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Forum on mining and the extractivist economy

30 November 2018

Beyond extractivism: Reclaiming people’s power, our right to say no! is the final declaration that emerged at the Thematic Social Forum on Mining & the Extractivist Economy last month in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Representatives from the Justice in Mining, a Global Ignatian Advocacy Network, joined participants from 60 countries that included 28 from the African region, as well as from the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Forum participants came from mining-affected communities, trade unions, people’s organizations, women’s movements, the LGBTI community, faith-based groups, Indigenous Peoples, workers, small scale farmers, fisherfolk, youth, support groups, and academics.

The forum drew attention to the impact of extractivism on the land, waters, biodiversity, and people, especially culture-based communities and in the forum’s final declaration, participants asserted the right to say “no” to extractive activities in people’s territories, but also a “yes” to the following:

  • other alternative ways of living in harmony with the rest of the web of life. the right to decide how to live their own lives
  • to the recognition that nature cannot be conceived as a collection of resources to be exploited merely for profit
  • to valuing the work of subsistence and care over economic growth and profit to production for use and not exchange
  • to valuing of indigenous identity, knowledge and perspectives
  • to a new sustainable economic order, sensitive to social and environmental justice
  • to reparations of the historical, ecological and social debt owed to the peoples of the South and which has gained new relevance through the concept of the climate debt
  • The forum was organized by the People’s Dialoguea network that represents movements of rural women, small-scale farmers, peasants, workers, feminist, and research organizations from the African and Latin American regions.

    For related articles, please visit Jesuits in Britain and CIDSE.

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