In Niger, farmers have turned no less than 5 million ha. of the Southern Sahelian provinces Maradi and Zinder green. They protected and assisted spontaneous regeneration of trees in and around their agricultural fields. Between January 12th and 20th, Both ENDS colleague Marie José van der Werff ten Bosch accompanied Chris Reij (CIS, VU University Amsterdam) to the south of Niger, to find out how farmers were able to regreen at such a large scale, and how their experiences can benefit other villages in the Sahel. Both ENDS, VU-CIS and the Centre Régional d'Enseignement Spécialisé en Agriculture (CRESA) have a joint project to spread the approach to the region of Dogondoutchi.
Between January 12th and 20th, Both ENDS colleague Marie José van der Werff ten Bosch accompanied Chris Reij (CIS, VU University Amsterdam) to the south of Niger, to see with her own eyes what Chris has been advocating for many years now: farmers have turned this dry part of the Sahel green.
In preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, which will take place in June, Both ENDS published a document in February to start the discussion on the progress of events. In this policy note, Both ENDS has made some suggestions to improve "the Future we want" which is the 'zero' draft of the negotiating document, in an effort to maximize the chance of a successful outcome of the conference.
At the Goed Geld Gala 2012, a National Lottery benefit ball, Both ENDS received money for the project 'an unheard story'. For this project, we'll be working together with five networks of environmental organisations in South-Africa, Brazil, India, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. Together we reinforce small local organisations and help them share their stories about the changes they would like to see. These stories show what consequences political and industrial decisions in the North have for people living alongside the Mekong river, or in the Brazilian forests. That way we jointly take action in search for a more sustainable world.
The Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic is planning to reduce access to information about the Integrated Pollution Register (IPR), which has been functioning very well for the last 6 years. With that register, the Czech Republic—unlike some other countries—has an efficient instrument to control the implementation of international conventions regarding environmental protection, such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
In November 2011 Both ENDS organized a Negotiated Approach workshop in Entebbe, Uganda. Participants from Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya were introduced to the negotiation method which guarantees that the local population will keep their access to natural resources such as water and land. When disputes over the use of rivers, lakes or land occurs the Negotiated Approach unites policy makers, researchers, companies and local NGO's. Together they will work towards sustainable solutions for the use of natural resources.
Biju Mathew, an American professor from India who is also active for the 'Mining Zone Peoples Solidarity Group (MZPSG), visited Both ENDS' office in Amsterdam on January 19th. He was returning from a 'fact-finding mission' in the province of Orissa in India, where Korean steel company POSCO has plans for building a steel plant, several iron ore mines, roads, a railroad and a private harbor.
In the Beginning of in October 2011 Tim Senden traveled to Arusha, Tanzania for Both ENDS. There he interviewed a number of organisations engaged in small-scale jatropha production. The two next clips show the advantages of the small-scale production model and the way in which the farmer groups sell their seeds. Watch the movies and see for yourself, if you want to respond please leave a message on our Youtube channel, or on Facebook and Twitter.
"We are open about prices to farmers. We have nothing to be ashamed of," says Patrick Barthelemy, founder of Cassia Co-op. By removing middlemen from the supply chain, the Dutch-Indonesian company is able to pay more to small-scale cinnamon farmers in Kerinci, Sumatra. With the help of the Communities for Change Alliance between Cordaid and Both ENDS, Cassia Co-op promotes sustainable agriculture and self-organisation of farmers.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has pointed out to the Surinam Government that it must obey the "Saramaka verdict". On November 28th, 2008 Suriname lost the case that was brought against the government by the Saramaka community, led by - amongst others - Steward Hugo Jabini, presently a member of the Parliament of Suriname. Jabini is very active in the struggle against the exploitation of the territory of the Saramaka.