A word from our board and director

We started 2022 with ideas and energy. We were relieved that the pandemic seemed nearly under control. We were excited about having made strides in increasing support for transformative practices, like agroecology, which strengthens community resilience and contributes to stable supplies of food in times of crisis. And we were buoyed by the crucial breakthrough at the UN climate talks in Glasgow, where a large group of wealthy countries, including the Netherlands, and key international financial institutions, pledged to end public funding for new fossil projects abroad by the end of 2022. This was an enormous victory for Both ENDS and our many partners and allies worldwide, who have been working together for decades for fossil free public finance.

And then the next crisis hit. In February, the geopolitical context suddenly and profoundly shifted when Russia expanded its occupation of Ukraine into a full-scale war. As in case of the Covid crisis, we again saw how a sudden shock to the global economic system has direct and severe consequences on people’s access to energy and food, as well as on civic space and human rights. Along with many others, we’ve been warning for years about the risks of our dependence on fossil fuels and industrial agriculture, and the danger of long and unsustainable global supply chains dominated by a few companies.


We have talked about these problems again and again, and our experience in 2022 confirms that it’s critically important to continue to do so. Everywhere we go, in every conversation we have, Both ENDS highlights the systemic character of the many crises we are facing and the consequences for people and planet. Together with diverse civil society organisations, social movements, scientists, parliamentarians and policymakers, Both ENDS continues to work and advocate for a just transition. In this, we are inspired by the many people we collaborate with, such as those in Uganda who, despite very difficult circumstances, are tirelessly advocating for a socially just, sustainable energy strategy. They are raising awareness and advocating for community-driven clean energy solutions, such as off-grid solar energy.

As yet another global food crisis loomed in 2022, we also continued to advocate and work for food system transformation. Worldwide, there are countless examples of local food producers engaged in socially just and ecologically sustainable food production. During the Covid pandemic, we saw confirmation of what we already knew: these holistic practices are best suited to ensure food and nutrition security, and to strengthen economic, climate and community resilience. They deserve much more support, both in terms of policy and funding.

In dialogue with a variety of actors, including Dutch policymakers, international financial institutions, banks and funders, we continued to urge relevant actors to take effective action to prevent hunger by supporting and investing in local food producers, especially women, and agroecological practices. Although there is more work to be done, our message is increasingly being heard. There is growing recognition by policymakers in the Netherlands, in Europe, and at the international level that investing in people’s food security requires investing in people.

As part of the GAGGA Alliance, we are drawing attention to the leading role of women in implementing effective and sustainable measures to adapt to and mitigate climate change, and calling for more recognition, political support and funding for their work. We were pleased to make great headway in 2022, including in fruitful dialogue with a number of donors. In our efforts to mobilise more resources, GAGGA was delighted to receive two new grants. A generous extra project grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery focuses on flexible funding to strengthen community-driven, women-led systems of resilience and autonomy, building on an initiative launched during the pandemic. A three-year grant from the Ford Foundation enables GAGGA to provide flexible financial support to women and girl environmental human rights defenders to address structural violence.


As a Dutch organisation based in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, Both ENDS aims to be continually alert to how we hold and use our power, both in the context of our relationships with partners in the Global South and with each other. We recognise that power relations are a constant factor in our work, and we want to improve our understanding and awareness of what this means, while ensuring that we are maximising our efforts to share power. To that end, we embarked on a new, ongoing learning process in 2022 focused on ‘Examination of Power’.

The principle of shared power is at the core of our theory of change and of Both ENDS as an organisation. In recent years, much work has been done to make Both ENDS more united, strategic, and inclusive. Our self-organised organisational system has solidified: staff members have a clear understanding of what they can expect from the organisation and from each other, and what is expected of them. We have found new ways to enable people to grow within the organisation, with more staff members engaged in external communications, outreach, and partnership building. Of course, an organisation’s health is always a work in progress, and we continue to keep strengthening the organisation collectively.


Without a doubt, the best part of 2022 was being able to resume our regular work – to connect in person with our partners, and to facilitate their engagement in important dialogues and decision-making processes. At an event in November, we brought together over 150 people – including staff of Dutch pension funds, asset fund managers, and policymakers – to see the remarkable documentary The Illusion of Abundance, which tells the stories of three women environmental human rights defenders fighting at great risk to defend communities against corporate misconduct. After the screening, Carolina de Moura, a GAGGA partner from Brazil and one of three women defenders featured in the film, told the audience about her efforts to hold the mining company Vale accountable for human rights and environmental abuses, including the Brumadinho dam collapse. She insisted on the urgent need to stop investment in such companies and projects. Listening to Carolina, it is painfully clear that we have an important job to do. We can — and we must – transform global value chains.

Ensuring that people like Carolina can take centre stage and make their voices heard is one of the things Both ENDS does best. It is our job to use our power by sharing our power – to connect people, to connect issues, to challenge decision-makers to do better, to show a way forward. Looking ahead, we aim to develop new relationships to ensure our financial stability, and that of our partners worldwide who, together with us, are creating space, power and momentum at both ends of the globe, in both North and the South, to change our broken system once and for all.

Danielle Hirsch, Director
Paul Engel, Chair of the Board

Our achievements in 2022

To achieve our vision of a sustainable, fair and inclusive world, Both ENDS works to empower civil society, to change the system so it prioritises people and the planet, and to support transformative practices. The numbers and successes below together show the broad variety of our achievements along each one of the three pathways.


