The Pachamama Alliance is based on the recognition that those of us in the modern world share a deep connection with the people who call the rainforest their home-each of us having a critical stake in the health and well being of this vital element in our global life support system. We also recognize that indigenous people are the rainforests' natural custodians, and therefore, key strategies of our alliance focus on strengthening their culture and empowering their ability to stand for and represent their own interests.
Another underlying principal of our alliance is based on the recognition of the pervasive role economics plays in the fate of our rainforests. It is generally agreed that the Earth's tropical rainforests are its most valuable ecosystem. Yet, in the economic equations which shape decisions regarding the use of the Earth's resources, rainforests seldom show up as adding any value simply remaining in their natural state. Also, the direct costs to society of having to use technology to replace the environmental services nature provides are seldom considered.
Pachamama has a commitment both to develop tangible, real-life projects through which rainforests provide more direct economic benefit standing than cut as well as to broaden the general economic view so that the value of standing rainforests and the costs associated with their destruction are measured and counted. Our work takes place in two distinct program areas: social and economic development projects in the South and education and awareness building in the North.
A consistent message that has been delivered by the leaders of indigenous groups is that one of the most powerful actions that can be taken in support of the rainforest is to "change the dream of the North." Projects that halt deforestation are timely and critical but only deal with the symptom of a more fundamental imbalance. Ultimately, to assure the survival of our rainforests-indeed of nature's ecosystems and even ourselves-causes which are deeply rooted in our modern worldview need to be addressed. Historically, our record of dealing with issues of environmental degradation provides little basis for optimism in the face of this challenge. Yet, the historical record is the product of a different time. Technology now supplies instantaneous feedback on the consequences of our actions and forces us to come to grips with the reality of living in the closed, interconnected system we call life on Earth. The growing sense of wonder and appreciation we feel for the very same natural systems that we now see our actions destroy provides the basis for hope. There is a new possibility that the future will not be an extension of our past. We have an unprecedented opportunity to live from a new vision-one formed from the intersection of our technological prowess and a new respect for the Earth.
Pachamama is committed to strengthen and clarify this vision and to being a clearinghouse of new ideas and information that will alter our perspectives and, ultimately, our behavior. The Pachamama Alliance is a place for individuals to take a stand of personal responsibility for the well being of the Earth's global commons. We invite you to join us.