Supporting communities and social movements on the front line of struggles to protect land, water and life, and to build regenerative alternatives to mining and extractivism.
Grabbing and destroying ecosystems on a vast scale in order to exploit minerals, metals and fossil fuels, the extractive industries are driving climate change and toxifying water and land for generations to come.
When ecosystems are destroyed, communities and their ancestral lands suffer. Backed by state governments, extractive companies are often associated with human and ecological rights abuses, including killings of Earth Defenders who oppose destructive projects.
In recent years Gaia’s long-standing community partners have found their lands, livelihoods and cultures threatened by the extractive industries. We are working alongside these frontline communities to assert their right to defend their homes, revive and strengthen the customary laws and practices that have conserved their territories for millennia, and campaign to protect their sacred lands.
Extractivism is driven by the unsustainable consumption and speculation of rich nations and the world’s elites. Regulating extraction is important, but we also need to explore how we can drastically reduce it. Earth’s systems simply cannot sustain this extractive onslaught.
Going beyond extractivism requires us to transcend today’s dominant anthropocentric worldview that regards Nature as an inert ‘resource’ to be exploited and commodified relentlessly. Together with social movements and allies, Gaia is actively exploring and promoting ‘post-extractivism’ from an Earth-centred perspective. This involves shifting power over Earth’s common wealth away from transnational corporations and elites, back into the hands of citizens and communities committed to sustaining the living world for all species.
Read on to learn more about our work supporting communities to go beyond extractivism and defend the habitats of all species.
The global Yes to Life, No to Mining network
The Yes to Life, No to Mining (YLNM) global solidarity network is supporting Earth defenders, communities and organisations rejecting extractive projects to unite in solidarity and explore regenerative alternatives to extractivism. Read more
Film: In Defence of Life
Philippine people’s network Amianan Salakniban is using Gaia’s 2016 film, In Defence of Life, to raise critical consciousness about the devastating impacts of mining with rural communities, students and civil society groups. Read more
Post-Extractivism: Emblematic cases
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. Read more
Watch the Wake Up Call animation
Our darkly comic, fast-paced, award-winning animation by legendary animator Steve Cutts takes viewers on a journey through the true costs of our addiction to tech & the puppeteers behind the system. Read more
Gaia Partner, Tero Mustonen, Wins The 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize!
We are thrilled that the 2023 Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to Tero Mustonen, president and founder of Gaia’s longstanding partners, the Snowchange Cooperative. Tero has been recognised for… Read More
Finland: Traditional Knowledge Guides Protection of Planetary Health
In this excellent article, journalist Jane Palmer explores how Gaia’s partners the Snowchange Cooperative are restoring climate-critical ecosystems at landscape scale across Finland. Snowchange’s approach is unique in the way… Read More
Brought to life through film
Useful reports & publications
Guide: protecting your community from the extractive industries
A how-to guide for resisting mining and extractivism anywhere and everywhere. Read this classic how-to guide for resisting mining, re-designed by the Yes to Life, No to Mining solidarity… Read More
A Material Transition – Report by War on Want
The new demand supporting the green energy transition does not change the act of mining. Extracting minerals, such as lithium, cobalt or copper, is still a dirty business with significant… Read More
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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.