who we areYes to Life, No to Mining (YLNM) is a global solidarity network of and for communities, organisations and networks who are standing up for their Right to Say No to mining and advancing life-sustaining, post-extractive alternatives.
We have come together under the banner of YLNM in the shared belief that saying no to mining is not a selfish, negative or anti-development position, but an absolute necessity at this moment of social, economic and ecological crisis.
We cannot continue to extract as if the Earth were without limits and as if large-scale, industrial mining were not inherently violent and harmful to people and planet.
We must find ecologically and socially just ways into the future – ways that protect the ecosystems we all rely on, value all human life and take us beyond extractivism.
We believe communities, not states or multinational corporations, hold the key to this post-extractive future and must be heard. YLNM exists to bring this future into reality through solidarity and collective action.
2012 - 2013
A group of African communities and allied civil society groups met in Kenya to discuss how to respond to the rapid expansion of mining extractivism across Africa. They agreed on the need for a stronger stance against extractivism and the mainstream vision of mining ‘development’. African poet and civil society leader Nnimmo Bassey summed up the group’s feeling in a phrase- Yes to Life, No to Mining.
After a period of global consultation with established anti-mining movements and organisations, the Yes to Life, No to Mining Network was officially launched in November 2014. In its first years the network focused on gathering, connecting and connecting with allies aligned with YLNM’s stance on mining, building an online web-space and toolkit, and establishing a working structure.
Throughout the life of the network, YLNM has focused on facilitating reactive solidarity initiatives between members in times of need. For example, in 2015 YLNM members coordinated a global solidarity campaign to successfully secure the release of human rights defender Beejin Khastumur, of YLNM member group DMNN, who was imprisoned for opposing illegal mining.
YLNM’s global team of regional coordinators have advanced an active programme of work to support and strengthen national and regional anti-mining movements through small grants, community exchanges, popular informational materials and toolkits, research, media amplification, webinars and supporting ‘emblematic’ communities in Colombia, Finland, Myanmar and Galicia
Bringing frontline voices to global prominence, since 2017, YLNM has collaborated on a number of different research efforts highlighting the critical need for post-extractive solutions to the climate and ecological crises. These include The Dark Side of Digitalization (2017) and A Justice Transition is a Post-Extractive Transition (2019) and a series of Emblematic cases
The pandemic further highlighted the inequalities and injustices in our world with extractive industries taking advantage to fast-track projects with impunity. As a result of this YLNM As a result of this YLNM with several organisations published a paper in 2020 Voices from the Ground: How the Global Mining Industry is Profiting from the COVID-19 Pandemic., this work continued in under the Coalition Against the Mining Pandemic.
YLNM RCPs and Members continued work on Mining and the Pandemic with the launch of a report in May 2022, NO REPRIEVE | For life and territory: COVID-19 and resistance to the mining pandemic with a focus on Latin America. There were also case studies and systhesis from Asia Pacific, Africa, North America, and Europe. YLNM also held its first virtual Global Gathering, launched an Action Fund and produced Statements, Guides, Communiqués, Dispatches and Emblematic cases.
In 2023, YLNM is looking towards another Action Fund to enhance our existing efforts through direct financial support to communities saying Yes to Life, No to Mining at the perilous frontlines of extractive struggles. We are also working with partners across the globe towards an international gathering in Indonesia in October 2023.
As of 2023, YLNM has over 90 members including frontline communities, organisations, and networks and 10 regional coordinators of which three are YLNM co-coordinators
YLNM contact regional points
The international coordination of the YLNM network is overseen by ten regional contact people from around the world which includes three YLNM co-coordinators. Each contact person is from or actively involved in supporting frontline communities to resist unwanted mining projects. They are the bridges making connections between YLNM members and other allies at the local, regional and international levels.
- Mariana Gomez Soto, Latin America
- Nat Lowrey, Oceania
- Lynda Sullivan, Europe
Regional Contact Points
Joshua Daniels, South East Asia; Babawale Obayanju, West Africa; Guadalupe Rodriguez, Southern Europe & Latin America; Merle Davis, North America; Jen Moore, North & Central America; Ramón Balcazar, Latin America; and Liz Downes, Oceania and Latin America.
Established in 2014, the YLNM Network now has over 90 member groups connected across borders and realities.
These members hail from every inhabited continent on Earth and include frontline communities and people’s platforms, non-profit organisations and national and regional networks.
YLNM is also a home for honourary individual members who have placed their skills as academics, scientists, researchers and organisers at the service of our global membership.
Beyond our official network, we maintain working alliances with many other groups defending human rights and our living planet, including Mining Watch Canada, Earthworks (USA) and London Mining Network (UK) in the mining industry’s colonial heartlands.
Our official members are: