Environmental Development Action in the Third World


Third World (ENDA-TM) is an international nonprofit, nongovernmental organization based in Dakar, Senegal. Founded in 1972, on the occasion of the United Nations (UN) conference on environment held in Stockholm, ENDA is an association of autonomous entities coordinated by an executive secretariat. ENDA's representation is disseminated throughout the world and includes 24 thematic teams at the Dakar headquarters, each working on development and environment themes, 21 sections in southern countries (14 in Africa, five in South America, and two in Asia), a European delegation, and a Japanese representation to be established. The organization has about 100 staff members in Senegal and about the same number abroad.

Funding for the organization's activities mainly come from the governments of Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands, as well as from the United Nations. Community groups and multilateral organizations, both in Western and developing countries, also support the nongovernmental organization. The European Union also increasingly contributes to the support of the organization. The government of Senegal bestowed several facilities to the organization, which also has an extensive network of volunteers in developing countries. ENDA cooperates with grassroots groups in search of alternative development models based on the experience and objectives of marginalized peoples. It is one of the core members of the Climate Change Knowledge Network and shares its interest in climate change, and in sustainable models of development.

ENDA has stated its concern for acting on initiatives and on popular action. It has lent support to individual and collective initiatives for poverty relief and sustainable development. These initiatives have centered mainly upon the mobilization of inner-city inhabitants. The organization has backed community-based associations and community movements such as rural and urban associations, which bring together youth and women with professionals, consumers, and local or national federations.

The focus of ENDA is to provide socioeconomic, sanitary, and social services to serve the poor. ENDA took part in the 2005 World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January 2006, joining focus groups on the right to the city, popular responses to privatization, youth, violence, urban segregation, Afro-descendants in Latin America, urban architecture and sustainable development. The organization also supports the activities of the African Social Forum. Participation in these events is part of ENDA's com mitment to information exchange with other nongovernmental organizations and to awareness-raising among intellectuals and decision-makers. Communication and education are important sectors of ENDA, which produces films, video, and radio broadcasts, and publishes books and brochures.

ENDA closely works with grassroots groups to contribute to the search for alternative possibilities for development. It also aims to facilitate the access of intellectuals and trained personnel to development programs. ENDA favors integrated action, reflection, and training. Thanks to these actions, the organization seeks to prioritize local, technical, human, and national resources. ENDA particularly targets the area of human rights. This primary objective has led ENDA to support culturally-threatened peoples, to fight against socio-spatial disparities, to assist children and youth in the face of unemployment, and to favor a sustainable development respectful of ecology. ENDA also fights against "imported consumption patterns and production models" and supports actions against acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). All of ENDA's activities are based on the principle of making the positions of Third World countries in international debates visible and effective.

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