The daily running of the Yes to Life, No to Mining Global Solidarity Network is overseen by nine volunteer Regional Coordinators from around the world. Each coordinator is actively involved in supporting ‘frontline’ communities to resist mining and sustain or pursue life-sustaining alternatives. They are the bridges making YLNM’s connections at the local, regional and international levels.
Natalie Lowrey, Coordinator for the Pacific
Natalie has over 15 years experience working as a grassroots activist, organiser, lobbyist and networker in environmental, social and economic justice issues with a strong focus on the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples who are resisting against mining developments adversely affecting their lives and livelihoods. She has worked with communities in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Chile, Pakistan and Canada. Natalie is currently the communications coordinator with the Deep Sea Mining Campaign (DSMC). DSMC has been campaigning for the past 5 years with communities and civil society in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific to ban experimental seabed mining before it starts.
Babawale Obayanju, Coordinator for West Africa
Wale has many years of experience as an activist, networker and campaigner, working with the peoples of Africa to enshrine environmental Justice and achieve freedom from colonialism and neo-colonialism. He has worked with communities in the Niger Delta (Nigeria) and civil society groups in Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda and Liberia. Wale is currently a board member and media officer with Nigerian non-profit organisation the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF). HOMEF has been campaigning for the past 3 years with communities and civil society in Nigeria over issues including the destruction caused by oil in the Niger Delta.
Mariana Gomez Soto, Coordinator for Latin America
Mariana is a Colombian anthropologist with minors in biology and geography and postgraduate programs in Social Anthropology and Holistic Sciences. She has dedicated her life and work to establishing relationships with indigenous and peasant communities, helping them to strengthen local traditional knowledge and resistance to destructive extractive projects. Mariana first got involved in activism and with grassroots movements in defense of territory, after a large gold mining corporation arrived in the region where she grew up in 2012 to try and build a mega-mine. She currently coordinates a macro-regional initiative for the Gaia Amazonas Foundation. Known as The Andes-Amazon-Atlantic eco-cultural Corridor, this initiative aims to guarantee ecosystem connectivity in the northern Amazon basin, articulating local communities, organizations and governments in a common vision for the future of the region north of the Amazon River.
Clemente ‘Enteng’ Bautista, Coordinator for South East Asia
Enteng started his political and social activism as a student activist then a peasant organiser and has dedicated the past two decades of his life to being a full-time environmental defender. He campaigns alongside communities throughout the Philippines to stop destructive large-scale, corporate mining, in the context of his people’s struggle for their democratic rights and for national liberation. Enteng is National Coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan) the biggest national and multisectoral environmental network in the Philippines. He is also Coordinator of the Defend Patrimony Alliance, the national movement against large-scale mining plunder, and Regional Coordinator of OilWatch Southeast Asia (OWSEA), working for a fossil-free energy transition in Southeast Asia.
Juliana Thornton, Coordinator for Southern Africa
Juliana (BA – Anthropology, MPH – Public Health) currently works with the Wits Radio Academy, based in the Department of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Prior to this she has held research, management and fundraising positions with organisations working toward conservation, heritage, human rights and public health in South Africa. She has also worked with communities in South Africa resisting coal mining and fracking. She continues to do consulting work for organisations like WoMin and EarthLore, which are resisting extractivism in Southern Africa.
Tero Mustonen, Coordinator for the Arctic
Dr. Tero Mustonen, a passionate defender of the traditional worldview and cosmology of his people, is a Finn and head of the village of Selkie in North Karelia, Finland. He has worked as the traditional knowledge coordinator for Eurasia for the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. He works for the award-winning Snowchange Cooperative, which is a non-profit organization based in Finland with members across the Arctic, including the communities of Eastern Sámi, Chukchi, Yukaghir, Sakha, Evenk, Even, Inuit, Inuvialuit, Gwitchin and many more. Mustonen is well-known scholar of Arctic biodiversity, climate change and indigenous issues, having published over a dozen publications on the topics including the ground-breaking Eastern Sámi Atlas and Snowscapes, Dreamscapes. Mustonen has won several human rights and environmental awards for his work with Snowchange and indigenous peoples of the Arctic. He is also an adopted full status member of the Kwakwakwala First Nation based in British Columbia, Canada.
Guadalupe Rodriguez, Coordinator for Southern Europe/Latin America
Guadalupe is an Argentinian campaigner, researcher and human rights defender. She has worked on forest-related issues for more than a decade, working with German environmental organisation Rainforest Rescue in Argentina, Ecuador and Germany. Currently based in Spain at non-profit organization Salva la Selva, Guadalupe is creating, coordinating and expanding international campaigns and networks to protect forests and biodiversity from destructive extractive projects.
Michelle Maloney , Coordinator for Australia
Michelle (BA/LLB, PhD) is a lawyer, change-maker and Co-Founder and Director of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance, or AELA. AELA advocates for Earth centred law, governance and ethics. Michelle has 25 years’ experience managing climate change, sustainability and social justice projects in Australia, the UK and the USA. This includes more than ten years working with First Nations People in Australia, assisting with negotiations with mining companies to secure community rights and resources, and creating community development projects. Michelle is on the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, the Executive Committee of the Ecological Law and Governance Association and is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental law and the UN Harmony with Nature Initiative. Michelle lives with her family in Brisbane, Australia.
Hannibal Rhoades, Coordinator for Northern Europe
Hannibal is currently communications and advocacy coordinator at The Gaia Foundation, a UK-based organisation working internationally to support indigenous and local communities to revive their knowledge, livelihoods and healthy ecosystems. With Gaia, Hal has worked alongside local communities working to revive their lifeways and resist mining operations in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia and Colombia. As an activist, Hal has also been involved in UK-based work to oppose fossil fuel extraction projects with local community groups. As a citizen journalist, he has covered stories of indigenous and local communities resisting mining and working for environmental and social justice on every inhabited continent for publications such as the Ecologist, Intercontinental Cry, Kosmos Journal and others.