Dare to dream about a sustainable economy, Daniëlle Hirsch shares her vision
"My idea of 'good' is that people can make decisions about their own development; that they are able to decide what happens to their environment. That we all respect the boundaries of our ecosystems and that women, just like men, are able to develop in the way that they want". Daniëlle Hirsch is responding to a question from the audience where she just gave a lecture on her views for a future sustainable economy.
Dare to dream
For many people, this sustainable economy is nothing but a dream, but one that has to be dreamt. Hirsch: "These days it's an act of vulnerability to share your dreams, because everyone is inclined to see them as naïve and unrealistic". By showing a video, she shows how people are blinded by the reality of here and now, and are hardly able to see the small green economies evolving all around us.
Sustainable economies: they already exist
In Niger, thousands of local farmers are regreening large parts of the Sahel. By planting trees and shrubs in one of the most dry and degraded places on earth, harvests have improved and the groundwater levels have risen immensely. In India and Peru, villagers have taken on management of their own water resources. The quality of water has improved and the division of water is much better adjusted to local production systems. But companies are also making progress; an attenuated tea plantation in Sri Lanka was brought back to life by planting the original vegetation in between the tea bushes.
Hirsch shares her vision on sustainable economies: "I principally see a world where diversity prevails. Diversity in economic systems and social relations, but also in leadership and production systems". In Hirsch' vision, financial systems accommodate small and local producers, which makes the supply more diverse. Exhausted ecosystems are being cleverly restored, making land fertile again. The same land is being used by farmers who stay within the boundaries of that specific ecosystem. Women play an important role in the sustainable economy of Hirsch: "The large number of female decision-makers creates a balance between economic and social values. The relation between 'having' and 'being' is balanced.
The 'silver bullet' doesn't exist
According to Hirsch, we have to realise that the one solution doesn't exist, being blinded by the silver bullet that will improve the whole global system at once, will only be counterproductive. "Let's all recognise that we are improvising. Criticism is easy, what we have to strive for is giving people space to start working on different activities and solutions", says Hirsch. As an example she mentions the incubators at Philips, where a group of visionaries receive money and space to think 'out of the box' and develop innovative products.
Visionaries and new systems
It turned out that with existing actors like the WTO and the World Bank, we are not heading towards a sustainable economy. According to Hirsch, that's why we must find new actors, visionaries from the South like Leonardo Boff and Wangari Matai. The WTO and the World Bank can still be a part of this, but they will have to return to their mandate of solidarity and sustainable and social development. Hirsch: "Not until we set boundaries for our own investments, respect human rights and support local groups in standing up for their rights and ideas, will we start paving the way towards a sustainable and maintainable economy".
The 'Duurzaamheidsoverleg Politieke Partijen' (DOPP) is a sustainability consultation for political parties. The DOPP organised a second lecture series on the 8th of March called 'in search of a sustainable economy'. Next to Danielle Hirsch, other guest speakers were Myriam van der Stichele of SOMO who spoke about the future of trade agreements, and René Kleijn of the Centre for environmental science who talked about increasing resource scarcities. The next DOPP lectures are held on the 22nd of March.
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Event / 7 December 2021, 14:00 - 15:15
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Publication / 29 November 2021
News / 22 November 2021
Export support – and especially that to fossil projects – has been in the spotlights quite often recently. This is a positive development, because the Netherlands alone provides fossil export support worth 1.5 billion euros per year. At the climate summit in Glasgow, the United Kingdom launched a statement promising to stop providing export support to fossil projects by the end of 2022. After having denied at first, the Netherlands decided to join the statement after all – which now has already been signed by nearly forty countries and financial institutions.
External link / 17 November 2021
Julio Bichehe Erneste of Farmers Union Cabo Delgado Mozambique (UPC) on a side event of COP26 in Glasgow, speaking about the negative impacts of export support for fossil fuel projects for local people and their enrironment, and about the need to support renewable energy projects instead.
News / 8 November 2021
Both ENDS and SOMO condemn violence against Indigenous community near the Barro Blanco dam in Panama
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News / 8 November 2021
Today, the Netherlands announced that it will join a leading group of countries, including the United States, Canada and Italy, which declared that they would stop international support for fossil energy projects. At the day of the launch of the declaration at the climate summit in Glasgow on the 4th of November, the Netherlands had no intention of joining, but because of pressure from civil society and political parties, the responsible ministries decided to sign after all. Both ENDS, together with organizations at home and abroad, has been pushing for this for years, and we are very happy with this step. We will of course continue to monitor developments.
Event / 6 November 2021, 13:00 - 15:00
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Event / 4 November 2021, 16:45 - 18:00
UNFCCC COP 26 side event ‘Aligning export finance with the Paris Agreement: high time to phase out fossil fuels’
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Event / 4 November 2021, 13:15 - 14:30
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Follow this event live on YouTube!
Publication / 2 November 2021
External link / 31 October 2021
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Press release / 26 October 2021
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Publication / 26 October 2021
Event / 25 October 2021, 14:30 - 18:00
News / 24 October 2021
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News / 15 October 2021
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Press release / 11 October 2021
New website shines a light on the extent of export credit agencies' support for fossil fuels
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News / 30 September 2021
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News / 27 September 2021
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News / 17 September 2021
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