The POSCO story: 4 deaths and a dialogue
It has been planned for several years, but had so far been postponed: the Korean steel company POSCO wants to build and operate on a large scale in Orissa, an Indian state. Local people, environmental organizations and experts strongly resisted the plan, with all the consequences that entailed. Local police and militias cracked down the protests and recently there were four deaths. Wiert Wiertsema points out the responsibility of ABP, the Dutch pension fund that invested in POSCO. Wiertsema and ABP talked recently about the issue following an official complaint by the FGG Alliance on violations of the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises.
“If POSCO does not comply with social and environmental rules and continues its plans, at least 22.000 farmers and 30.000 fishermen will become internally displaced and will lose their primary source of income. Moreover, it will cause irreparable environmental damage. Recently the Mining Zone Peoples’ Solidarity Group investigated the consequences of POSCO’s plans. The results illustrate the reasons as to why the local people protested against POSCO. I deeply regret the loss of lives in this struggle. It shows that ABP and other investors have to extert influence to avoid further escalation.”
Put the pressure on
“As an investor ABP can pressure POSCO to comply with the Corporate Social Responsibility rules. This would be in line with ABP’s own CSR policy.This applies not only to ABP, but also to other investors, such as the pension fund of the Norwegian government. I urge investors to do all in their power to ensure that POSCO acts in accordance with the OECD-guidelines.”
ABP responded to the call. “In 2012 we, an international coalition of Dutch, Norwegian, Indian and South-Korean organizations, filed a complaint to the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD guidelines and to the NCPs of South-Korea and Norway. Together with the NCP as mediator we had three talks with ABP, our partner SOMO and pension management company APG. All participants have agreed to continue their dialogue to find ways to prevent or mitigate the negative effects of POSCO’s proposed investments. A hopeful statement, but it’s only the beginning. If no action is taken quickly, the first phase of land acquisition might not work out well for POSCO. Further ignoring the situation can lead to more violence and will not benefit the investment.
Photo: Ranka Ayush
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Event / 18 May 2022, 10:45 - 12:15
UNCCD-COP15: Monitoring Tree Cover and Enhancing Decision Making Tools Across Africa’s Great Green Wall
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Event / 16 May 2022, 13:00 - 15:00
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The land degradation neutrality (LDN) response hierarchy of Avoid > Reduce > Reverse land degradation is an overarching principle for LDN implementation, which guides people in planning interventions to achieve LDN. The hierarchy articulates which interventions should be prioritised based on their potential to maximise the conservation of land-based natural capital, recognising that avoiding or reducing land degradation is generally more cost-effective than efforts to reverse past degradation. As value for money is highest in the Avoiding and in Reducing Land Degradation response, a smart way to spend money is to support sustainable land management approaches like agroecology that work with nature, not against it.
Event / 16 May 2022, 13:00 - 15:00
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Letter / 15 May 2022
Both ENDS Comments and recommendations on the Bank Group’s Environmental and Social Policy of the AfDB Integrated Safeguards System
This letter by Both ENDS to the African Development Bank is a comment written in reaction to a draft version published by the Bank of its Environmental and Social Policy as part of a formal public consultation held by the Bank. This comment was sent to the bank along a joint submission letter with other CSOs, and specifically responds to the overarching Policy.
The bank's flexible requirements for clients and national standards for risky projects dilute safeguards. Project approval should be predicated on specific and binding targets for compliance and reflect input from communities involved.
Letter / 15 May 2022
Joint Submission of comments and recommendations to the Public Consultation on AfDB Integrated Safeguards System
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News / 10 May 2022
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News / 29 April 2022
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Event / 26 April 2022, 10:00 - 11:30
Both ENDS and the Land Portal Foundation invite you to the first webinar in the Whose Land? - Inclusive Pathways to Land Governance series, which aims to provide a platform for stakeholders engaged in land governance to exchange on the importance of inclusivity and meaningful participation of all relevant actors in both formal and informal land governance processes.
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News / 25 April 2022
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Letter / 22 April 2022
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News / 15 April 2022
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Publication / 12 April 2022
News / 31 March 2022
We are exited about the news that Ms MacKenzie Scott decided to entrust substantial funding to a wide range of small grants funds from Both ENDS' partner networks*. These small grants funds are unique as they are set up and led by people, often activists themselves, from the country or region in which the fund is based. Most mainstream conventional funders admit they have difficulties reaching community based organisations and grassroots groups themselves. Small grants funds know better than anyone how to reach local communities, who to support and what kind of financial as well as non-financial support is most needed. Thus, they bridge a wide funding gap. Both ENDS applauds this recognition of the important role of these funds in the funding landscape. We hope this encourages more funders to join!
Event / 25 March 2022, 16:00 - 17:30
What does feminist climate action look like and what does it lead to? Join us to hear from grassroots activists who will share their lived experiences and recommendations for equitable, just, and sustainable strategies to tackle the most pressing issue of our time. Global Greengrants Fund and the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) will formally launch our joint campaign commitment to support these frontline climate solutions alongside the UN Women Generation Equality Forum’s Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition. Register today to learn how to mobilize more and better support for feminist climate action.
News / 22 March 2022
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News / 18 March 2022
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Event / 15 March 2022, 11:00 - 12:30
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Press release / 7 March 2022
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Publication / 7 March 2022