The vision of Both ENDS is a world where long-term environmental sustainability and social equity take priority over short-term profits.
In order to make our vision reality, Both ENDS strengthens global civil society to gain decisive influence on the use of nature and the environment, thus contributing to societies that stay within our planetary boundaries and respect all human rights, including the rights to water, food and a safe living environment.
Civil society actors should have a free, independent, active and influential voice about the use of the natural resources that determine the quality of their daily lives and the future of their children. Respecting the planetary boundaries is a precondition for sustainable development. We should minimalise climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution and ozone depletion, and use land and water in a responsible way, in order to keep our planet livable. At the same time, sustainable societies should respect all human rights. Not only the rights to water, food and a safe living environment, but also gender equity, indigenous rights and space for civil society.
For Both ENDS, civil society in the Global South is at the starting point of everything we do. Our global network of environmental organisations, activists, community-based organisations, regional funds and researchers, who continuously signal threats to sustainable development, fulfils the role of our radar antenna.
Civil society actors are also in the best position to offer alternatives to these threats. All over the world, people are engaged in initiatives that prove how economic interests can go hand-in-hand with respect for nature and people's wellbeing. These initiatives – many of them still small and scattered - present great hope for the realisation of sustainable and equitable economic systems, both locally and globally.
Together with our civil society partners, Both ENDS translates the signals of harmful policies and investments into advocacy and alternatives in favour of sustainable development. Essential for both successful advocacy processes and promotion of alternatives, is the recognition of civil society as an important key player.
Based on experiences on the ground, civil society exposes negative impacts of investment, trade and a wide range of policy decisions and instruments. We elevate these concrete experiences to advocate for policies and decision-making processes that implement basic principles of sustainable and inclusive development, focusing on implementation and enforcement.
To do so, civil society needs to have an entrance with decision makers and civil society players need to have sufficient organisational capacity to effectively raise their voice. Sufficient funding is another important precondition for an effective civil society.
Both ENDS closely works with its civil society partners to support each other in our collective aim for increased civic space. We do this, amongst other things, by developing advocacy strategies and performing advocacy and by exchanging knowledge and experiences. Our advocacy not only targets decision makers of public entities, but also public, semi-public and private investors operating at the local, regional or international level.
Next to advocating against harmful developments, it is also of great importance to offer alternatives that support the transition towards sustainable and equitable societies. These alternatives can take the form of policies, laws, practices and governance models and often start as small-scale, local initiatives.
Together with civil society actors, Both ENDS identifies and/or develops these alternative policies, laws, practices and governance models for a sustainable use and governance of forest, water and land, with respect for human rights. We promote these alternatives to have them scaled up and disseminated by a broad group of stakeholders. Finally we want to see key decision makers and investors act upon these alternatives, and have them implemented and enforced.
In the end, by following the combined courses of advocacy (including capacity development) and promotion of alternatives, those policies, legal frameworks and practices that guarantee sustainable development and social equity will be in place and have an impact through implementation, enforcement and sustainable investments.