At the recent International People’s Conference on Mining in Manila, Philippines, The Gaia Foundation and our Ghanaian partner CIKOD united with members of communities resisting mining, social movements, NGOs, academics, and several members of the Yes to Life, No to Mining Network to make the following unity statement.
Emerging from several days of intense discussion, the statement is an affirmation of the delegates’ commitment to work to end wanton extractivism, in solidarity with one another and with our living planet.
Read the inspiring unity statement in full below. To share in Gaia’s broader reflections on the conference and why it was a forum of hope, read our latest blog.
July 30 – August 1, 2015,
Quezon City, Philippines
We are representatives of mining-affected communities, people’s organizations and other concerned groups and individuals coming from 29 countries and 6 continents. We come from diverse cultures, faith perspectives, social contexts and political identities with distinct dreams, beliefs and expectations. We are bound together by our shared desire to work and struggle together for a future, free from the destructive effects of mining activities driven by the interests of large capital and greed for profit. A future that is free from the devastation that destructive mining brings to our planet and our peoples.
We support the rights of peoples, communities, states and the public at large to say “no” to mining. The extractive mining industry is the ugly face of our current rapacious global material and energy consumption, which has reached the point where the self-regenerating capacity of the earth’s biosphere is seriously compromised.
We are increasingly aware of the current crisis in the global mining industry as demand for metals and minerals contracts and prices decline. We witness corporations seeking to claw back profits by retrenching labor, further shirking from their liabilities and accountabilities, and engaging in or turning a blind eye to human rights abuses that are being committed in defense of their investments.
We see extractive industries, transnational mining corporations (TNCs) and enterprises, as well as their local partners and business relations, increasingly applying pressure on national governments for even greater liberalization, more inequitable tax regimes, and increasingly regressive investor-state agreements, in order to satisfy their unquenchable thirst for profit. In collaboration with home and host governments, these TNCs and their business relations are becoming more reckless in their production processes, often violating safety standards for their workers, affected communities and the environment.
We have listened to stories from Asia, the West Pacific, Latin America, Europe, Africa and North America about the destructive impacts of large-scale metallic and non-metallic mining on the lives of people living in mining affected areas, as well as the adverse impacts on national economies, resource bases and the ecology of countries and regions.
We have been witnesses and victims of the destructive effects of large-scale mining on our forests, rivers, lakes, seas, air and on our biodiversity (especially on small islands). We have seen once fruitful agricultural lands transformed into wastelands, and the people dependent on the once productive capacity of the land driven into marginal livelihoods and precarious existence. These mining activities have brought serious health hazards into our communities and exploited the health and labor of mine workers. Human rights violations – especially among indigenous peoples, peasants, fisher folks, disabled people, women and children – are rampant where these companies operate, most often perpetrated and backed by security forces of the host states.
We have heard the stories of women human rights defenders facing repression and gender violence because of the leadership roles they are taking in defending their land, territories and resources. This repression includes cases of extrajudicial killings, criminalization, stigmatization and violation of the principle of ‘Free, Prior and Informed Consent’.
Indigenous peoples have long been paying the price of ‘development’. Ancestral lands are the most common targets of mining corporations which results in displacement, impoverishment, loss of social and cultural integrity, militarization, killings and other human rights violations. Companies employ deceptive tactics to enter indigenous peoples’ territories without consent and proceed with the destruction of their land and livelihood.
We also engaged in profound conversations – sharing each other’s experiences of resistance and struggle – gaining lessons from victories, as well as defeats – in order to move forward and guarantee a better world for future generations. These insights and conversations have inspired us to remain committed and steadfast in our resolve to stop the further onslaught of imperialist mining plunder and greed against the people and the environment.
Our coming together has brought us hope. Hope that in working separately in our own particular contexts and countries, and together through coordinated international actions and solidarity, our collective resistance for the defense of rights, the environment and a common future, will bring forth triumph for people over profit, nature over neo-liberal mining policies, and social justice over death and destruction.
We therefore call on each other, and all those committed to justice, to strengthen the struggle, widen and coordinate solidarity actions, and conduct and participate in a global campaign to defend and assert peoples’ rights and their rights to land and resources.
