Friends of the Earth Netherlands has 80 local groups and around 80,000 members and contributors – who are involved in the decision-making process, and campaign direction. They have an independent and active youth department, JongerenMilieuAktief (JMA), which has several thousand partners.
The Netherlands is a densely populated and built up country, which largely defines the scope of their campaigns. Quietness, space and fresh air have become scarce, the sky over the Netherlands is among the most polluted in the world. Friends of the Earth Netherlands have taken up these issues and campaigns against the construction of yet more roads, for cleaner cars and better public transport.
Intensive agriculture is notorious for its pollution and animal unfriendly production methods. It makes heavy demands on the environment in other parts of the world with parts of the Amazon forest being destroyed to produce cattle feed for the Netherlands. Friends of the Earth Netherlands calls for a switch to ecologically sound and animal-friendly agriculture.
The Netherlands should take the lead in the battle against climate change as it is a rich country with about half of its land at or below sea level. Actively persuading large banks to make more climate friendly investments is at the core of their activities.
But Friends of the Earth Netherlands' work does not stop at the border; it has a long history of campaigning for the conservation of tropical and virgin forests and has been successful in actions against Dutch companies that damage the environment beyond Dutch borders, such as oil company Shell. As the biggest foreign oil company in Nigeria, Shell bears a heavy responsibility for oil spills in the Niger Delta, which are five times the size of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Shell denies all responsibility. Friends of the Earth Netherlands with local farmers and fishermen, lobby the Dutch court to intervene and order Shell to clean up and compensate the victims.
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