We hope this finds you and your loved ones healthy and in good spirits.
Wherever we live, as we approach the equinox the seasons are turning. These liminal, in-between times have traditionally been moments for gathering and celebration, for music, dancing and storytelling.
For many of us, gathering is not a possibility right now, but it remains important to mark the balancing of the year and to give thanks for the changing expressions of Mother Earth- our source of life.
This equinox newsletter is an invitation to join us around Gaia’s hearth and hear inspiring stories from our work and the work of our global partners over the past few months. Stories from the red foothills of Mount Kenya and the shimmering depths of the Great African Sea Forest.
We hope you will enjoy these offerings, share them widely and consider supporting our work to protect and restore our living planet alongside her best custodians.
With warmest wishes,
Liz Hosken, Director
On behalf of the Gaia Team
Feature: Gaia’s Stories of Resilience series launched
“Each story relates a journey of revival and restoration in the human community and in the communities of Nature and spirit.”
In our last newsletter we shared the launch of a new Stories of Resilience series, in partnership with The Ecologist. Over the coming months we will be sharing stories of practical action and revival from our global network.
In a time of uncertainty, doubt, conflict and distraction, we hope these stories offer you “a counter-cultural reminder of the world we want, and the transformations we need to get there”.
Earth Jurisprudence… in action across Africa
“Do we really want to restore industries that have polluted our air so badly that we cannot see Mount Kenya through the smog?”
African Earth Jurisprudence Practitioners in Benin, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, trained by Gaia, have been taking stock of the pandemic and supporting the communities they accompany.
In a new article for Terralingua Magazine, EJ Practitioner Simon Mitambo reflects on how Tharakan Indigenous People from central Kenya have been responding to the COVID crisis, and the resilience his community have built by reviving their Earth-centred knowledge and practices.
Read: Reviving Culture, Nature, and Ritual in Tharaka
Seed, Food and Climate Change Resilience… on the frontlines of COVID-19
“Giving voice to the radical, grassroots stories of our food systems.”
In her new Frontline Food podcast our friend, food anthropologist Georgie Styles, seeks out untold stories of food sovereignty activism and asks what true resilience in our food systems might look like, beyond coronavirus. This excellent series features interviews with our Kenyan and Zimbabwean partners.
Meanwhile, our UK & Ireland Seed Sovereignty Coordinators continue their vital work online. In Wales, growers are getting gathering in rare native grains that have survived drought and incursions by wooly interlopers. Find out more in our Oat Quest Youtube mini-series.
Sacred Lands and Waters… My Octopus Teacher
This month saw the release of a new Netflix feature documentary from our South African partners, Sea Change. My Octopus Teacher explores the powerful interspecies relationship between a diver and an octopus, and the importance of protecting the Great African Sea Forest. The film has had rave reviews!
Meanwhile, we announced the launch of a very exciting new re-wilding and cultural restoration project with our Finnish partners the Snowchange Cooperative. Over the next 6 years, we will work together to restore the remarkable Koitajoki River System. Find out more.
Beyond Extractivism… in Kawthoolei
“We are the best custodians of our ancestral territories…”
In the fifth and final instalment of the YLNM Network’s post-extractivism story series, members of the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN) tell the story of how Karen Indigenous People in Myanmar founded the Salween Peace Park to protect their mega-diverse territory, known as Kawthoolei, from mining, mega-dams and militarisation.
Working alongside KESAN, we have edited their powerful story of decolonisation and Earth-democracy into a beautiful, interactive story.
Read: Salween Peace Park – a place for all living things
LEAP with us…
In a time of multiple, complex crises, working to uphold the health and diversity of our living planet can feel like swimming upstream.
And yet, like salmon, we leap, and more often than you might expect, we make it.
We invite you to make the next leap with us by making a donation of any size.