The Riverkeeper: guardian of Bangladesh’ rivers
Sharif Jamil is the riverkeeper. In 2009 he started protecting the severely polluted Buriganga River, becoming Bangladesh' first riverkeeper. "We have to make people responsible for their own environment."
Sharif Jamil during his work as riverkeeper. Photo: Waterkeepers Bangladesh
Driving along the dike that separates the Buriganga river from capital Dhaka, on the one hand we see a lot of (illegal) river encroachment, and on the other hand, smelly blue-black bubbling swamps where the tanneries and textile factories discharge their waste water. A little further, a drain from the city connects to the Buriganga: pitch-black, with urban waste polluted water is discharged into the river here. It indicates the water quality of the Buriganga and other waters around Dhaka.
Keeping an eye on the water quality
Riverkeeper Sharif Jamil keeps a close watch on the condition of the Buriganga River, and aims to improve it. He identifies the sources of pollution, take samples and contacts the local population which he informs about the situation. He especially focuses on schools along the river to make children aware of the river's ecology. He also advises the government by taking part in various committees that deal with water management.
Both ENDS has known Sharif since 2007, when he received a Joke Waller-Hunter Initiative-grant. The grant helped him develop the leadership skills that he needs as a riverkeeper.
As riverkeeper, Sharif is part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, which is globally committed to clean waterways where you can swim and fish. In 2013, he was still the only Bangladeshi waterkeeper, but was dreaming of a national waterkeepers network. And he succeeded: Sharif is now coordinator of the Waterkeepers Bangladesh network.
Waterkeepers are counterpower
People like Sharif and his colleagues, who work relentlessly and with passion for water conservation, are an important counterpower. Where no one else does, they show governments and businesses their responsibilities, provide solutions and help create support for them through their close links with local communities.
- More about the Strength of Counterpower
- Visit the websites of Buriganga Riverkeeper and Waterkeepers Bangladesh
Read more about this subject
News / 1 December 2022
After a busy week filled with side-events, meetings, negotiations and covid, our colleagues Daan and Niels are back in the office in Utrecht. Together, they look back to their expereiences and results during the climate conference COP27 in Egypt.
News / 24 November 2022
At this year's UN Climate Conference COP27, Bhavya George, Climate Change coordinator of our partner organisation Keystone Foundation won one of the Gender Just Climate Solutions awards. Her project "Women Barefoot Ecologists", which also is supported by the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), won in the category "Transformational Solutions".
Event / 14 November 2022, 18:30 - 20:00
UNFCCC COP side event
Food systems account for 33% of GHG emissions, but receive only 3% of climate finance. Climate finance is urgently needed to fund the food systems solutions that can have real impacts and wide-ranging benefits in a diversity of contexts. How do we improve on current funding pathways?
Join this UNFCCC side event to find out more!
Event / 12 November 2022, 15:00 - 16:30
UNFCCC-COP side event
In this session hosted by NTFP-EP and the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), we will discuss the crucial steps to be taken to make gender-just climate finance a reality.
News / 10 November 2022
In October 2022, 150 women from 14 African Countries gathered in Port Harcourt, Nigeria for the first African Women's Climate Assembly. The aim of this Assembly was to strengthen and unify women-led struggles against dirty extractives and false solutions to the climate crisis in West and Central Africa, and propose the real development solutions that support women's interests in a good and decent life and livelihoods in a time of climate crisis.
Publication / 7 November 2022
Publication / 4 November 2022
Publication / 4 November 2022
Publication / 4 November 2022
News / 4 November 2022
Climate action is urgently needed to slow down global warming. The effects of climate change are already showing themselves. Floods in Pakistan and closer to us, in the Netherlands, are causing loss of life and much emotional and economic damage, while local climate solutions are still largely being ignored. That's why Both ENDS is going to participate in COP27, the climate conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Press release / 3 November 2022
The Netherlands breaks major climate promise to end public financing for international fossil fuel projects
Today, a week before the international climate summit in Egypt, the Dutch Government has broken a major climate promise it made last year to end public financing for international fossil fuel projects. International and Dutch NGOs argue that the new policy published by the Dutch Government on restricting finance for fossil fuels has such significant loopholes, that it essentially means The Netherlands has reneged on its promise.
Analog forestry is a transformative approach to the ecological restoration of degraded lands. Natural forests are used as guides to create ecologically sustainable landscapes, which support the social and economical needs of local communities.
News / 26 October 2022
Update October 27th:
Today our friends have been released after five nights in detention. We welcome this great news and we are happy and relieved that Babacar Diouf and the others who were arrested will soon be back with their loved ones.
Nonetheless this was a very bad signal from Senegalese authorities and police and an indication of the growing restriction on civic space in Senegal. It is unacceptable that freedom of expression is restricted, people should not have to go to jail for peacefully expressing their opinion - especially when their livelihood is at stake.
Letter / 25 October 2022
Official Statement of Indonesian Coalition for Monitoring Infrastructure Development related to AIIB Statement of Anti Retaliation
The Mandalika International Street Circuit is a street circuit in the resort of Mandalika in Central Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara Province. The project, mainly intended to attract tourists, is largely financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
News / 24 October 2022
The decision of Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is good news for the energy transition in the Netherlands and beyond. Governments of countries that are party to this treaty can therefore shape the transition to sustainable energy without having to fear claims by Dutch-based businesses.
Letter / 19 October 2022
In May 2022, Minister Hoekstra of Foreign Affairs and Minister Schreinemacher for International Trade and Development Cooperation announced that also The Netherlands will work towards implementing a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP). This means that within its Foreign Policy, the Netherlands will pay more attention to inclusivity in general and specifically to women's rights and gender equality, including LGBTIQ+. This feminist lens will be central to all aspects of foreign policy; security, trade, diplomacy and international cooperation.
To foster an inclusive process and acquire insights in what a Dutch FFP should look like, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs opened an internet consultation. Both ENDS welcomes the FFP and therefore gladly shares its input and suggestions.
The lion's share of public budgets for climate, agriculture and development still goes to conventional agroindustrial projects that contribute to the current climate, food and biodiversity crises. Both ENDS and our partners are calling for a transition to agroecological practices that are people- and environment-friendly.
Letter / 18 October 2022
140+ organisations call on the European Ministers, Commissioners and members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products. As "trilogue negotiations" on this law begin, we ask you to support a law that lives up to the promises of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals and upholds the EU's commitments on climate, biodiversity and human rights.
Blog / 12 October 2022
The Dutch government and Dutch businesses spend a lot of money on food production in developing countries. But, according to Karin van Boxtel, policy officer at Both ENDS, far too little of that money finds its way to sustainable, nature-inclusive producers.
Publication / 10 October 2022