Both ENDS cooperates with many partner organisations around the world to strengthen civil society, advocate for green and fair policies and support transformative practices. This cooperation entails much more then only financial support; we strategise together and each take our own role in our joint efforts for just and sustainable societies. Our partner network embraces the whole world:


In order for systems to prioritise people and the planet, Both ENDS and partners aim to change the system step by step, policy by policy. Where policies are already strong, they need to be implemented, and where they are absent, we advocate for new ones to be enacted, on all levels. Influencing policies often is a matter of patience. It might take years until change finally materialises. This is why Both ENDS and partners are involved in such a large number of policy influencing processes:


According to Both ENDS and partners, transformative practices are the future. There are many of these bottom-up, planet-friendly practices. By strengthening and eventually up-scaling transformative practices, Both ENDS and counterparts show tangible examples that can inspire and promote a radically different system that places human and environmental well-being at its core:

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  • Uganda is one of many countries where the situation for environmental organisations has deteriorated. Both ENDS has taken steps to develop a more systematic and proactive approach to supporting partners in addressing safety and security issues. In 2022, we successfully mobilised resources to support six Ugandan organisations to strengthen collaboration, increase their visibility, and carry out joint advocacy towards a green and sustainable future.
  • At the Climate conference (COP27) in Egypt, Both ENDS was able to do what we stand for: connecting people for change. By bringing partners together, and by facilitating exchanges between our partners and policymakers, we achieved to give our partners a podium on which to make their voices heard.
  • As a response to the demands of our partner Forum Suape in Brazil, the license for Dutch dredging company Van Oord in Port Suape was limited to the winter period. This will drastically lower the impact of the dredging works on the livelihoods of the local community. This decision came after another breakthrough in Suape, when a controversial dam in the Rio Tatuoca that was destroying the mangroves and the aquatic life in the area was partially dismantled, enabling the ecosystem to slowly recuperate. Together with Fórum Suape, Both ENDS has been working for almost ten years to protect the rights of local communities in and around Suape.
  • In 2022, Both ENDS and the Land Portal Foundation started a series of webinars, called “Whose Land? Inclusive Pathways to Land Governance”. The four-part webinar series provided a platform for different 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. In total 1614 people participated in the webinars.


  • In Mozambique, few women can rest assured that their right to use and enjoy land is guaranteed. Forum Mulher, a network of Mozambican women’s rights organisations, raised public awareness and mobilised rural women to effectively make their voices heard during the government’s formal review of the legislative framework for land governance.
  • The Netherlands finally decided to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). This is good news for the energy transition in the Netherlands and beyond. Both ENDS has been working with partners for a number of years to raise awareness about the disadvantages of the ECT, especially in countries in the Global South that were considering joining the treaty, such as Uganda and Indonesia.
  • In Argentina, after intensive advocacy by our partner FARN, the government adapted its national biodiversity policy to be in line with the international CBD-framework, including norms concerning human rights, gender and the recognition of biocultural corridors – an important pillar of the Wetlands without Borders programme.
  • As part of a European tour and together with Brazilian partners (Instituto Cordilheira) Both ENDS pre-screened ‘Illusion of Abundance‘, a documentary sharing the story of three Latin American women fighting injustice caused by large scale development projects. The panel debate after the screening and several follow-up screenings requested by Dutch investors, generated an in-dept discussion about the role of investors on due diligence, prevention and improvement of communication with communities in potentially affected areas.
  • The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has taken a unique decision to withdraw from the construction of two controversial dams in Ixquisis, Guatemala. Both ENDS has supported our partner AIDA for many years in its fight against the dams.


  • As part of the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), a long-term partner of Both ENDS, is inspiring and supporting women’s leadership in their communities to restore local ecosystems using natural forests as a model. They succesfully built a network of local Analog Forestry Promoters during the pandemic years.
  • At the UNCCD COP15 in Abidjan, the UNCCD adopted the FAO’s “Technical Guide on the implementation of the VGGTs in Land Degradation Neutrality”, including suggestions by Both ENDS and partners. This technical guide builds on the groundbreaking COP14 decision on Land tenure. With this technical guide, the UNCCD offers a tool to support countries to integrate the tenure guidelines in their land use policies and to halt desertification and land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought. Both ENDS and partners – especially from the Drynet Network – have since long advocated for this matter.
  • In the Wetlands without Borders programme, our partner CODES has created ‘Family Seed Banks’ in Paraguay for the preservation and multiplication of native and endangered seeds. So far 5 seed banks have been created and these families were named as “Guardians of Seeds”. They harvest, store and share these native seeds in the community. Community-managed seed banks are an important aspect of agroecology and contribute to local food sovereignty.
  • Our partner organisation Prakriti Resource Centre (PRC) supported 28 local women’s groups in Nepal to undertake and promote environmental and climate actions. These actions include organic farming, forest plantation and pruning, water management and waste recycling. The women’s groups also influenced their newly elected local governments to scale up climate actions and in some cases managed to access municipal budgets to further implement their gender just climate actions.
  • Our “Communities regreen the Sahel” programme, aimed at supporting partners for at least ten years (2018-2028), is now halfway. Together with more than 20 local partner organisations and more than 40.000 farmers in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger, we’ve regreened already a 100.000 hectares of farmland in 5 years time.

Growing a global network of Analog Forestry promoters

Around the world, the loss and degradation of ecosystems is happening at a dangerous pace. About a quarter of land on Earth has been degraded, meaning that diverse ecosystems that were once rich with life have lost their capacity to thrive and grow. Each year, tens of millions of hectares of forest are destroyed or lose their ability to naturally regenerate. Alongside of their cultural and spiritual importance, healthy forests are a vital source of food, water, and medicine for people worldwide. They provide valuable materials for housing, furniture, crafts, and energy. And they provide essential protection against climate change and its impacts.

As part of the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), the International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), a long-term partner of Both ENDS, is inspiring and supporting women’s leadership in their communities to restore local ecosystems using natural forests as a model. Analog Forestry, the creation of forest gardens that are analogous in structure and function to original forests, enables communities to strengthen their livelihoods and incomes while creating stable and ecologically rich forest landscapes. Analog Forestry is one of the many transformative practices that Both ENDS and our partners strive to bring attention to, scale up, and spread far and wide.

New ways of working

In the last several years, IAFN set a goal for itself to expand and strengthen its network of local practitioners of Analog Forestry, known as ‘Promoters’, with a specific focus on women. Due to the Covid pandemic, however, the network had to profoundly adjust its usual ways of working. Travel restrictions necessitated a shift to online training. On-going technical support for implementation of Analog Forestry sites had to be provided remotely.

