This collection of interactive case studies from the Yes to Life, No to Mining Network shares the stories of communities resisting mining, restoring damaged ecosystems and protecting and developing alternatives to extractivism.
The Emblematic Cases combine images, video and text in an effort to share the learning and experience of communities at the forefront of struggles against the world’s most deadly industry.
The mining industry is responsible for ecocide, systematic human rights violations and over 20% of global carbon emissions.
But, at great cost and against the odds, communities are stopping mining projects in their tracks. These same communities are protecting old and innovating new ways of living that are regenerative and life-sustaining. These ‘alternatives’ point towards a post-extractive future in which ‘many worlds fit’.
Each case shared here has been developed by communities themselves and their allies, with the support of YLNM’s Regional Coordinators. This first selection includes contributions from communities and Peoples living in Myanmar, Finland, Colombia, Spain and Papua New Guinea. Our deepest thanks goes to them for sharing their experiences in solidarity with others.
Myanmar– where the indigenous Karen People have declared the Salween Peace Park as a space to practice their Earth-centred culture and as a strategy to block the intertwined threats of mega-hydro and mining.
Spain– where the villagers of Froxán, Galicia, are re-planting forests and asserting their commons-based forms of land and water care in response to the threat of tungsten mining. Spanish version available here.
Colombia– where the community of Cajamarca stopped a gold mine through popular democracy, triggering a national movement and new initiatives to strengthen their regenerative local economy. Spanish version available here.
Finland– where the villagers of Selkie closed down a peat mine after pollution events poisoned the Jukajoki River and have re-wilded their water systems using a blend of traditional knowledge and science.
Papua New Guinea– where the Alliance of Solwara Warriors and their allies have been fighting the world’s flagship deep sea mining project in the sacred waters of the Bismarck Sea.
These emblematic cases were produced by YLNM alongside a new report from London Mining Network and War on Want.
Entitled A Just(ice) Transition is a Post-extractive Transition the report provides the context in which these case studies exist.
A context in which extractivism remains an often unquestioned, unchallenged feature of our unjust, unsustainable global economy; in which mining companies are proposing their destructive projects as a solution to climate, ecological and social crises- to the detriment of people and planet.
Together we are united in telling decision makers that communities, not mining companies, have the answers to the climate and ecological crises. They are living these solutions every day.
These case studies have been developed by YLNM member communities and organisations with the support of YLNM’s Regional Coordinators. The network’s deepest thanks go to: Snowchange Cooperative and the village of Selkie (Finland), Froxán Commoning Community and ContraMINAccíon (Galicia), Karen Environmental and Social Action Network and Kalikasan PNE (Myanmar and Philippines), Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida and COSAJUCA (Colombia), Alliance of Solwara Warriors (Papua New Guinea).
The Gaia Foundation is a YLNM member organisation and is supporting the launch of the Emblematic Cases by hosting them on our website, as the YLNM website undergoes maintenance.
We live in a time of multiple, complex crises. There are no easy answers. Working to uphold the health and diversity of our living planet is always rewarding, but we think you’ll agree it can sometimes feel like swimming against the stream. And yet like salmon we leap, and more often than you might expect, we make it. We invite you to make the next leap with us by making a donation of any size. Thank you for your solidarity.