For the very first time, the expert panel of the independent complaints mechanism of the Dutch development bank FMO will handle a complaint. It was filed on May 5 by residents of the area where the Barro Blanco dam is currently being built. These people form part of the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé tribe. They feel that FMO has not adhered to its own social and environmental standards when they lent 25 million US dollars to build the dam. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS has been keeping a close eye on the situation.
Yesterday Jasper van Dijk, MP of the Socialist Party (SP), submitted written parliamentary questions to Minister Lilianne Ploumen for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation about the construction of the Barro Blanco dam in Panama. The construction of this controversial dam continues despite violent protests in Panama against human rights violations and environmental damage. What does the Netherlands have to do with it? At the end of 2012 the SP also asked parliamentary questions about this issue. Anouk Franck of Both ENDS explains why.
Minister Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation is visiting Brazil on a trade mission for the second time this year. On the government website she says: ‘for Dutch companies there are a lot of trade opportunities in Brazil. Foreign trade also creates domestic jobs.’ The Netherlands is one of the top 5 export partners of Brazil. But who profits from this solid trade relation in Brazil? To make the minister and her travel companions aware of this question, Both ENDS sent her a letter.
The human right to water and sanitation is a topical theme. A workshop which was recently held on this right in Uganda, even got the attention of the Ugandan television. Tobias Schmitz, programme officer at Both ENDS and co-organizer of the workshop, was interviewed by them.
This year Both ENDS exists 25 years. What started as a project to offer support and guidance to local organisations working on environment and development, has become a professional network organisation. Please watch our video message in which Both ENDS' director Daniëlle Hirsch reflects on the past 25 years and tells you about our vision for the future.
In the past quarter of a century we have become a strong, professional network organization, working with many partners in countries around the globe on environmental and development issues. We are very proud that we were given the opportunity to work with inspiring people all over the world who, often in very difficult circumstances, are taking small steps to create a fairer and greener world.