IAFN successfully navigated the transition. Since 2020, the Promoters Network has continued to flourish. So too has awareness of the need to invest in and strengthen food sovereignty and agroecological food systems. Trainers and Promoters maintained regular contact with each other via whatsapp groups where they exchanged information and experiences about the implementation of Analog Forestry, such as setting up nurseries, collecting seeds, identifying plants that grow well and those that don’t, dealing with problems with weeds, and applying organic fertilizers.

At the beginning of 2022, with the pandemic still limiting mobility, IAFN and its Cameroon member, CENDEP, organised trainings, thematic mini-workshops and interactive sessions for promoters in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Topics covered, such as biological control, nurseries, soil improvement and the issue of gender justice, were selected by the Promoters themselves. During the mini-workshops, presentations about implementation and commercialisation of products from mature Analog Forests in Ecuador and Sri Lanka served as inspiration for new Women Promoters, helping them envision what can be achieved in the longer-term on their own Analog Forest plots. IAFN plans to follow up on this by including visual materials and virtual ‘walks’ through mature Analog Forests in future online events.

Consolidating progress

As 2022 progressed and travel finally became possible, IAFN took action to consolidate the progress made over the previous two years. With support from Both ENDS, IAFN and CENDEP trainers organised their first post-pandemic on-site visits and monitoring missions to partner organisations and Analog Forestry sites in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uganda and Zimbabwe. During the visits, a variety of workshops and learning sessions were held. In Asia, IAFN brought together a new group of Analog Forestry Promoters – seven women and two men from India, Nepal and Indonesia who met in person for the first time in the Asian Promoters Gathering.

In total, 30 Analog Forestry Promoters were strengthened in 2022 in their capacities to restore degraded lands and apply Analog Forestry on the ground. In evaluations of these efforts, IAFN’s Promoters confirm how much they value being part of IAFN’s international network of practitioners and the opportunity to exchange experiences, knowledge and mutual support with others in the network.

Spreading the word, building support

Promoters are spreading their knowledge and enthusiasm for Analog Forestry in their communities. To foster their work, at the end of the year IAFN provided seed grants to Promoters to develop new and existing Analog Forestry demonstration plots. The network is also working to make the work of Promoters more visible. In October, in the lead up to International Day of Rural Women, World Food Day, and the Global Day of Action for Food Sovereignty, IAFN shared the stories of four women Promoters from Nepal, Indonesia, and Bolivia. The articles highlighted the women’s efforts, through agroecology and Analog Forestry, to build community resilience to crises, fight for and ensure food sovereignty, and contribute to regeneration of their territories.

Likewise, Both ENDS is showcasing the transformative promise of Analog Forestry among its key audiences, including donors. As part of the GAGGA Alliance, Both ENDS and its partners are making the case for more recognition, political support, and funding for women-led Analog Forestry and other gender-just climate solutions. At a side event at the 2022 UN climate conference in Egypt, with representatives from governments, the Green Climate Fund, and the Adaptation Fund in the audience, GAGGA partners underscored the need to support local women and indigenous organisations in leading climate action.

In anticipation of the conference, Both ENDS published briefing papers describing two examples of gender-just climate solutions, including a successful women-led Analog Forestry initiative in Cameroon supported by IAFN member CENDEP and a sustainable forest management initiative in India involving ‘Women Barefoot Ecologists,’ a project of Both ENDS’s long-term partner, Keystone Foundation. At the UN conference, the latter received a huge boost when it won the Women and Gender Constituency’s Gender Just Climate Solution Award. The project was specifically recognised for its transformational power.


Women at analog forestry training in Guatemala. Photo by Colectivo Madreselva

Laili Kairnur, one of the Analog Forestry promoters from Indonesia. Photo by Laili Khairnur

Woman showing lychees grown in a food forest in Laos. Photo by Dorn Bouttasing


Women’s land rights in Mozambique

For rural and peasant women in Mozambique, land is life. Land is crucial for women’s livelihoods, their health and well-being. Land nourishes bodies and spirits. The Mozambique Constitution, National Land Policy and Land Law affirm the rights of all Mozambican people to the use and enjoyment of land, and recognise land as a universal means of wealth creation and social welfare. In practice, however, many regulations and procedures discriminate against women. Despite being the country’s largest producers of the food that sustains Mozambican families, few women can rest assured that their right to use and enjoy land is guaranteed.

Fortunately, a network of Mozambican women’s rights organisations, Forum Mulher, is gaining ground in its effort to improve respect for women’s land rights. In 2022, with support from Both ENDS, the network raised public awareness and mobilised rural women to effectively make their voices heard during the government’s formal review of the legislative framework for land governance.

Rural women’s political declaration

When Mozambique’s Land Policy Review Commission shared its new draft land policy in April, Forum Mulher held meetings with rural and peasant women across the country to discuss the draft and gather women’s concerns and demands. From there, Forum Mulher organised a three-day National Conference of Rural Women involving some 50 rural women peasants and activists from around the country to develop a shared strategy in relation to the review process. Women activists and land experts from Brazil, Portugal, Kenya, Argentina and South Africa also joined the retreat to share their own experiences of advocacy to influence land policy and advance gender and women’s rights in their countries.

On the last day of the conference, the women hand-delivered their political declaration to the Deputy Minister of Land. Among other things, the declaration highlighted the need for an inclusive legal framework for land that focuses on gender equality and a participatory and democratic consultation process. The declaration insisted that communities and women be central in decision-making process regarding the management and administration of land and that family farming, the work of a large majority of women, be recognised, valued and protected.

Engagement in the review process

Forum Mulher also met directly with the Minister of Land, urging her to address the severe lack of representation of (rural) women in the Land Policy Review Commission, which included nine men and just one woman. As a result of the meeting, the Minister recommended that the Commission involve Forum Mulher and rural women in its working group meetings. Forum Mulher provided necessary financial support (travel, food and accommodation) and training to rural women representatives so that they could fully engage in the meetings, which were held over multiple days. In the Commission’s final meetings, a delegation of rural women, activists and lawyers made a final push to ensure consideration of gender issues and women’s rights.

