Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ecosocial Sustainability in the Amazon

New words have been created, but only the same are spoken. -the Shaman

Ekōbius: An Experimental Eco-Social Engineering Project (Ecosocial Engineering) 


Relative to ekōbius and the idea of an international ecovillage community, one would sense that developing a highly specialized physical 'intentional community' in a globalized world maybe a great challenge considering its geographic location at the end of a road where civilization essentially ends in the N. Amazon however its uniqueness may be what makes it a success. "Its extreme location is its essential attraction and reason," says founder, David Wright, American expat from Kentucky.

As it appears, the eco-pioneers have become recognized as an autonomous and independent charter community by the Venezuelan government for their special ecological purpose to serve as a demonstration model in a highly sensitive environmental region (protected watershed) that gives them a structure by which the member residents are especially obligated from the beginning (now) to form and maintain the development of a new type of engineered society that is ecologically sustainable, localized, networked to its supporters, and of a great service to the global citizens that depend on the common environment and that of their neighbors.

This special "status" or "authority" is rarely given as freely as it has been to ekōbius by concession, but because of the liberal social revolutionary policy of the current government and their "international" composition and membership with relation to the founder, David Wright's connection with Globcal International an opportunity was created for them to be treated specially under diplomatic protocol with professional courtesies normally entitled to diplomats. In general however, Venezuela today is known as a place of special individual and personal freedoms that has given birth to the development and acceptance of many innovative social alternatives due to the 21st century socialism philosophy introduced by deceased President Hugo Chavez between 1999 and 2013, this project is just one of many new ideas being tried today there.

As an officially recognized "experimental ecovillage" (chartered ecotown) makes their entire endeavor a once in a lifetime chance for everyone who becomes involved with the Ekōbius International Cooperative. Their commitment to formation as an "intentional community" is key in their establishment, however it is not discriminatory because their base ideals, practices, methods and essential beliefs can be learned and adopted by anyone from anywhere in the world.

Most intentional communities require that members follow a certain religious faith, political ideology, or that they subscribe strictly to certain doctrines or lifestyle choices like veganism or nudism. In a way ekōbius also has its focus but it is the only organization that has a clear focus on naturalism, ecology, indigenous knowledge and environmental enhancement that does not discriminate based on religion, politics, sex, race or national origin. The absence of consumerism, politics, religion, and a military infrastructure actually gives them strength and keeps the focus on the natural order of the planet and the human spirit.

As a cooperative community everything is or will be based on members consensus but also based on their stated charter purpose (reasons for existing) which will organically form the community as an intentional one through a natural process. The implications of this development eliminates the concerns and fears of those who have heard some of the hippie horror stories about the spontaneously created communes and alternative living experiments that formed in the 60's and 70's based on isolated spontaneous social cohesiveness (free love, peace, drugs, draft dodging) that were unrelated to definite intention, rather than on a purposeful basis such as the community ekōbius is forming now.

The extreme natural environment, its isolation, combined with the stated moral convictions will only attract specific people who they will allow to freely join and come (indiscriminately) just like as if you wanted to buy a house in New York, the only difference is that we have a theme and a community commitment oriented toward environmental protection, conservation, ecological enhancement, sustainability, harmony with nature, and socioeconomic cooperative production of natural products using simple techniques and appropriate technology.

It is clear to me having visited that only those who are truly committed to a rustic rural lifestyle will be able to stay, live and work there indefinitely, it is also clear that there will be people that join as seasonal or temporary residents who utilize the community as a form of escape from society as a sort of security perhaps in the future.

In general I do not expect that those who join us will be people looking to conquer and exploit or consume the environment but rather those who revere, cherish, and respect mother earth. I am confident the basis for our development will attract exactly the right people we need to create a new world based in nature.

For more information please visit our website ekobius.org and our Facebook pages. You can also search "Fundo Ekobius" or "Ekobius International Cooperative."

Written by:
Lic. Dra. Sonia Ceballos, Venezuela Central University (UCV) translated by David J. Wright