We are a group of PHM activists and grassroots organizations representing organized communities from: South Africa, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Germany, Greece, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Brazil, United States and Canada. We met each other here at the PHA3, and shared our experiences and strategies in our work to defend and protect people’s heath and the health of our environment from the exploitative, destructive practices of the extractive industries such as mining, gas, and oil in our countries.
We are mindful of the declaration from the 2nd People’s Health Assembly in Cuenca, Ecuador that calls upon PHM activists to protect the right to health in the context of environmental degradation and to support action to end imperialist control of the earth’s natural resources and create and maintain a healthy environment for all. Natural resources essential to health ARE global commons.
Since the 2nd People’s Health Assembly, the power of Transnational Corporations has grown, the sovereignty of our governments has eroded and they have increasing conceded people’s health in the interest of profit. Our communities share growing displacement, the loss of social services, land, water and livelihood, heightened militarization, violence and repression, and increased incidence of communicable diseases and health problems resulting from exposure to toxics — all of these linked to a global extractivist project.
We see the need to come together as a People’s Health Movement Working Group to support each other’s struggles, and to share strategies and experiences. We call on our fellow activists within PHM to join us in this initiative, to include the issue of extractive industries as a global priority, and to help us build a global campaign. To accomplish this we request that our Working Group be represented in the global governance of PHM.
Guided by these principles in our collective undertaking:
- We recognize the devastating damage caused by extraction to health and the environment, based on the precautionary principle.
- We demand that governments be accountable to people — not transnational corporations. We demand that governments must guarantee rights relating to health and the environment through enforceable laws and regulations.
- We demand that governments, International Financial Institutions and the WHO cease to be accomplices to Transnational Corporations and imperialism.
- While we work to bring about an end to extractivism, we demand that the social, environmental, and health costs both now and for future generations must be assumed by Transnational Corporations. The costs should not be the burden of the poor, the marginalized, afro-descendents, and indigenous peoples.
Our aims as a global PHM Working Group include:
- Condemning the criminalisation, repression and extra-judicial killing of activists in this struggle;
- Promoting communitarian alternatives and indigenous/ ancestral technologies;
- Building energy, food and technological sovereignties of all peoples;
- Building links between land rights, environmental rights, and human rights movements; and
- Developing a global campaign against the impact of extractivist industries on health
To achieve our goals, in the next year, we will work together to:
- Monitor through participatory action research and publish our work;
- Carry out community consultations; and
- Share and support each others’ actions
- We reaffirm that health is the product of social and environmental justice. We believe that a campaign for health for all is a campaign against the global extractivist project. Join us in our struggle!