Recognition of women in new land policy

As a result of the women’s participation in the process, the Commission’s final document on the revision of the National Land Policy of Mozambique, submitted to the Council of Ministers, contains articles on the importance of prioritising and valuing rural peasant women in land policy and law. It emphasises the importance of ensuring women’s participation in decision-making at community and family level, as well as the need to consult them about possible large-scale land allocations to investors and the government. The policy further recognises that women play a key role in the management of natural resources and biodiversity and that they should be involved in the design of policies and laws.

For Forum Mulher, important work lies ahead, as the government proceeds to the next step of revising the Land Law. Forum Mulher will continue to ensure that rural women in Mozambique are mobilised and supported to engage in the process and effectively ensure that their rights are guaranteed.

Fostering awareness globally and in the Netherlands

For its part, Both ENDS is fostering learning about women’s land rights among its network of partners as well as policymakers, building on recent documentation of successful strategies and practices to advance inclusive land governance. Together with Land Portal, in 2022 Both ENDS organised a series of webinars on Inclusive Land Governance, where participants exchanged knowledge and perspectives about inclusion in land governance initiatives, what it means in practice, and how it can be better embedded in the programming and policies. The series, which attracted the participation of hundreds of participants worldwide, included one webinar specifically dedicated to transformative approaches for women’s land rights.

In the Dutch context, Both ENDS also worked to inform incoming Ministers and members of parliament about the importance of land rights, particularly in relation to the topics of food and agriculture, and Dutch business and investment abroad. In June, at a Parliamentary roundtable on the topic, Both ENDS urged policymakers to guarantee (women’s) land rights in Dutch foreign policy and in all public financial flows, and the importance of adopting legislation, known as mandatory human rights due diligence, to ensure that the private sector does the same. Both ENDS also called on the Dutch government to invest in community-driven, inclusive and environmentally sustainable agriculture around the world.

Although women in Mozambique are the main food producers for families, their land user rights were not guaranteed by law. Photo: Shutterstock

Forum Mulher organised meetings for rural women to inform them about the land policy review. Photo: Forum Mulher

At the Conference of Rural Women, the women delivered their political declaration to the Deputy Minister of Land. Photo: Forum Mulher


Joining voices to advance advocacy and security in a hostile environment

In many countries around the world, environmental justice organisations are working under increasingly difficult circumstances. Many countries have enacted new laws and regulations to limit the activities and funding of civil society groups. Surveillance and harassment by government authorities, including the police and the military, has intensified. From one minute to the next, organisations’ offices may be raided or their bank accounts frozen or staff held in custody.

Uganda is one of many countries where the situation for environmental organisations has deteriorated. Despite the severe impacts of climate change in the country, including drought and flooding, the Ugandan government and foreign investors are heavily investing in oil, gas and large-scale hydropower projects that violate the rights of Ugandan communities and devastate ecosystems. Efforts to contest harmful policies and projects have been met harshly. Both ENDS’s partners have faced harassment for their indispensable work to promote human rights, environmental justice, and a just energy transition in line with the Paris climate agreement.

In 2021, Uganda’s National NGO Bureau ordered 54 civil society organisations to halt operations. The list included Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), a long-term partner of Both ENDS, which works to promote community-based renewable energy solutions, such as off-gird solar power. The same year, AFIEGO’s offices were raided and staff members unlawfully arrested (and later released). Thanks to national and international pressure, AFIEGO was removed from the government blacklist. But environmental justice work in Uganda remains dangerous.

A proactive approach

As such incidents become increasingly common, Both ENDS has taken steps to develop a more systematic and proactive approach to supporting partners in addressing safety and security issues. Among other things, flexible financial resources and strong networks are important for enabling partners working in hostile contexts to safely carry out their work. To that end, in 2022, we successfully mobilised resources to support six Ugandan organisations – diverse partners of Both ENDS – to strengthen collaboration, increase their visibility, and carry out joint advocacy towards a green and sustainable future.

In addition to AFIEGO, the project involves Environment Governance Institute (EGI), Friends with Environment in Development (FED), the Center for Food and Adequate Living Rights (known as CEFROHT), Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute – Uganda (SEATINI) and Witness Radio Uganda, a network of human rights investigative journalists, lawyers, and social workers using legal aid support and media to promote and protect economic, social and cultural rights and development in Uganda.

An important element of the project is stimulation of information sharing and mutual support around safety and security issues. In 2022, project partners organised a safety and security training where they exchanged best practices on measures to reduce risk to staff and other environmental and human rights defenders working with communities in Uganda’s oil and gas regions. The partners share up-to-date intelligence about potential security risks in the regions where they work. CEFROHT, which specialises in litigation, has provided legal support to project partners when staff were illegally detained during a field visit.

Sharing expertise

The six partners have different strengths, approaches and strategies, from expertise in human rights law, to lobbying, to working directly with communities who have been displaced by large, destructive energy projects. The collaboration has facilitated exchange of expertise and helped strengthen their work. Together, the groups are defending displaced communities, promoting clean energy and livelihoods for communities, as well as promoting agroecology and the right to food. FED, for example, which works with people affected by the Karuma hydropower dam project, has linked up with AFIEGO to enhance efforts to bring solar power to the communities. Witness Radio and CEFROHT are training journalists and lawyers on key issues related to human rights and fossil fuel and large hydropower development. Meanwhile, SEATINI is raising awareness about harmful trade and investment agreements like the Energy Charter Treaty, which threatens Uganda’s ability to transition to just and clean energy.

The collaboration in Uganda has also strengthened collaboration within Both ENDS; the project brings together staff who specialise in different topics – climate change, financial flows, trade and investment agreements – and enables them to see with greater clarity how these interlinked issues are playing out in Uganda and how best to support the diverse partners they work with. The Uganda collaboration, which launched in 2022, is already showing positive results. Environment Governance Institute reports that its engagement in local-to-global and global-to-local partnerships as part of the project has helped enhance the group’s safety.

Amplifying Ugandan voices in the Netherlands

One of the key problems that Both ENDS’s Ugandan partners are addressing is the planned 1,445 km long East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a project of TotalEnergies and the Chinese National Offshore Oil Cooperation (CNOOC). Preparations for construction of the pipeline are already causing human rights violations and serious environmental pollution, and much more is to come if the project continues. It is estimated that over 100,000 people across Uganda and Tanzania will lose the land they rely on for their livelihoods, and many will be forcibly removed from their homes to make way for the pipeline. With the pipeline set to run through several nature reserves and wildlife habitats, and alongside Lake Victoria, the African continent’s largest freshwater reserve, the environmental and safety impacts and risks are enormous.

Both ENDS is playing its part in the global effort to stop EACOP. It has helped convene an ad hoc coalition of organisations in the Netherlands – including our Fair, Green and Global Alliance partners Milieudefensie, SOMO and TNI – that are working together to raise awareness and put pressure on TotalEnergies to stop the project. In September, during TotalEnergies’ ‘Investors Day’, Both ENDS and allies protested under the #StopEACOP banner at the company’s office in The Hague, while others participated in similar actions in Paris and New York. The action brought public attention to the project with an article in the Volkskrant.

We have also called on Dutch pension funds, which have some €2.1 billion invested in TotalEnergies, to use their power to stop the project or divest from TotalEnergies. In meetings with the funds’ asset managers, Both ENDS, together with a Ugandan activist, urged the investors to ensure respect for human rights and environmental sustainability in their investments. Concrete action from the five investors has yet to be seen, but they did commit to raising the issue with TotalEnergies. At least one asset management company has shown what should be done: in April, the Dutch company ACTIAM announced that it had pulled out of all investments from TotalEnergies and placed the company on an exclusion list over concerns about the EACOP project. We will continue to appeal to other investors to follow their lead.

Both ENDS and partners at a meeting with a project affected community in Uganda

Oil developments linked to EACOP lead to deforestation in Bugoma forest, Uganda

In September 2022, Both ENDS gathered a coalition of civil society organisation for a protest action against EACOP in front of TotalEnergies’ Dutch office. Photo by Dorotea Pace


Our achievements in 2021

To achieve our vision of a sustainable, fair and inclusive world, Both ENDS works to empower civil society, to change the system so it prioritises people and the planet, and to support transformative practices. The numbers and successes below together show the broad variety of our achievements along each one of the three pathways.


Both ENDS works with civil society organisations around the world. We support them financially, but also engage in joint strategising, mutual capacity development and collective advocacy efforts. Our partner network embraces the whole world. The map below shows where our partners are situated; their activities might cover even more countries:


In order for systems to prioritise people and the planet, Both ENDS and partners aim to change the system step by step, policy by policy. Where policies are already strong, they need to be implemented, and where they are absent, we advocate for new ones to be enacted, on all levels:


According to Both ENDS and partners, transformative practices are the future. There are many of these bottom-up, planet-friendly practices. Below some numbers of a selection of practices that many of our partners work on. Also important is to take into account the gender aspect of these practices, in order for men and women to benefit equally:

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  • Repression, harassment and violence against environmental human rights defenders – our partners among them – is on the rise. In 2021, the GAGGA alliance of which Both ENDS is part, commissioned in-depth research to learn more about how women and girl environmental defenders (WGEDs) understand and experience structural violence, their diverse strategies for dealing with it and what kind of support they want and need from donors.  Meanwhile, as harassment of communities and organisations opposing the EACOP pipeline in Uganda intensified, Both ENDS and the network members have called on governments and the EACOP companies to take action to ensure the safety of environmental human rights defenders.
  • During various moments in 2021, seven FGG partners from Manila (the Philippines), used their strengthened lobby and advocacy capacities in (i) consultations with Atradius DSB and due diligence consultants of the project’s lenders group, and (ii) jointly submitting four letters of concern, in relation to the New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project, addressed to Boskalis, Atradius DSB, The Netherlands Ministry of Finance and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both ENDS provided financial support, facilitated stakeholder meetings and access to Dutch actors, and jointly strategised with partners.
  • RSPO Outreach to intermediary organisations initiated by Both ENDS together with the Forest Peoples Programma (FPP) and the RSPO secretariat, led RSPO to enter into partnership with Both ENDS’ partners and contacts. These conducted trainings, funded by RSPO, for Southern CSOs, communities, women’s organisations and workers, on issues of human rights and women’s rights. This enabled amongst others (indigenous) women, environmental and human rights defenders and affected victims of land grab and other violations to voice their concerns, issue complaints through RSPO’s complaints system, and negotiate remedy. In some instances, it helped bridge the divide between communities and plantation companies. It also helped increase grassroots contribution to RSPO policies and to concrete remedial measures.

  • In West Kalimantan, Indonesia, twenty indigenous women participants from four communities who are involved with existing cases with oil palm plantations and the forestry sector, followed a training on women leadership for human rights and environmental defence. They have strengthened their leadership capacity and women activism and improved the ability to advocate for women issues in their own home communities. Subsequently they received training on understanding human rights and how to apply FPIC, in particular community and gender based human rights and environmental defending monitoring systems. Actual advocacy will follow in the upcoming year. Both ENDS contributed with financial support.


  • In close collaboration with allies and partners from Mozambique, Ghana, Uganda and Togo, the Netherlands and other countries, in 2021 Both ENDS stepped up the pressure on governments, including the Netherlands, to put an end to export credit support for fossil fuels. By the end of the COP26 in Glasgow, 34 countries, including the Netherlands, and five international financial institutions signed a joint statement agreeing to end new, direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022  Also after seven years of unwavering pressure, we welcomed ABP’s momentous decision, announced in October, to stop investing in oil, gas and coal producers and to sell off its current holdings by early 2023.
  • Policy makers of Burundi committed to review all current Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) for possible stopping and renegotiation during a workshop on ISDS clauses in BITs provided by two FGG partners from Uganda and Tanzania. Both ENDS provided technical knowledge and financial support. The commitment of the policy makers is new and means an important opening to stop harmful BITs for Burundi and true ownership of this step by Burundi policy makers.
  • Due to joint advocacy, the newly adopted Environmental and Social framework of the European Investment Bank (EIB) is reflecting the link between gender and climate change. Impact assessments will now include assessment of climate impacts on women and disaggregate data by gender, ethnicity, generation, wealth, food and water security, accessibility to finance, age and other identity markers.
  • Seven partners from the Mercosur bloc strengthened their knowledge on the EU-Mercosur deal through knowledge exchange and in-depth interviews in preparation for the EU-Mercosur publication. During the interviews, local groups in the Mercosur countries have expressed their concerns around the EU-Mercosur agreement, and notoriously its harmful impacts on their livelihoods. Both ENDS conducted and analysed the interviews, functioning as a bridge between the local groups from the Mercosur bloc and the HandelAnders! coalition. The publication resulted in questions in Dutch Parliament from SP and PvdD. Moreover, the aim is to spark further debate and knowledge exchange between CSO´s in 2022.


