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.
The call upon the Dutch and EU governments
Website Amsterdam Declarations Partnership
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Fighting for improvements in the production of palm oil
The production of palm oil is causing social and environmental problems worldwide. Both ENDS is working to make the sector fairer and more sustainable and is promoting alternatives for palm oil.
All Eyes on the Amazon
Covering an area of 5.5 million km², the Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. At least 12% of the forest has been lost in the last decades, and deforestation is still continuing at a rapid pace. Illegal logging, land grabbing and intimidation for agriculture, animal husbandry and mining are daily business, and impunity rules. Recent developments, such as the election of the new Bolsonaro government in Brazil, make the future of the Amazon region and the people living there even more uncertain than it already was.
News / 2 August 2019
EU unveils 'Action Plan' on Deforestation
The EU is still one of the world’s largest importers of deforestation: EU demand for commodities like soy, palm oil, beef, coffee and cacao requires millions of hectares of tropical rainforest to be cleared. This deforestation has significant biodiversity and climate impacts, and is often linked to human rights violations and violence against local communities and indigenous peoples. Both ENDS and partners have been actively lobbying the EU Commission to adopt a robust action plan to address and prevent human rights violations and deforestation ‘embodied’ in EU imports of agricultural commodities.
News / 28 June 2018
Indigenous leaders present 'Supply Chain Solutions' and petition in Paris and Brussels
Last week, indigenous leaders from various countries were in Paris to urge action on deforestation and human rights abuses at the multi-stakeholder meeting of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership. The group, invited by Forests Peoples Programme and Both ENDS, presented a publication 'Supply chain solutions for people and forests' containing a set of practical recommendations from local communities on how to make supply chains more sustainable and fair.
Blog / 18 January 2019
Unambitious and uninspiring: the European Commission’s proposal for stepping-up action on global deforestation
After five years of equivocation the European Commission has proposed a ‘roadmap’ for stepping-up EU action to address its contribution to global deforestation. Despite the escalating impact of EU trade in forest-risk commodities, regardless of repeated calls from the European Parliament for regulatory measures and contrary to the conclusions of the Commission’s own feasibility study in support of legislative intervention, the Commission has ruled-out out any new initiatives, let alone any legislative measures. The Commission’s solution to this complex problem: policy coherence.
News / 23 November 2018
RSPO takes further steps towards a less harmful palm oil sector
The production of palm oil is often accompanied by deforestation, environmental destruction and land grabbing. Local communities and activists who stand up against these problems are often threatened. Now the RSPO has taken significant steps in recent months to tackle these issues.
News / 15 November 2018
All Eyes on the Amazon: the future of protecting forests in Brazil
On Wednesday, November 14, Dutch Newspaper De Volkskrant published a joint op-ed by Both ENDS, Hivos, Greenpeace Netherlands and Witness about the deforestation in the Amazon region which is still going on rapidly, having disastrous consequences for the indigenous people who live in the area, for biodiversity and for the climate. The Netherlands is one of the largest buyers of Brazilian agricultural products such as soy and beef, and should ensure that deforestation, land grabbing and human rights violations do not occur in these production chains. Unfortunately, this is not at all the case yet.
Publication / 27 June 2018
News / 29 June 2020
Global civil society pushes for mandatory environmental and human rights rules in the EU
On 23 July 2020 a global network of NGOs working to strengthen corporate accountability for environmental destruction and human rights abuses, including Both ENDS, published an open letter to European Commission DG Justice Commissioner Reynders. The letter is a response to his recent commitment to propose legislation in 2021 on both corporate due diligence and directors’ duties as part of an initiative on sustainable corporate governance.
Blog / 29 January 2018
Indigenous leader tells about aching nine year palm oil conflict
Pak Japin is a quiet, slim, and softly-spoken man from the village of Silat Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. I met him at a recent documentary screening in Bali on the fringe of the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) annual conference, where he spoke about his community's nine year-long conflict with palm oil company Golden Agri Resources Ltd (GAR).
Publication / 12 October 2018
News / 12 October 2018
The Soy Coalition ended, but the work must and will go on!
After 15 years, the members of the Dutch Soy Coalition have decided to disband the coalition. A total of 16 civil society organisations have worked together for many years to put the negative impact of the production, transport, processing and consumption of soy on the agenda and to seek solutions together with other stakeholders.
Fair Green and Global Alliance (FGG)
Together with civil society organisations from all over the world, the Fair Green and Global (FGG) Alliance aims for socially just, inclusive and environmentally sustainable societies in the Netherlands and the Global South.
External link / 20 July 2021
Protecting forests: a global fight at all levels (Annual Report 2020)
Systemic change is urgently needed to protect the Earth's forests and the rights of forest peoples. Deforestation and forest degradation are driven by global demand for products like palm oil and soy. Tackling the problem requires not reduced demand and better policies and practices at international levels, but also improved recognition of community land rights – a key focus of our work with partners in 2020.
Publication / 26 August 2020
Publication / 26 July 2018
News / 24 October 2017
Both ENDS’ response to the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil National Action Plan
On 30 September 2017 Both ENDS submitted a position statement on the draft Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil National Action Plan. The draft National Action Plan purports to represent a blue print for improving the sustainability of the Indonesian palm oil industry. However, Both ENDS has significant concerns about the logic, rationale and purpose behind the draft National Action Plan and its legitimacy as a benchmark for a sustainable palm oil industry.
News / 15 May 2018
Driving on palm oil: a dead end
Both ENDS and Forest Peoples Program have formally requested the European Parliament, Commission and Council and the EU Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, to consult indigenous and local communities impacted by EU trade in palm oil and other agricultural commodities in formal EU policy deliberations on these topics. Why did we decide to do so and what's it all about? Our colleague Michael Rice sheds some light on the matter.
News / 5 September 2016
Letter to the government about biofuels
By 2020, the EU wants a larger percentage of fuel used for transportation to consist of renewable sources, such as biofuel. Many European countries have therefore made the blending of biofuels in diesel and gasoline mandatory. A large proportion of this biofuel is now palm oil.
Publication / 5 December 2012