News / 14 June 2019

Both ENDS partner TUK presents symbolic tree to Dutch minister Schouten

Last Thursday June 13, Rahmawati Retno Winarni of TUK, an Indonesian partner organisation of Both ENDS, presented a symbolic tree and an appeal to the Dutch Minister of Agriculture Carola Schouten, also on behalf of 10 NGOs. The joint NGOs are pushing the EU,  including the Dutch government, for strict EU legislation to prevent the destruction of forests and ecosystems and to protect human rights.

This took place during the kick-off of the 'Amsterdam Declarations Partnership meeting', in which European member states, the European Commission, companies, NGOs and government representatives from countries exporting products that cause deforestation - such as palm oil and soy, take part.

Market must be forced

Preventing deforestation and violation of the rights of people who live in these areas is now largely left to 'the market'. In short, the assumption is that companies (and consumers) will take their own responsibility. Time and time again, this proves to be much more difficult than assumed: deforestation and human rights violations for the production of palm oil and soy, for example, are commonplace and many of these products go  straight to the European market.

Rules and legislation

Both ENDS is actively involved in a number of partnerships with business and companies, all aiming to make the production chains of commodities such as palm oil and wood more sustainable. While this type of voluntary initiative is very important, it's unable to stop deforestation, land grabbing and human rights violations. To really tackle the problems, governments themselves must actively set boundaries and create binding laws and rules. Many companies even ask for this themselves: if they would all have to adhere to the same rules there would a level playing field and, moreover, 'free riders' could be dealt with more easily.

More information:

The call upon the Dutch and EU governments

Website Amsterdam Declarations Partnership 


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