Like many in the field of international development aid, Both ENDS eagerly awaited the recent publication of the WRR (Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy) report, "Less Pretention, More Ambition". Both ENDS was especially interested in the areas relevant to its own mission and core competencies, i.e. supporting civil society organisations working in the fields of ecological sustainability and social justice.
It can be hard to establish small-scale adaptation projects in developing countries, because governments, development banks and donors generally prefer to finance larger initiatives. Of course, a single large project is more visible and easier to manage than ten small ones. But it is extremely important that the very small-scale initiatives, which are based on the knowledge and needs of local communities, are supported. How can we ensure that these - often very effective - local projects find their way to the appropriate funds and vice versa?
Both ENDS is co-hosting two sessions on the conference of the EFC (European Foundation Centre). This year, the conference is held from Thursday the 26th until Saturday the 28th of May in the town of Cascais, Portugal.
Last Wednesday, just before the summer recess, the Tweede Kamer (the Dutch Lower House) discussed Minister Koenders's policy memorandum: "Samen werken aan mondiale uitdagingen, Nederland en multilaterale ontwikkelingssamenwerking" (Working together on global challenges; the Netherlands and multilateral development cooperation). With 'multilateral' Koenders refers to the UN, Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and a number of global funds.
In cooperation with partners Both ENDS will organize multiple workshops at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona. During the event from 5-14 October more than 8,000 of the world's leading decision makers in sustainable development: from governments, NGOs, business, the UN and academia will share ideas and initiatives. Together they will debate, share, network, learn, commit, vote and decide. The objective: ideas, action and solutions for a diverse and sustainable world.
The Dutch news programme Netwerk will be broadcasting two items called 'Stroom stinkt!' (Power stinks) today and on Thursday about the origin of coal used in the Netherlands. Many Dutch energy companies use coal from developing countries like South Africa and Colombia to generate electricity. The working conditions in mines are often very bad and coal mining has tremendous impact on the environment and local living conditions. Farmland is destroyed and ground- and drinking water become polluted with chemicals used in the mines. Both ENDS' partners from South Africa and Colombia tell their story in the broadcast.
The World Bank Group is currently undertaking two major consultations one on their new Environment Strategy and the other on their Energy Strategy. Both ENDS has been asked to contribute feedback on these two policies. In follow up to its dialogue with the WBG Both ENDS delivered it's written response.
At the Goed Geld Gala 2012, a National Lottery benefit ball, Both ENDS received money for the project 'an unheard story'. For this project, we'll be working together with five networks of environmental organisations in South-Africa, Brazil, India, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe. Together we reinforce small local organisations and help them share their stories about the changes they would like to see. These stories show what consequences political and industrial decisions in the North have for people living alongside the Mekong river, or in the Brazilian forests. That way we jointly take action in search for a more sustainable world.