[sixties-l] Peter Berg In Ecuador

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Thu Feb 08 2001 - 17:46:20 EST

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        Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2001 12:24:03 -0800
        From: EcoPilgrim@juno.com
    Subject: Peter Berg In Ecuador

    Peter Berg is leading the way and setting up some credible models for use
    in Third World Countries. Community Learning Centers could accomplish
    results such as these worldwide. For more on Peter Berg and his
    organization, Planet Drum see:



    A Remarkable Week For Pacha Mama

    Report #4
    February 4, 2001
    Hotel Pais Libre, Canoa, Ecuador

    Ecuadorian indigenas (native people) revived their
    active insurgence in the capitol Quito last month near
    the first anniversary of last year's rebellion that
    caused the collapse of the previous government.
    CONAIE, the native-led political association, had from
    the beginning promised a renewal of anti-government
    actions if their original demands weren't met by last
    summer. Negotiations had been underway but the
    government's lack of compliance caused a break-off
    followed by demonstrations, blocked highways, and
    beginning a few days ago, interruption of food
    shipments from farms to city markets. (Indigenas claim
    they have enough food stored to last themselves for a

    Leaders have been arrested, thousands tear-gassed and
    many beaten. Two nights ago the government declared an
    official State of Emergency. Next week something has
    to give.

    In addition to scalding human social and justice
    issues, what is perhaps most notable about this
    uprising in small, almost unnoticed to the outside
    world Ecuador, is that it involves a direct
    repudiation of the International Monetary Fund's
    globalist economic policies requiring reduced services
    and increased privatization in the public sector by
    national governments in order to obtain loans.
    Indigenas want to throw out dolarization and restore
    welfare, education and health services, among other
    things. They are calling the bluff of borderless
    capital investment and imposed neoliberal economics.

    Aside from some nervousness, Bahia de Caraquez is as
    seemingly unaffected by what is happening in Quito as
    it was last year when there was scant tangible
    reaction.. It took a month for a half-day highway
    closing at Fanca following the calamitous events in
    the capitol, and not much more can be expected now.

    Bahia's contribution to social change is its
    home-grown ecological transformation. In January last
    year, some non-profit and business groups along with
    private citizens were sufficiently united to push
    through a municipal by-law mandating an ecological
    city. The then-mayor was unenthusiastic, approving the
    measure with his signature only a day before it was
    scheduled to be announced. When he was replaced by the
    present mayor and city council last August, a positive
    official attitude began to evolve. Last week was a
    crucial period for determining how the new
    administration will direct the ecological city effort
    over the remaining three and one-half years of Mayor
    Leo's term.

    It began at an informal meeting on Tuesday night at
    Leo's home. Jacob Santos agreed to interpret so that
    there was clarity of understanding about details in
    Spanish and English. I requested authorization of the
    revegetation and recycling plans that were written up
    in both languages. The mayor listened to summaries and
    read parts of them, agreeing that save for lack of
    funds in the city budget they had his backing, which
    is essential for approaching potential donors. Then I
    brought up the necessity of guiding his term with the
    previously prepared ecological plan that now benefits
    from Dario Proano's additions (thereby incorporating
    the influences of Planet Drum and Bahia's Stuarium
    Foundation in the same document). Mayor Leo had been
    forming a new Department of Tourism and Environment,
    and he put the ecological plan in that perspective,
    requesting that I draw up a mission statement for the
    new department that included a reference to the plan
    He would call an afternoon meeting the next day to
    present this statement of purpose to the new
    department head and others. A salsa band and dancers
    could have paraded through the gate off the night
    street at that moment! It was such a completely
    satisfying solution that I had to fight back the
    feelings of elated relief about the last weeks, and in
    truth, the last two years work in Bahia. .A few more
    potential projects that need more fleshing out were
    discussed before we said "Hasta manana."

    Around noon the next day the statement practically
    wrote itself.

    * Serve to represent ecological interests of the
    community in all matters,

    * Understand and guide accomplishment of points in the
    ecological plan.

    * Establish and maintain a directory of all public and
    private ecology and eco-tourism projects activities,

    * Develop and oversee public education programs
    regarding ecological understanding and practices,

    * Regularly meet and respond to public agencies and
    private groups in order to discuss, assist, and guide
    ecological activities,

    * Develop volunteerism, volunteer opportunities, and
    lists of volunteers for assisting public and private

    * Consult with the city council and legal department
    to streamline approval of ecologically oriented
    ordinances and their enforcement.

