Call for solidarity with Philippine environmental rights defenders
We are shocked and alarmed by the news of a planned raid into the headquarters of an environmental organisation in the Philippines. Although the raid has not materialised until now, we are deeply concerned for their wellbeing.
The Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) was tipped by a reliable source last night that the office space of the environmental group was allegedly under surveillance by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and that a raid was pending, allegedly because the office was a front for the recruitment of rebels. Around the same time, build-up of police personnel in a nearby street was noticed and mentions of a planned raid in a nearby house were overheard.
Kalikasan PNE is a valuable partner of Both ENDS and the Dutch national committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN NL). As part of their work in Strategic Partnerships with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they have provided valuable inputs to the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Masterplan carried out in a Dutch-Filipino partnership, and are defending the rights of local farmers, indigenous peoples and local communities against the environmental damage and human rights violations linked to the mining sector.
Leon Dulce, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE states the following. "We condemn this red-tagging and threat against our rights as an attempt to crack down on our environmental defence. We have been ardent campaigners against destructive mines, dams, plantations, and land reclamations. We have exposed the violent attacks against Filipino environmental defenders. Is it a crime to defend the environment and our fellow defenders?" Kalikasan PNE suspects that the planned raids are a reprisal to their recent participation in the National Inquiry on Human Rights Defenders organized by the Commission on Human Rights. The group delivered a scathing report on the human rights situation faced by Filipino environmental defenders, which noticeably experienced a spike of killings under the past three years of the regime of President Rodrigo Duterte. "The Duterte regime must be held accountable for its unabated promotion of fossil fuels and destructive mining and other extractive projects that not only harm the environment, but to communities and defenders asserting their rights to their land and natural resources," said Dulce.
Both ENDS and IUCN NL, together with several of our partners, call on the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Dutch Ambassador in the Philippines to express their concern to the Philippine government and to urge to refrain from any crackdown on organisations speaking out on environmental, human and women's rights. We also urge the Netherlands to work with other EU members states to effectively prevent further harm to civil society leaders in the Philippines.
For more information:
Enemies of the State? How governments and businesses silence land and environmental defenders (Global Witness; July 30, 2019).
Philippines is deadliest country for defenders of environment (The Guardian; July 30, 2019).
Agribusiness including Del Monte Philippines' growers implicated in violent attacks against indigenous groups (Global Witness; September 18, 2019)
For more information
Read more about this subject
Publication / 4 October 2019
News / 28 September 2018
We congratulate Joan Carling, member of the permanent commission on indigenous peoples of the UN, for having received the Lifetime Achievement Award as 'Champion of the Earth' by the UN Environment! This is the UN's highest environmental honor, given to six of the world's most outstanding environmental change makers once a year.
Event / 8 June 2018, 16:00 - 18:00
The International Institute of Social Studies, Both ENDS, IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands and Mama Cash invite you for presentations by Joan Carling, indigenous leader and women's rights activist from the Philippines and member of the permanent commission on indigenous peoples of the UN, and Jan van de Venis, Human Rights Lawyer at JustLaw, about the experiences of indigenous leaders in the Philippines, in a world of increasing oppression and human right violations against environmental activists.
News / 9 December 2016
As we celebrate both the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development (December 4th) and Human Rights Day (December 10th), Both ENDS joins with communities and civil society groups around the world to call on development finance institutions, governments, and businesses to take 3 steps to stand up for Human Rights in development.
News / 14 March 2018
We are shocked and alarmed by the news that the Philippine government has declared a list of 600 people to be communist terrorists. On the list are mostly indigenous leaders, environmental activists and human rights defenders. Among them are some of our partners, and we are deeply worried about them and the other people on this list.
News / 20 October 2016
This week, Laura Zuniga Cáceres, daughter of Berta Cáceres*, visits the Netherlands. She will talk with the directors of the involved departments of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participated in a colloquium about indigenous right of Leiden University and meet with several Dutch NGO's. Both ENDS asked this brave young woman about the situation in Honduras and her motivation to continue her mother's work.
A Negotiated Approach envisages the meaningful and long-term participation of communities in all aspects of managing the water and other natural resources on which their lives depend. It seeks to achieve healthy ecosystems and equitable sharing of benefits among all stakeholders within a river basin.
Publication / 27 June 2018
News / 12 December 2017
We are outraged and saddened to hear that Hernán Bedoya, a brave Colombian community leader and human rights defender, has been brutally murdered. After numerous threats to his life and despite all the best efforts of local groups to provide him with protection (such as bullet proof vests, cell phone etc.) he was shot dead by paramilitaries last Friday the 8th of December, while riding home on his horse.
News / 31 October 2019
Earlier this month, we learned that Golfrid Siregar, an Indonesian environmental lawyer working for our partner organisation WALHI died under suspicious circumstances. We call for a thorough and transparent investigation and have brought the case to the attention of the Indonesian embassy in The Hague and to the Netherlands' embassy in Jakarta.
External link / 10 December 2018
An Open Letter to States and Development Financiers on the need to ensure that development interventions support the realization of human rights, safeguard human rights defenders and guarantee meaningful public participation
News / 6 March 2018
On Friday, March 2, the director of DESA, David Castillo, was arrested in Honduras on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Berta Cáceres, exactly 2 years ago. The Honduran government refused for a long time to not only detect the actual murderers, but also the intellectual authors of the murder of Cáceres.
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 / 1 December 2018
On Thursday, November 29, seven suspects of the murder of Berta Cáceres (in March 2016) were found guilty. Members of the indigenous human rights organisation COPINH, of which Cáceres was the leader, and close relatives of Cáceres herself see the ruling as the first step towards justice for her murder and the recognition that the company DESA is co-responsible for this. They also point out, however, that the process was permeated with corruption, intimidation and other abuses from the very beginning, and that the masterminds behind the murder are still walking around freely.
External link / 21 September 2016
News / 22 November 2016
A Dutch economic trade mission is visiting Indonesia from the 21st to the 24th of November. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who heads the mission, is accompanied by Minister Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development), Minister Schultz van Haegen and State Secretary Dijksma (Infrastructure and Environment).
News / 16 November 2018
Silence can sometimes say more than a thousand words. When colleagues from our partner organisations tell us their stories,* our reaction is often silence; a dejected silence.
News / 21 September 2017
September 22nd websites of civil society organisations and NGO's all over the world will go black, in protest and solidarity. Protest against the shrinking space for civilians and organisations to speak out, unite and protest peacefully.
Publication / 10 July 2019
News / 10 February 2020
Civil society organisations from around the world condemn the statements by representatives of palm oil companies during a meeting with the Malaysian government. In this meeting, the company representatives called critical NGOs "toxic entities" and asked the Malaysian government to not let these NGOs into the country. Both ENDS' partners have published a reaction in which they defend their right "to expose the realities we face in their communities about the impacts of the palm oil sector".