At a glance
5 frontline communities directly supported to strengthen organising, communications and networks.
5 'emblematic' case studies sharing these communities' stories, strategies and successes.
7 community-to-community exchanges, bringing together more than 600 people to build regional and national movements.
5 webinars initiating a movement conversation about post-extractivism.
3,000+ copies of community materials translated into English, Spanish, French, Hindi and Tok Pisin, distributed to 50+ frontline communities in 9 nations.
1 new interactive website sharing tools for frontline communities.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: COMMUNITY MATERIALS
"Undermining Agriculture shows the way the national priorities have to be re-evaluated. The governments and citizens have to protect the conditions needed in order to produce food today, as well as for future generations."- ADIDA, the Association of Teachers of Antioquia, Colombia
On 11 August 2018, YLNM's Latin American Coordinator, Mariana Gomez and host of allies helped bring together 50 representatives of communities with experience/in the process of organising popular consultations- referendums with the authority to ban mining- and a dozen legal and scientific experts for an exchange in the Colombian capital, Bogotá.
The exchange acted as a platform to launch Colombia's new National Environmental Movement of grassroots organisations and to develop a national strategy for pursuing popular consultations across Colombia.
Working alongside Papua New Guinean partner organisations, community groups and church groups, YLNM's Pacific Coordinator, Natalie Lowrey, supported the New Ireland Alliance of Solwara Warriors team to organise a community-to-community exchange and public forum in Namatanai, New Ireland Province, in April 2019. This brought together over 200 community representatives opposing deep sea mining.
The exchange enabled different coastal communities to come together, strategise and formulate a new platform and statement of action.
YLNM's Coordinator for Southeast Asia, Enteng Bautista, worked alongside Myanmar Mining Watch, Burma Relief Centre and KESAN in Myanmar and Kalikasan people’s Network for the Environment and Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) in the Philippines to organise two community exchanges
The first of these exchanges took place in the Salween Peace Park in Karen Indigenous Territory, Myanmar, in January 2019. The second saw Burmese delegates make the return trip to the Philippines in April.
In February 2019, YLNM and Galician member network ContraMINAccíon brought together 14 People’s Platforms from across the Iberian Peninsula for an exchange in Galicia, northern Spain.
These groups used the exchange as an opportunity to form a new, common platform in opposition to the ‘mining boom’ unfolding in Spain and Portugal, and to compose a shared declaration of action.
This exchanged was followed by another in Boticas, Portugal, where over 70 people from community associations, local councils and NGOs came together to discuss the threat of new lithium mining.
YLNM members the Snowchange Cooperative brought together over 150 small-scale and indigenous fishermen and women- custodians of water systems from across the Arctic- in Tornio Finland to exchange knowledge and techniques, songs and stories, at the Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions.
The festival offered fishermen and women the chance to hear and learn from the Finnish community of Selkie, which is reviving water systems damaged by open-cast peat mining.
After a decade of restoration actions led by the community, Selkie residents have succeeded in returning their rivers and marshmires to health. Fish and birds are returning in their thousands, and water acidity and heavy-metal loading have been effectively restored to safe levels.
In a lake-rich region of Eastern Finland, the community of Selkie successfully closed down an opencast peat mine that was polluting their rivers. Since then, with the support of YLNM members the Snowchange Cooperative, they have dedicated themselves to re-wilding this damaged waterscape using a blend of traditional knowledge and science. Their success can be seen in the return of fish to the rivers, restored marshes, wetlands and thousands of birds setting down on their winter migrations.
In March 2017, citizens of the Colombian municipality of Cajamarca voted to ban mining from their territory in a revolutionary popular consultation (local referendum). Their victory protected rivers, cloud forests and andean water-producing ecosystems from destruction by gold mining and triggered a national wave of popular consultations- a movement for democracy and peace, and against mining conflict. Cajamarca is now leading the way in developing local alternatives to mining.
Salween Peace Park, Myanmar
The Salween Peace Park is a 5,200 square kilometre forest park in Hpapun District, Karen State. Declared by the Indigenous Karen People in December 2018, for whom this is ancestral territory, The park's creation is a new strategy to sure-up Karen self-determination and protect ecosystems under pressure from mining and the construction of mega hydro dams.
Restoring lands degraded by 20th century mining, establishing their commons as one of the first recognised Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas in Europe and embarking on an ambitious re-forestation programme, the people of Froxán are resisting a new tungsten mining project by modelling alternatives to destructive, extractive development.
New Ireland, Papua New Guinea
Canadian miner Nautilus Minerals once hoped to open the world’s first commercial deep sea mine- the Solwara 1 Project- off the coast of Papua New Guinea. But thanks to a powerful grassroots campaign led by local coastal communities united as the Alliance of Solwara Warriors, the company has been bankrupted and its plans are in tatters. With international allies, the Alliance has popularised the call for a ban on deep sea mining, which has become a global issue.
According to a UN Environment Global Resource Panel study from 2019, even at current rates of extraction the extractive industries are responsible for:
- 80% of biodiversity loss.
- 50% of the world’s carbon emissions.
Of these, 10% of climate change impacts comes from extracting metals, 10% comes from extracting non-metallic minerals and 16% comes from extracting fossil fuels.
Our 'Life After Mining Webinars' have explored three key questions:
- What is ‘post-extractivism’?
- What does a post-extractivist economy look like?
- How are communities around the world protecting and/or building regenerative rather than extractive systems?
In 2019, the network held regional webinars in Latin America, Asia, Pacific and Europe, bringing bring together emblematic communities, activists and academics.
Over 300 people hailing from six continents engaged with the webinar series live.
In 2018/19, our global network has:
* Directed time, energy and solidarity support to communities around the planet, including Intag (Ecuador), Cajamarca (Peru), Xolobeni (South Africa), Greencastle (Northern Ireland) and Fusagasuga (Colombia).
* Organised further exchanges... for example in Ecuador, where 30 community leaders came together in Quito to meet Colombian grassroots organisers with experience holding popular consultations.
* Sent Regional Coordinators to represent YLNM and hold workshops at global gatherings... including the 2018 Thematic Social Forum on Extractivism (S.Africa); Asia-Europe People's Forum (Belgium); mines, minerals & PEOPLE gathering (India); Water is Life National Gathering (Australia).
* Co-organised a series of roundtables on extractivism, imperialism and alternatives in London, bringing funders, NGOs and activists together with frontline community representatives from Colombia, USA, Brazil, Peru and South Africa.
* Held space for and facilitated network conversations sharing knowledge and building shared materials around gold mining in Europe, renewables and mining, and more.
* Welcomed new members, including Hellenic Mining Watch (Greece); Ecologistas en Accíon (Spain and Melbourne Rainforest Action Group (Australia).
* Been shortlisted for the LUSH Spring Prize for outstanding regenerative projects in the 'Young Projects' category.
*Organised a boundary-pushing workshop at COP25 in Madrid, exploring the 'hidden face of the energy transition', and bringing together speakers from Chile, Nigeria, Spain, Portugal and the UK.