Bioregionalism

Excerpt from the ‘Social Dimension’ of Gaia Education’s online course in ‘Design for Sustainability

Bioregional awareness teaches us in specific ways. It is not enough to just ‘love nature’ or to want to ‘be in harmony with Gaia.’ Our relation to the natural world takes place in a place, and it must be grounded in information and experience.

— Gary Snyder

Here are some guidelines for strengthening the resilience and vitality of your bioregion:

What is Bioregionalism?

What is a Bioregion?

[…] if the life-destructive path of technological society is to be diverted into life-sustaining directions, the land must be reinhabited. Reinhabitation means developing bioregional identity. It means learning to live-in-place in an area that has been disrupted and injured through past exploitation. It involves becoming native to a place through becoming aware of the particular ecological relationships that operate within it. Simply stated, it involves becoming fully alive in and with such a place. It involves applying for membership of a biotic community and ceasing to be its exploiter.

Peter Berg & Raymond Dasmann

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Example of a layer in a bioregional map (Source)
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Image Source

“Bioregionalism emerges as a response to the formidable power relations of global political economy and the ensuing fragmentation of place. It seeks to integrate ecological and cultural affiliations within the framework of a place-based sensibility, derived from landscape, ecosystem, watershed, indigenous culture, local community knowledge, environmental history, climate and geography. More than an alternative framework for governance or a decentralized approach to political ecology, it represents a profound cultural vision addressing moral, aesthetic and spiritual concerns. In effect, bioregionalism seeks to penetrate, inform and reinhabit the interstices of contemporary political economy, turning states and countries into biomes and watersheds, changing not only the boundaries of governance, but the boundaries of perception as well. Indeed, the reinhabitation of landscape is fundamentally a challenge of perception as well as citizenship.”

— Mitchell Thomashow, 1999: 121

Guidelines for Developing Bioregional Sensibility and a Cosmopolitan Bioregionalism

Here is some advice on how to develop this sensibility and awareness.

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Daniel Christian Wahl

Written by

Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the education system

Daniel Christian Wahl

Written by

Catalysing transformative innovation, cultural co-creation, whole systems design, and bioregional regeneration. Author of Designing Regenerative Cultures

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the education system

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