urgewald is a German non-profit organisation, whose mission is to address the underlying causes of global environmental destruction and poverty. We monitor the activities of German companies and banks abroad and educate the German public about the negative impacts of our consumption patterns on people and nature in remote places.
urgewald works with affected communities and NGOs in the global South. Over the years, we worked for example with anti-nuclear campaigners from Eastern Europe, India or Brazil, indigenous people from Brazil, whose cultures are threatened by large plantation companies or farmers in India, who are being driven off their lands for big dams. We make sure their voices are heard - in meetings with decision-makers, at shareholder meetings, in the media or through public actions.
urgewald calls on international companies and banks to step back from destructive projects and to adopt binding environmental and social standards.Since 1992 urgewald works on the reform of international financial institutions (World Bank, export credit agencies, European Investment Bank, private and state banks) and has conducted a series of public and advocacy campaigns on development, environment and finance questions.
Since 1997 urgewald works on reforming the German export credit agency EulerHermes. Together with the German organisation WEED (World Economy, Ecology and Development) we initiated a coalition of more than 100 environment and development organisations calling for a reform of the so-called Hermes guarantees. The red-green government developed guiding principles for Hermes in 2001, with one very strong point: they excluded guarantees for nuclear exports. However, the center-right government starting work in 2009 abolished these guiding principles and accepted applications for nuclear exports again.
Urgewald worked over the years on the following projects for which guarantees were applied (but not always given): 3 Gorges dam in China, Maheshwar dam in India, Tehri dam in India, Ilisu dam in Turkey, Asian Pulp and Paper in Indonesia, nuclear power plants Angra 2 and 3 in Brazil, Olkiluoto 3 in Finland, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline between Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Contact person: Regine Richter