  • Partners across the La Plata Basin region of South America expanded agroecological practices as a key strategy to strengthen livelihoods, fight deforestation, and conserve the region’s vitally important wetlands. In total, the Wetlands without Borders-partners developed more than 200 agroecological gardens and plots in 2021, as well as seven new demonstration farms designed for training for showcasing agroecology to a wider community. In Brazil, where Both ENDS and our partner Forum Suape have long worked with local fisher and farmer communities in their struggle against the destructive expansion of Port Suape, a new agroecology initiative with women brought together both young and older women, fostering cross-generational learning as well as the revival of agricultural practices that had come to a halt due to the port expansion.
  • In 2021, together with partners International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), CENDEP Cameroon and Proyecto Ayurvida in Puerto Rico, Both ENDS provided feedback on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Sectoral Guidelines on Ecosystems and Agriculture. As a result, agroecology is now recognised as one of the objectives in the Sectoral Guidelines draft, which will be brought to the board in 2022.
  • With funds from Turing Foundation and support from Both ENDS, our partner SDI (Liberia) was able to support four communities in two counties in Liberia to better understand their land rights and to train them on Analog Forestry as an alternative livelihood. The introduction to Analog Forestry was done by our partner CENDEP (Cameroon), and has inspired the communities on how land and forest resources can be used sustainably to increase income. SDI is now considering to become an ‘Analog Forestry-hub’ in Liberia. The organisation investigates ways to tailor Analog Forestry trainings to increase the participation of women farmers and to have facilitators/trainers in the communities to provide on-site technical support and to empower their neighbours.

  • in 2021, a partner in Asia used its increased knowledge on fundraising and strengthened funding base to sustain its policy work with regards to protection and restoration of forest and streams and tree nursery development, and recognition of the key role of women in successful tree nurseries and plantation programmes, e.g. by featuring a resource center and wild food nursery garden. Both ENDS contributed through mutual capacity development including financial support and fundraising assistance.

A word from our board and director

A word from our board and director

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to pose significant challenges to our collective efforts, with partners, to advance environmental justice worldwide. Yet when we reflect on 2021, above all we are proud of what Both ENDS and our partners were able to accomplish in the face of a prolonged global crisis. We made support for our partners our top priority and adapted our plans accordingly, doing whatever we could to respond to their needs during this critical time.

Our experience over the past two years confirms the wisdom of our decentralised, flexible funding system, which enables the organisations we support to do what they need to do in the context of great uncertainty. Our ability to successfully navigate the crisis also showed the value of our open, transparent relationships with donors. It helped increase their broader appreciation for the way innovative, flexible funding systems work in practice.

A great example is the Autonomy and Resilience Fund, which we rapidly launched early in the pandemic with our partners in the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA). In a matter of months, we were able to mobilise resources for women environmental defenders and their communities in 21 countries around the world. By documenting, learning and sharing our experience with this type of innovative finance, we were able to convince donors of its effectiveness. We are delighted that the GAGGA Alliance was recently awarded a special €1.3 million grant from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to support continuation of the Fund.

Together with our partners, we celebrated some major successes in the area of climate justice in 2021, including the landmark legal decision requiring Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions, a case on which we were co-plaintiffs. Other major successes resulted from decades of advocacy by Both ENDS and partners for more socially just and sustainable public finance, supported by countless case studies revealing the devastating impacts of fossil fuel investments on communities in the South. In October, we welcomed the decision by ABP, the largest Dutch pension fund and fifth largest pension fund in the world, to stop investing in oil, gas and coal producers. A month later, we celebrated the announcement by the Dutch government in its decision to join other rich countries in ending export financing for fossil fuels.

These are significant policy shifts that resulted from Both ENDS’s strategic combination of dialogue and activism that is rooted in close partnerships with a range of environmental justice organisations, and our long-term commitment to working on these issues. Much work, however, remains. We will continue to closely monitor progress and continue to engage with decision-makers toward the end goal of a just transition.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Both ENDS remained a strong, resilient organisation in 2021. We secured funding to ensure continuity of our work on ecosystem restoration, and built relationships with new donors to step up our transformative work on agroecology, and sustainable and just food systems. We continued to develop and learn about what it means to be a self-organising organisation, including taking stock of what individual leadership and autonomy means within our unique organisational structure. Given our structure, and the added challenge of working remotely, we are incredibly proud to have renewed our ISO certification, even earning the highest marks for our quality management systems.

Going forward, a top priority will be to improve our ability to support partners in the context of increasing pressures and risks. The disintegration of multilateral structures, the rise of authoritarian regimes, increasing conflict over resources, growing marginalisation of civil society – we have come to the regrettable conclusion that these are no longer separate occurrences, but are part of a worrisome global trend. We are in the process of consulting with partners and reaching out to our allies and to Dutch Embassies to see how we can effectively and proactively respond to this ‘new normal’, so that safety nets and emergency support is available to partners whenever they may need it.

As we write this report, Russia is waging a war on Ukraine, which profoundly affects the context in which we are working and the trends we observe. A food crisis is looming, confirming that the growing dependence on global food value chains poses very serious risks to billions of people worldwide. There is an urgent need to shift our foreign policy toward promoting resilient, sustainable local food systems. The war has also added a new geopolitical dimension to the discussion of our dependency on fossil fuels. Our collective challenge will be to ensure that these developments serve to accelerate – in the Netherlands and worldwide – the just energy transition that is so urgently needed.

