Before the end of this year, the World Bank will vote on whether to introduce a new lending instrument called "Programme for Results" (abbreviated as P4R), which aims to better meet the needs of developing countries while increasing the World Bank's reach by bringing funds from public and private donors together in sectoral programmes. NGOs from around the world have expressed concern about P4R, as has the business community and various governments. These parties are concerned that a large number of standards, which may have significant adverse effects on humans and the environment, will be released. A number of organisations have therefore voiced their concerns about P4R in a letter to the World Bank.
Small grants are a relatively new phenomenon, especially when they are fundraised and managed by local foundations. Both ENDS promotes small grants funds such as CASA, as they are able to cater directly to the demands and needs of local organisations that stay invisible for international donors and private foundations. For an example of the impressive reach and effectiveness of small grants, please check out CASA's first Five Year Report
Regional governments in Asia will soon decide whether to proceed with the construction of Xayaburi Dam in northern Laos. This will be the first of eleven dams that are planned for the Lower Mekong Mainstream. Both ENDS asks your support in protecting The Mekong River and the millions of people who depend on it by signing the petition.
Click here to sign the petition
How to get people to collect waste from a river? By granting an award for the person collecting most. A waste-collecting competition organised last Saturday in the district of Bogor on Java, Indonesia, proved this formula tho be effective. No less than a thousand local people collected 8650 kilograms of waste from the Cilliwung River.
'At the moment we produce six kilos of gold per year, we cannot meet the demand,' María Luisa Villa of AMICHOCÓ from Colombia says. In the last couple of years, AMICHOCÓ has worked hard to organise small-scale sustainable gold miners and to make certification possible. Under the brand name 'Oro Verde' the Fairtrade Fairmined gold is now available on the market. 'We are ready to expand production, but the preservation of biodiversity and the protection of the rights of ethnic groups remains our priority,' Villa stresses.
The Transnational Institute (TNI) published a useful pocket guide regarding the euro crisis. They believe a crisis that started in Wall Street was actually made worse by EU policies. The pocket guide describes how the crisis has enriched the 1% to the detriment of the 99% and it outlines some possible solutions that prioritise people and the environment above corporate profits. This Pocket Guide is published as part of TNI's Economic Justice, Corporate Power and Alternatives programme.
This year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. On this occasion it published a book focusing on 50 years of export credits. Wiert Wiertsema (Both ENDS) writing on behalf of ECA Watch, however, thinks that this is a momentum that asks for reforms, rather than hurrays.
It can be hard to establish small-scale adaptation projects in developing countries, because governments, development banks and donors generally prefer to finance larger initiatives. Of course, a single large project is more visible and easier to manage than ten small ones. But it is extremely important that the very small-scale initiatives, which are based on the knowledge and needs of local communities, are supported. How can we ensure that these - often very effective - local projects find their way to the appropriate funds and vice versa?
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.