A New Voice
In recent years concern over the destruction of the world’s tropical rainforests has reached global proportions. Alarm about the extinction of species, the permanent loss of potentially life-saving medicinal plants, the irreversible damage to the delicate balance of the Earth’s climate control system and the tragic disappearance of indigenous cultures has captured the attention of millions of people around the world.
Hundreds of organizations have formed and are doing important work addressing virtually every level of the problem. And yet, rainforests continue to fall, by some estimates at the rate of 10 million trees per day. Despite our best efforts, the disappearance of our tropical rainforests, like many other global economic, social and environmental crises, seems beyond our ability to control. Obviously something more is needed.
The Pachamama Alliance was formed to play a role in discovering and delivering that “something more.”
The destruction of the world’s rainforests is driven by a complex web of social and economic forces, many of these a logical result of modern society’s worldview — a view that, although rich in technological insight, is often ignorant of the value of nature’s apparently free and limitless services. It is a view guided by maximum short-term financial gain while disregarding the long-term costs of ecological degradation. It is a worldview in which tropical forests can show up as a cash crop to be harvested rather than as an irreplaceable ecosystem to be protected.
This is not, however, the only worldview. After centuries of living in harmony with their environment, indigenous cultures see things very differently. They are informed and guided by the knowledge and spirit imbedded in nature. Rather than viewing the natural world as a collection of separate elements from which humans are apart, they recognize all of creation as an interconnected web, and each of us as an integral element in this miraculous and fragile weave of life.
The Pachamama Alliance believes that our ability to meet the challenges that face humanity as we make the transition to the next millennium, depends on our ability to successfully combine the best elements of these two worldviews into a single global vision, an alloy that blends the intellectual and scientific prowess of the modern world, with the deep and ancient wisdom of traditional cultures. This is the commitment which underlies the work of The Pachamama Alliance.
A Call from the Forest:
The Origins of The Pachamama Alliance
The Pachamama Alliance is a U.S. based not-for-profit organization that was born out of a relationship developed between a group of people from the modern world and the leaders of remote indigenous groups in the Amazon region of Ecuador. This relationship was actually initiated by the indigenous elders and shamans themselves who, out of their deep concern for the growing threat to their ancient way of life, and their recognition that the roots of this threat lay far beyond their rainforest home, actively sought the partnership of committed individuals living in the modern world.
The mission of Pachamama that has grown out of that partnership is two-fold:
To halt the destruction of the Earth’s rainforests and the loss of its indigenous cultures and wisdom; To discover workable ways in which the knowledge and wisdom inherent in both traditional cultures and the modern world can blend into a new global vision of sustainability for us all.