This July an assembly of global participants representing mining-affected communities, indigenous peoples, national campaigners, Church workers, lawyers, legislators, artists, alternative media practitioners, environmental activists, scientists and national support organisations will meet in Manila, Philippines, to unite in resistance against destructive mining.
An International Peoples Conference
The 2015 International People’s Conference on Mining is an opportunity to assess the situation across the world, share personal stories and lessons, evaluate recent scientific developments, and collectively chart a way forward to strengthen people’s calls, communities and organisations.
The Conference Program seeks to promote inquiry on an international scale, encourage individual and collective action, foster multi-sectoral dialogue and constructive debate, and enhance skills among attendees. Sessions will focus on mining issues across the globe, policy and practice and will seek to share key findings, lessons learned, best practices and identify gaps in knowledge. The conference will feature case studies of mining action, a daily plenary session, cultural presentations, a press conference, and skill-shares. It will also provide time for the crafting of special global, regional and corporate campaigns and networks.
The 2015 Conference is part of a series of vibrant, thought-provoking and empowering networking events taking place across the Philippines in protest of the 20th year of the Philippine Mining Act or liberalised mining in the country. All events in the series are designed to inspire or skill attendees, while enabling them to gain valuable lessons and connections for stronger campaigns.
Global liberalisation of the mining industry has caused plunder, destruction and pollution of vital ecosystems in the world, as well as wanton violation of human rights, national sovereignty and the right to national development.
Indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, exploited workers, women and children and small scale miners, including local governments, are the usual casualties of liberalised mining operations. Activists have been harassed, SLAPPed, jailed or killed in their attempts to stop the senseless destruction and pollution of vital ecosystems and human rights violations.
At the same time, multinational mining corporations have increasingly amassed wealth to wield economic and political power over governments and to command the services of military, legal and technical experts, whilst being continuously backed by international trade and financial institutions.
Human rights abuses against the local population and destruction of the environment occur not only during mining operations. Time and again, people have been left to contend with the devastation and underdevelopment mining companies leave behind. This is particularly the case where mining operations have been hosted by corrupt and co-opted governments, with no effort to consult with affected communities, or to present them with clear plans or a commitment to strategic benefits from extraction.
The onus is now on affected communities to increase their capacity to uphold their rights and protect the environment.