Dutch MFA and Solidaridad sign five-year €32 million strategic partnership

From 2016 to 2020, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Solidaridad will join forces to work on capacity building for sustainable sector transformation in selected agricultural, mining and industrial sectors and the creation of sustainable management in landscapes of global importance.

Signing of the strategic partnership by Jeroen Roodenburg, Director Sustainable Economic Development Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nico Roozen Executive Director Solidaridad Network. Photo: Rolf Kruger.

Advocacy for change

Solidaridad has a strong track record in creating sustainable supply chains in developing countries. The focus has been mainly on stimulating good practices resulting in sustainable farming, mining and industrial practices.

However, experience shows that more is needed. For a transition toward socially and environmentally sustainable sectors, cooperation between stakeholders at landscape level  and an enabling policy environment are key additional ingredients.

Sustainable landscape management

This new strategic partnership enables Solidaridad to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to defend the interests of vulnerable groups like smallholders, workers, women or youth. It also helps Solidaridad to address sustainability issues and competing claims in landscapes of global importance.

An example of this support can be found in the Ganges River basin in India, where 400 million people live and work in water intensive industries like leather production and sugarcane cultivation. A Dutch-Indian consortium will take the lead in cleaning up the Ganges River, taking advantage of important lessons learned in the clean-up of the Rhine river. Other regions where Solidaridad is active include the Kilimanjaro region in Kenya and Tanzania, the Chaco region in Paraguay, and additional regional projects in Honduras, Indonesia and Zambia.

Livestock market in the vulnarable Bengal coastal landscape with fish and rice farms

Enabling policy environment

The other major element of the partnership is to build the capacity of civil society organizations to advocate for public and private policies for inclusive and sustainable development, both at national and international level. Together with partners, Solidaridad will  invest in selected national and sector policy initiatives.

To create a tipping point for systemic change, preference is given to countries where significant volumes of specific commodities are produced or consumed, and where Dutch embassies can actively be engaged in the partnership. Collaborative programmes to encourage policy changes for socially and environmentally inclusive sector transformation will be set up in in the following countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Nicaragua and Uganda

Role of the Ministry and embassies

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies will alert Solidaridad and its partners to opportunities for intervention, for example through trade missions, exchange of knowledge and through their contribution in national and international policy arenas including the European Union.