The 17th session of the Commission for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UNCSD) took place in New York in May. This session, which commenced last year, was continued by Gerda Verburg, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The subjects on the agenda at this 17th session were Africa, Agriculture, Drought & Desertification, Rural Development and Land. Both ENDS was present in New York to follow the negotiations.
Last Wednesday, just before the summer recess, the Tweede Kamer (the Dutch Lower House) discussed Minister Koenders's policy memorandum: "Samen werken aan mondiale uitdagingen, Nederland en multilaterale ontwikkelingssamenwerking" (Working together on global challenges; the Netherlands and multilateral development cooperation). With 'multilateral' Koenders refers to the UN, Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and a number of global funds.
Friday the 3rd of July Both ENDS facilitates a CERES Summer School workshop on the Impact and Drivers of Biofuel Production. Session 1 from 10.00-12.00h and session 2 13.30 - 15.30h are held at the Spinoza Building of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
Today, June 17th, is the World Day to Combat Desertification. For this occasion, we have put together the following images illustrating the beauty, diversity and strength of drylands and their inhabitants. They come from different Drynet countries. Be inspired!
Friday 5 June 2009 was a tragic day for the future of the Peruvian Amazon. At least 31 people have died in clashes between the security forces and indigenous people in the Amazon region. Those killed included indigenous people and policemen. An unknown number of civil people are wounded, arrested or have disappeared. The fights took place at a jungle highway near the town of Bagua, as a result of an operation of Peruvian police forces to disperse the roadblocks formed by protesting indigenous people.
On 25 and 26 May 2009 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a seminar on the interlinkages between human rights and the Millennium Development Goals. For many years, Both ENDS and allied organisations - such as the Freshwater Action Network, the Centrre on Housing Rights and Evictions and Simavi - have been advocating a human rights approach to development. This approach strengthens the rights of civil society in determining how natural resources are managed.
In March 2009 Both ENDS attended the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, where we organised events on the right to water, the so-called 'negotiated approach' to catchment management, and the alignment of infrastructure related lobby of southern civil society groups.
A large part of earth's surface is covered by dry areas: some 40%, in fact, and over two thirds of Africa. Most of the poorest people on earth, some 70% of the undernourished - over 600 million people - live in these areas. Funding and initiatives to fight desertification and other forms of land degradation and to improve food productivity are of vital importance. However, there seems to be no urgency to do so within the international development cooperation world.
Non Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP), one of Both ENDS' partners, won first prize at the Philippine Web Awards. It was the eleventh edition of this awards event. They were awarded first prize in the category 'best website by a non-profit organisation'. The NTFP EP network has long been helping local forest-dwelling communities who have found a sustainable way to make a living from the forest.
On Saturday, 25 April the Evert Vermeer Foundation will be organising its annual Africa Day. This will be the day for putting Africa and development cooperation in the spotlight. Exciting debates, interesting classes, dozens of workshops and a fantastic cultural programme will form the most important components of the EVS Africa Day.