Felsi Gonzales from Bolivia and Gamaniel Lopez from Peru both run the risk of losing their land because of the planned construction of large dams in the Amazon. They are part of a group of some twenty young indigenous leaders from Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia who participated in a training programme organized by Both ENDS and Cross Cultural Bridges, which forms part of a larger two-year course. The unique training programme was held from 19 to 29 November at a location near Santarém in the Brazilian rainforest. Sanderijn van Beek of Both ENDS briefly attended the event.
In July this year, 120 nations voted in favour of a UN resolution confirming the rights to water and sanitation as human rights. Recently, however, all references to human rights have been removed from the draft text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution on a separate drive for sanitation. This change in the text removed the obligation of states under international law to report to the UN on progress in providing their citizens with access to clean water and sanitation. On November 23, the final version of the text is due to be completed.
A large hydropower dam is threatening the Omo river basin in Ethiopia and the surroundings of lake Turkana in Kenya. Completion of the dam will have devastating effects on the environment and on hundreds of thousands of mostly tribal people who live in the area. As a result of ongoing protests and studies on the impact of the dam, several funders have already withdrawn their loans. Unfortunately, the Industrial Commercial Bank of China has now offered to further fund the project. This week, the Kenian organisation 'Friends of Lake Turkana' (FoLT) will send a petition to the Chinese ambassador in Kenia to stress the need for intervention.
Written by: Boy Mochran and Sheila Kartika, Telapak, Indonesia
For the first time in Indonesian history, a public committee has been established to assist the government in water resource management. The Lamasi River Basin Committee is a platform for governmental and non-governmental representatives in the Luwu District in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Together with the local government, this committee will plan and monitor policy implementation, as well as coordinate water resource management.
The Dutch MFS-2 WASH coalition on water and sanitation - of which Both ENDS is a member - welcomes the decision taken by the Human Rights Council to interpret the human right to water and sanitation as legally binding under international law.
Both ENDS, the Brazilian ECOA and the Bolivian Probioma started working together over 15 years ago. This year, the environmental organisations from Latin America celebrate their 20th anniversary. The collaboration with the Netherlands has continued for such a long time because of a great mutual trust, and shared views and methods. Tamara Mohr and Nathalie van Haren, both employed at Both Ends, tell about a special relationship
According to European Union rules, 10% of agrofuel should be added to every litre of petrol or diesel in 2020. However, current agrofuels like palm oil, soy and rapeseed are no better for the environment.
The Dutch news programme Netwerk will be broadcasting two items called 'Stroom stinkt!' (Power stinks) today and on Thursday about the origin of coal used in the Netherlands. Many Dutch energy companies use coal from developing countries like South Africa and Colombia to generate electricity. The working conditions in mines are often very bad and coal mining has tremendous impact on the environment and local living conditions. Farmland is destroyed and ground- and drinking water become polluted with chemicals used in the mines. Both ENDS' partners from South Africa and Colombia tell their story in the broadcast.
Yesterday, the World Bank Global Environment Facility announced at a meeting of African leaders in Chad to devote 96 million Euros to the "Great Green Wall of the Sahara" initiative: a barrier of trees 7000 kilometer long and 15 kilometer wide which will be planted across 11 African countries, from Senegal to Djibouti. This Green Wall will have to slow down wind erosion and enhance rainwater infiltration. The idea for this Wall emerged five years ago. In July 2005, President Obasanjo, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, proposed to the Fifth Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU), an initiative for the establishment of a "Green Wall for the Sahara". At the time, the Heads of State requested the African Union Commission (AUC) to facilitate its formulation and implementation. However, because of lackof funds implementation had not yet begun.
Today, the 17th of June 2010, it's World Day to Combat Desertification. This year's theme is "Enhancing soils anywhere enhances life everywhere", in line with the International Year dedicated to Biodiversity. With this theme, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification aims to sensitize the public to the fact that desertification, land degradation and drought dramatically affect the biodiversity resident in the soil.