Belgium (Flanders & Brussels)
Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels focuses on several initiatives around human rights, disarmament and environment, and highlights the links between these.
They aim to reach people directly, through demonstrations, research and awareness raising activities. Using non-violent acts of civil disobedience and political lobby work, they draw attention to violations of human and environmental wellbeing.
The office is based in Gent and relies on the efforts of many volunteers, including European Voluntary Service/Youth in Action volunteers. Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels has several thematic and local working groups and works very closely with the movement Climaxi to campaign for climate and social justice.
Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels' ‘Bomb-spotting’ campaign and ‘Citizens' Weapons Inspections’ involve mass mobilization of activists to enter and inspect nuclear weapon-related military headquarters. In Belgium, 2,000 activists – more than half of whom were arrested, raised awareness of nuclear issues and policies in Belgium. The Belgian government has since announced a phase-out of the use of nuclear power.
Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels was very active in The Big Ask campaign, a campaign for a fair and strong climate law in Belgium. They mobilized 6,000 people on the beach of Oostende to make the Act Now film with the famous Belgian director Nic Balthazar.
Campaigns continue on energy, demanding access to clean energy as a basic right for everyone, and looking for alternative methods of consumption and the production of energy, combined with more democratic control on the energy market. They also campaign against the greenwashing of several labels (such as the Forest Stewardship Council) who are trying to sell themselves as green, socially minded and fair.