To this end we will:
· strive to connect and reach out to networks and start mapping existing initiatives on mining-related campaigns;
· recognize that women are continuing to organize and mobilize their communities, and other sectors, to resist the onslaught of these extractive industries. They are challenging government policies through direct action, protest demonstrations, and all forms of resistance. They are also creating visions of genuine peoples’ development that is based on gender equality, environmental sustainability and social justice, and working towards making these a reality;
· demand that recognition and respect be given to indigenous peoples’ rights to land, life and resources. Indigenous peoples believe that their land is their life; and along with the plunder of their land and territories comes the demise of their communities;
· commit to providing resources and forming an active network of people who can assist in doing research on the corporate and financial aspects of mining activities, including their adverse political and social consequences. We will also support the development of global mechanisms that communities and activists can use to hold governments and corporations accountable;
· unite to protect and recruit more human rights defenders;
· work to pursue international remedies and engage international mechanisms to stop industrial mining plunder and pursue and coordinate legal suits and actions in support of people’s struggles;
· build strong linkages among scientists and affected communities, such as farmers, fisher folk, indigenous peoples and others, in order to expose the destructive effects of mining on the health of people and the environment, and use such technical collaborations to strengthen the campaign and advocacy against large-scale destructive mining.
Acción Ecológica, Ecuador
Action Solidarité Tiers Monde, Luxembourg
ActionAid South Africa
Adivasi Mahila Maha Sang, India
Advocates for Community Health, Philippines
AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, Philippines
Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, Philippines
Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Vizcayanos para sa Kalikasan, Philippines
Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson, Philippines
AMAN Indonesia – The Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago
Amianan Salakniban, Philippines
AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women in the Philippines
Asia Indigenous Peoples Network on Extractive Industries and Energy
Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact
Bai – Indigenous Women Network of in the Philippines
BPAN Indonesia – The Archipelago Indigenous Youth Front
Bukluran para sa Inang Kalikasan – Batangas, Philippines
Asociación de Campesinos de Limón Indanza, Ecuador
Association for Women’s Rights in Development
Australia Action for Peace and Development in the Philippines
Australian National Campaign on Mining in the Philippines (ANCoMP)
Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği – Progressive Lawyers Association, Turkey
Campaign for Public Policy on Mineral Resources, Thailand
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
Caraga Watch Philippines
Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera, Philippines
Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines, Inc.
Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development, Ghana
Center for Protection and Revival of Local Community Rights, Thailand
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights, Philippines
Community Resource Centre, Thailand
Computer Professionals Union Philippines
Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines
Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center, Philippines
Council for Health and Development Philippines
Defend Patrimony! Movement against Mining TNCs and Plunder of Resources, Philippines
Dhaatri Resource Centre for Women and Children, India
E-Sarn Human Rights and Peace Center, Thailand
Economic Justice Network, Africa
Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
ENLAWTHAI Foundation, Thailand
Environment Agenda, Philippines
Federation of Environmental Advocates in Cagayan (FEAC) Inc., Philippines.
Foundation for the Philippine Environment
Francis S. Morales Resource Center, Philippines
Gaia Foundation, United Kingdom
Health Alliance for Democracy
Health Empowerment and Action in Leyte and Samar
Ilocos Network for the Environment
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)
International Association of Democratic Lawyers
International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation
International League of Peoples’ Struggle – Commission 13
Jernigan Advokasi Tambang-Indonesia (JATAM Indonesia)
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) SVD-Vivat Internasional Indonesia
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Kalas Mina Mindoro
Kalikasan – People’s Network for the Environment
KARAPATAN Alliance For The Advancement Of People’s Rights
Korean House for International Solidarity
London Mining Network
Madagway Babaeyon Regional Alliance of Indigenous Women
Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns
May First Labor Movement (KMU)
Mayurbhanj Paramparik Krushak Sangathan(MPKS)-Odisha, India
Mekong Community Institution
Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines
Mines Minerals & People
Minggan – University of the Philippines
Mon Youth Forum
Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Coporaciones Multinacionales
National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in the Philippines (KATRIBU)
National Fisheries Solidarity Movement
National Secretariat for Social Action – Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
National Union of People’s Lawyers Philippines
Natural Resources Alliance of Kenya
Negros Island Health Integrated Program for Community Development, Inc
Organization of Indigenous Peoples Organizations in Caraga (KASALO Caraga)
Pacific Asia Resource Centre
Papua New Guinea Mining Watch Group Association Inc.
Pauktuutit – Canadian National Inuit Women’s Association
Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP)
Pesticide Action Network, Asia and the Pacific
Persekutuan Diakonia Pelangi Kasih
Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated
Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes
Philippine Task Force for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
PowerShift – Germany
Promotion of Church People’s Response
Red Latinoamericana de Mujeres
Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
SABOKAHAN Confederation of Lumad Women in Southern Mindanao
Save Apayao People’s Organization
SAVE the Valley, Serve the People
School of Democratic Economics
Stewards of Creation
Student Christian Movement of the Philippines
Tabang sa mga Biktima sa Masbate
Taripnong – Cagayan Valley
Third World Health Aid, Belgium
TINDOGA Tribal Indigenous Oppressed Group Association
United Methodist Church-Asuncion A. Perez Memorial Center, Inc.
Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia – Jawa Timur
War on Want UK
World Council of Churches
Zimbabwe Council of Churches