The challenge we face is formidable. Fortunately, an ever growing number and diversity of actors are rallying behind the call for system change. As this report shows, we are achieving great things. Both ENDS is convinced that by working together – by connecting people – we can secure the changes we need to make our vision a reality.

Danielle Hirsch, Director
Paul Engel, Chair of the Board

A word from our board and director

Both ENDS was pleased to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2020. As we reflected back on the organisation’s history, we were struck by the organisation’s consistency. At the heart of Both ENDS, then and now, is our commitment to our partners, to connecting and collaborating with organisations and individuals around the world to realise our shared vision of a world where the environment is protected and human rights are respected.

It is this commitment that remains at the centre of our new five-year strategy 2020-2025. The new strategy, which was developed through a rich dialogue with our global network of partners, is organised around three strategic objectives, with activities geared to realising our ambitions and indicators to keep us on track. Next to a strong civil society that can make its voice heard and systemic change at all levels, the new strategy emphasises the importance of the many planet-friendly, gender-just and inclusive initiatives that our partners have developed with us. There are a whole range of examples, from inclusive water governance to the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program. It is high time that these transformative initiatives receive the financial and policy support they deserve. They need to be scaled up and scaled out, to become the ‘new normal’. Going forward, Both ENDS aims to give these practices more visibility and to explore innovative sources of finance for them. We want to identify investors who share our goals and understanding that environmental sustainability, human rights and gender justice are the starting point of transformative change.

The new strategy reflects the urgency of the multiple crises the world faces. It was in the works well before the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the faults in the system. To those who did not already see it, the pandemic made clear what we have long known: the current model of trade and development is bankrupt. Global value chains do not give people security. Our current trade system causes extreme inequalities.

Both ENDS responded to the challenge of the pandemic in multiple ways. First and foremost, we focused on our partners and the communities with which they work. For them, the pandemic came on top of what were already difficult circumstances. We assured our partners of the flexibility of existing funding and freed up additional funding for them to deal with urgent issues. We also discussed with donors the need of environmental justice and women’s organisations for sustained and flexible funding. Significantly, our partners didn’t want to change what they were working on. They just wanted to be able to continue. So we at Both ENDS knew we also needed to persevere.

Both ENDS quickly shifted to remote working. In the midst of the lockdown, we managed to move to a new digital workspace which provides improved security in a context of increased risk for our partners worldwide. We also managed to move to a new physical office, a beautiful, historic building in Utrecht. The decision-making process behind the office move, which was coordinated by a team of Both ENDS staff, was a really successful proof of concept for Both ENDS’s self-steering structure. We tried to adapt to the challenging work situation, to focus on what really matters and avoid overburdening each other.

We also responded to the crisis with analysis and recommendations for policymakers and donors. Among other things, we highlighted the effectiveness of small grants funds in ensuring that crisis funding actually reaches those in need. We also underscored the need to use public money to kick off a just transition by investing in green infrastructure.

2020 was an important year in terms of our two partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Fair, Green and Global Alliance (FGG) and the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), both of which were renewed. The fact that the Ministry, for the first time ever, included trade as a topic within its civil society funding framework is a testament to the success of awareness-raising by FGG. And the fact that the GAGGA Alliance, which is led by a women’s organisation, was moved from the gender department to the environmental department reflects the progress GAGGA has made in demonstrating that climate and gender justice are intertwined.

It is with great pride that we look back on 2020 and the response of Both ENDS to the challenges of COVID-19. We stood in solidarity, with purpose and flexibility, with our partners and with each other. Throughout the crisis, we were very clear that this was our priority. As we reflect back, we can say with confidence that what we do, we do well.

Danielle Hirsch, Director
Paul Engel, Chair of the Board

Our achievements in 2020

To achieve our vision of a sustainable, fair and inclusive world, Both ENDS works to empower civil society, to change the system so it prioritises people and the planet, and to support transformative practices. The numbers and successes below together show the broad variety of our achievements along each one of the three pathways.


Both ENDS works with civil society organisations around the world. We support them financially, but also engage in joint strategising, mutual capacity development and collective advocacy efforts. Our partner network embraces the whole world. The map below shows where our partners are situated; their activities might cover even more countries:


In order for systems to prioritize people and the planet, Both ENDS and partners aim to change the system step by step, policy by policy. Where policies are already strong, they need to be implemented, and where they are absent, we advocate for new ones to be enacted, on all levels:


According to Both ENDS and partners, transformative practices are the future. There are many of these bottom-up, planet-friendly practices. Below some numbers of a selection of practices that many of our partners work on. Also important is to take into account the gender aspect of these practices, in order for men and women to benefit equally:

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  • Our long-term relationships with our partners, based upon trust and solidarity, helped us to act quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Together we continued to work towards our goals and where necessary adapted our plans and budgets to the new situation.
  • Together with five partners from Ghana,Togo, Nigeria and Uganda, we have published a report about the impact of export credit agencies (ECAs) on a just energy transition in these African countries. A huge effort and success, given the COVID-related difficulties that arose during the research period and the general lack of transparancy of ECAs.

  • After several years of close collaboration with our Asian and African partners in an informal network on inclusive land governance, we organized a follow-up skill- sharing workshop in Zambia and published a guidebook on Inclusive Land Governance. These activities have fostered South South linking and learning and helped partners in their daily work and lobby activities towards governments at different levels.

  • Current and former grantees of the Joke Waller-Hunter Initiative continued to unite in an online platform where they meet, share ideas, work together and network with each other. In 2020, in over 100 young environmental leaders participated in 8 meet-ups and webinars where they could learn from each others experiences, and from several distinguished guest from the world of climate justice and sustainable development.


