the first option.
With panelists from the Dutch Parliament, the 'Water Resources Commission' in Ghana, the 'Center for Social Research and Development' in Vietnam, the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Water Partnership.
ADAPTS is a practical, bottom-up approach to integrate climate change and adaptation in the water sector. See also the adapts website
For more information on our Political Café, see our Invitation.
Last week, another round of trade negotiations between the EU and India took place in Brussels, Belgium. Local organisations in India are concerned that the outcome of these negotiations will have a negative impact on their livelihoods and access to natural resources. They also worry about its effect on political conflicts and the maintenance of human rights in their country. Recent public demonstrations such as a rally last month in the border town of Moreh, Manipur, North East India, reflect these concerns.
On the 14th of September, in the Public Library of Amsterdam, three partner organisations of Both ENDS presented their experiences with a method, developed by Both ENDS, to integrate gender equality in their work on access to natural resources. The presentations of the three organisations from Togo, Colombia and Bangladesh, showed the result of a process they each started in the beginning of 2010. They formed the starting point for a broader debate with other environmental and development organisations.
Pieter Jansen, programme officer at Both ENDS, interviewed Sukanta Sen from the Bangladesh Resource Center for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK). BARCIK is an NGO that works in the field of environment, biodiversity conservation and development. They have been promoting the significance of local and indigenous knowledge in development initiatives as well as the empowerment process of local and indigenous communities.
Both ENDS' deputy director Paul Wolvekamp attended the 10th Dialogue on Forests, Governance and Climate Change which was hosted by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and Oxfam Novib and took place in The Hague on the 7th of september.