Despite the fact that Laos recently let its neighboring countries know that the construction of the Xayaburi dam on the Mekong River would officially be put on hold, illegal construction activities appear to be taking place. In April this year, due to massive national and international protests, the Government of Laos felt obliged to suspend construction until the social and environmental impacts of the dam would be clearly examined. Around the spot where the dam was to be constructed however, people are being driven away from their land, a road has been built for the supply of building materials and forest is chopped down.
After 15 years of massive campaign by many organisations from Nepal and abroad, led by Nepalese NGO WAFED, the plans for the construction of the West Seti Dam in Nepal have been shelved. In 2010 the campaign had already forced the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to pull out from this project for its failure to comply with its own policy on information disclosure, public participation, environment, and the rights of indigenous people living in the affected area. The decision of the government of Nepal not to grant permission for construction to Australian construction company Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) is yet another success.
Replanting a watershed with trees made possible by a micro loan of € 1000: ten years later, this investment still ensures that an entire community has clean drinking water. This small success was further discussed last April at 'Small Grants', a two-day event organized by Both ENDS.
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.