  • In the fight against global deforestation, Both ENDS and partners achieved some successes at different levels. Our call for a strong deforestation law was clearly heard by the European Commission, while at the same time in Peru, Indonesia and Liberia our partners’ long-term struggles resulted in some remarkable victories concerning local land rights.
  • After intensive advocacy by Both ENDS and a broad coalition of civil society organisations from the EU and MERCOSUR countries, European Parliament adopted a resolution against the EU-MERCOSUR treaty. This is an important sign that also the EU parliament finds the human rights and environmental standards in this treaty insufficient.
  • After many years of advocacy by Both ENDS and partners, Dutch pension fund ABP in 2020 took the first steps toward divestment from fossil fuels by setting out exclusion criteria on coal and tar sand companies and to implement this policy change in its investments by 2025. Although Both ENDS would have liked to see ABP go even further, this is a significant first step in the direction of a fossil free financial system.

  • After joint lobby and advocacy by a network of Northern and Southern CSOs including Both ENDS and SEATINI, the Energy Charter Treaty decided to halt its expansion to include new member states. This means those states will keep the freedom to develop their energy policies in the public interest and to proceed with the necessary energy transition.


  • As part of the GAGGA programme, our partners Keystone and NTFP-EP are working to address some of the gender gaps in harvesting, managing, trading and accessing Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). They provided small grants to strengthen women-led NTFP initiatives, coupled with capacity building activities.
  • The partners from the Wetlands without Borders programme have reached considerable success in the promotion of agroecology throughout the whole Rio de la Plata basin. Despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have reached more than a thousand people with agroecological trainings, supported 46 farmers in their agroecological activities and expanded the area under agroecological production by 22 hectares.

  • The Drynet Podcast Series “Good Food for a Better Normal” explores some of the most pressing environmental challenges that relate to life on land, and the people who use the land to produce food. The COVID-19 crisis has clearly exposed the failure of modern food systems, and the podcast provided an opportunity for Drynet members and experts to share their visions on fair and sustainable food systems in a time it was impossible to meet.

  • In Niger, a presidential decree has been adopted, which actively and exclusively promotes Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and recognizes the rights of farmers to their trees. This is the first of its kind in the world, and a huge win for our Nigerien partners in the Regreening the Sahel-programme.

  • After an Analog Forestry training in March 2020, communities from two Liberian counties have gained more confidence they are not going to lose their land to palm oil plantations, due to a better understanding of their different options and of the value of their land.

  • Government officials in Bangladesh acknowledged Tidal River Management as the only way to save Southwest coastal Bangladesh from climate shocks and sea level rise. This is an important paradigm shift, necessary for TRM to be implemented as an inclusive, community-based approach in the Bangladesh Delta Plan (BDP2100).

Women’s rights and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs)

Forests are critical to the health of the planet and the well-being of people everywhere. About one in every six people, particularly women, directly rely on forests for their lives and livelihoods, especially for food. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic showed just how important local food production and short food value chains are, particularly during times of crisis. In India, where a lockdown sent millions of people back from the cities back to the countryside, wild foods and other non-timber forest products (NTFPs) proved essential to hungry migrants.

As a source of food, water and income, and for their cultural and spiritual meaning, forests and NTFPs help ensure community resilience. Both ENDS has a long history of collaboration with partners such as the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) and Keystone Foundation, which support forest communities in promoting the NTFP concept for forest conservation and livelihood enhancement.

Addressing the gender dimensions of NTFPs

Both ENDS aims to showcase and accelerate the massive upscaling of practices that are based on collective participation, healthy ecosystems, gender justice and a capacious vision of well-being. In recent years, Both ENDS, NTFP-EP and Keystone have collaborated as part of the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action to strengthen and unify the women’s rights and environmental justice movements.

NTFP-EP and Keystone are advancing understanding of the gendered aspects of harvesting, managing, trading and accessing NTFPs. A new research report on the topic looked at a variety of NTFPs in India – tamarind, yams, greens and wild honey to name a few – and explored the gendered division of activities, access and control over these resources. Among other things, the report showed that most processing of NTFPs is done by women and that women tend to have greater access and control over NTFPs that can be collected easily, like leaves and berries. In most cases, women did not have control over the income from NTFP sales, and their access to formal or distant markets was limited due to social norms that restrict their mobility. Insights from the report will be used to improve the design of future NTFP-related programmes.

As part of the GAGGA programme, Keystone and NTFP-EP are already working to address some of these gaps. NTFP-EP and Keystone are providing small grants to strengthen women-led NTFP initiatives. For example, a grant from Keystone supported indigenous women’s groups across India to develop common packaging and branding of honey. The new packaging not only helps provide better income but also establishes the women’s rights over resources. It has become a powerful tool to promote solidarity of indigenous women across the country and their collaborative work on NTFPs.

In Indonesia, a grant from NTFP-EP made it possible for members of the Bangkit Bersama Women Group and Dara Kunci Women Group to participate in trainings that were held virtually, due to the pandemic. The training focused on organisational management, financial management, and online marketing to maximise the potential of the women’s cashew nut harvest.

Funding the nexus of women’s rights and transformative practices

NTFP-EP sees grantmaking as a tool which works best when coupled with capacity building activities. The group’s community workshops and exchanges have been crucial for helping build the skills and confidence of women to self-organise, develop their own initiatives and strategies, and engage with government officials. NTFP-EP’s involvement in GAGGA over the last five years has enabled the organisation to better operationalise its commitment to women’s rights. In a new report by Both ENDS, Embedding gender justice in environmental action: where to start?, NTFP-EP and other partners shared experiences and recommendations for environmental organisations, and made the case for dedicated programming and funding for work at the nexus of gender and environmental justice.

Both ENDS and our partners aim to expand the policy space and funding for transformative practices like NTFPs. Research, advocacy and lobbying by NTFP-EP led to important progress on this front in 2020. At the behest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Working Group on Forest Products Development, NTFP-EP led a consultative process to develop guidelines on sustainable harvest and management of NTFP resources. In October 2020, the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry adopted the new ASEAN Guidelines for Sustainable Harvest and Resource Management Protocols for Selected Non-Timber Forest Products. The guidelines will serve as a primary reference for NTFP management protocols in the ASEAN region and help guarantee the sustainable management of NTFP resources.


Forest dependent communities led by the women in Rejang Lebong, Indonesia map out their territory to delineate their livelihood and conservation sites © NTFP-EP

Digital storytelling workshop for women leaders in the Philippines © NTFP-EP

Different Non-Timber Forest Products from India