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Biodiversity integration in the Dutch financial sector: Why it’s critical to be proactive and invest in nature

VBDO and IUCN NL surveyed five banks and 13 asset owners/asset managers headquartered in the Netherlands. Despite the Dutch Central Bank’s warning that financial institutions can be impacted financially when they fail to take sufficient action on biodiversity loss, only 28% of the surveyed Dutch financial institutions have started to assess the financial risks of biodiversity loss. None of them make use of scenario analysis for biodiversity loss to inform strategic risk management.

Header photo: monarch butterfly by James Wheeler on Unsplash

Guideline Note: Alternative Financing for Agroecology and Community-based Forest Management

This Guideline Note supports Friends of the Earth groups in understanding and facilitating initiatives around alternative financing models for agroecology and community-based forest management. Those financial products and organisations are essential to promote the transition towards community based forest management and agroecology. In addition to actions from financial institutions to divest from harmful sectors.

Gaining recognition for territories conserved by Indigenous Peoples and local communities in the Philippines and Bolivia

Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) play a central role in conserving and defending their territories. These Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) are under increasing pressure, resulting in a global movement to gain recognition for the importance of these areas. IUCN NL’s partners in the Philippines and Bolivia are both active in this movement and are dealing with a lot of the same challenges to gain recognition for their land. Civil society organizations from the Philippines embarked on a learning exchange to Bolivia to learn about the situation of IPLCs in the country and their movement toward the recognition of ICCAs.

Header photo: © Erwin Mascarinas, NTFP-EP Philippines / IUCN NL

Including smallholders in EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests

In Mid-December 2021 the European Commission is due to release a regulatory proposal to minimise the European Union’s (EU) deforestation and forest degradation footprint. In advance of this draft proposal, six NGOs have come together to outline how the EU can ensure that the Regulation does not harm communities and smallholders (key actors in the production of forest and ecosystem risk commodities (FERCs)).

Beekeeping as a win-win solution around Virunga National Park

The Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most biodiverse areas of flora and fauna in the world. However, the area in and around the park is also under pressure due to conflict, armed rebels, illegal activities and population growth. IUCN NL partner organization IDPE identified that a beekeeping cooperative and professional support have the potential to reduce deforestation and to support livelihoods of communities around the park.

Header photo by: Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

227 land and environmental activists murdered in 2020

As the climate crisis intensifies, violence against defenders of the earth is escalating. A Global Witness report released today reveals that 227 land and environmental activists were murdered in 2020 for defending their land and the planet. That constitutes the highest number ever recorded for a second consecutive year.

Header photo: © Andrew Ball / Panos / Global Witness


Indonesian CSOs call upon Indonesian government to extend the palm oil moratorium

In 2018, the Indonesian government issued a Palm Oil Moratorium. The moratorium is ending September this year. Sawit Watch, IUCN NL partner in Indonesia and the lead CSO in Indonesia concerning palm oil issues, in collaboration with other Indonesian CSOs is calling upon the Indonesian government to extend the current moratorium. This call is substantiated by an assessment of the strategic opportunities gained from policy extension and the consequences of policy termination. According to the CSOs, extending the current moratorium provides both environmental benefits as well as socio-economic opportunities.

100+ organizations join call to drop defamation suit on GLA partner

Over 100 organizations have sent a letter to Malaysian timber giant Samling asking the timber giant to withdraw its legal suit against GLA Malaysia partner SAVE Rivers and its board members. Samling was also asked to provide the communities of its Gerenai and Ravenscourt concessions in Sarawak’s Baram and Limbang region with all of the environmental and social impact assessments conducted for certification by the PEFC-endorsed Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme.

Dutch financial sector European frontrunner in financing deforestation

ING, Rabobank and ABN AMRO have provided credit worth €3.1 billion over the past 5 years for commodities that often result in deforestation, such as soy. At the end of 2020, pension funds, insurance companies and banks had investments totalling €362 million in these commodities. This came to light as the result of research carried out by Friends of the Earth Netherlands and Profundo. Dutch financial institutions also invest in companies such as the agribusiness and soy trading company, Bunge, which has repeatedly been linked to deforestation and human rights violations. Friends of the Earth Netherlands wants rules for financial institutions to ban climate damage, including deforestation from their portfolios.