    I walked quickly to Jacob Santos' Bahia Bed and
    Breakfast Inn for a translation at one o'clock and he
    carried it to the meeting in the mayor's office an
    hour later. Leo glanced at the mission statement,
    called everyone in, spoke about the need for immediate
    and meaningful action, instructed the new department
    head and I to form a working alliance, read the
    statement aloud, and invited me to present ideas.
    Copies of the proposals for revegetation and recycling
    were passed around. An open, public forum to read and
    discuss the entire environmental plan with follow-up
    discussion, questions and suggestions will be held in
    the Municipio (City Hall) February 15th. We will
    spread awareness of this event to the general public
    through newspaper stories, radio, flyers, and posters,
    and issue direct invitations to representatives of all
    groups involved. (Amy Jewel has taken over producing
    the event.)

    We left the mayor's office for the first of what has
    become daily meetings with Patricio "Patrick"
    Rivandenerra, the new department jefe (chief), his
    assistant Marco Acosta, and Gabriela. So far we've
    been through all five points of the mission statement
    for understanding and development of ideas to
    accomplish them. On Thursday, Nicola Mears and I
    collaborated to make definitive English and Spanish
    versions of the environmental plan with Dario's and my
    names no longer cited because the process of
    participatively creating a community document has
    begun. (see following). The next day Patrick and
    Gabriela received copies for their input next Monday.

    In different ways for las indigenas in Quito and we in
    Bahia, it was a remarkable week for Pacha Mama (Mother

    I. Introduction - The need and purpose of a plan to
    create an ecological city.

    A) Need
           1.Ecological City Declaration
                  a.Fragility of Bahia, map of risks and environmental
                  b.The present opportunity: the effect of El Nino disasters
                  c.Disaster prevention, mitigation plan
           2. Understanding, coordination and participation with all
    ecological endeavors
                  a. Projects and activities -government and private
                  b. Public participation - consult and assist in developing
    various activities
                      and projects
                  c. Public information - government, schools, media,visitors

    B) Purpose
           1. Guide activities toward shared purposes (present and proposed)
           2. Create timelines
           3. Stand as a document of intention

    II. Areas of consideration

    A) Statement of inclusiveness and invitation for additional activities
            1. Request new public and private efforts
            2. List needed and potential new activities
            3. Regular updating of plan

    B) Plan format requirements
            1. Geographic scope
            2. Listing of existing projects and recognition in appropriate
            3. Timelines need to be developed short, medium and long term for
    each item

    C) Water
             1. Supply
             2.Testing and treatment
             3. Distribution
             4. Conservation, reuse, recycling, and waste

    D) Food
               1. Public garden spaces
               2. Private small farm and garden spaces
               3. Availability of tools, seed, compost, and instruction

    E) Energy (public, industrial, agricultural, and household)
               1. Conservation and cost reduction of existing types
               2. Renewable forms
                           a. Determining appropriate types
               b. Developing plans for sharing of new production
                            c. Construction and installation of renewable

    F) Transportation
                1 Evaluation and suitability of various private means (cars,
    bicycles, etc.)
                            a. Priorities for alternative fuels
                             b. Restrictions or encouragement of use
                 2. Evaluation and suitability of public means (buses, taxis,
                            a. Priorities for alternative fuels
                             b. Restrictions or encouragement of use
                 3.Re-design of highways and streets for traffic reduction,
                     calming, etc.
                             a.Pedestrian streets in downtown (mall)
                             b.Bicycle path between Bahia and Leonidas Plaza
                             c.Small plazas for discussions, culture and music

      G) Recycling
                 1. Zero garbage policy
                 2. Citywide recycling program
                             a. Industrial and agricultural
                             b. Offices, businesses and schools
                             c. Household compost for gardens, recycle bins
                 3.Government office and operations recycling system
                            a.Roadside and beach clean-ups
                            b.Markets and commercial centers
                 4. Public uses for reused and recycled materials
                            a. Evaluation and ordering of municipal stocks
    and equipment
                                     (paper, furniture,construction items,
                            b. Encouragement of local remanufacture businesses
                           c.Compost fertilizer, humus
                           d.City plant nursery as a base for recycling
    organic material.

       H) Sewage
                  1. Public biological treatment facilities, artificial
                  2.Private alternative facilities
                  3.Redesign of sewage piping system

    I) Wild habitat and species (ecosystems)
               1. Bioregion and watershed mapping and inventory
               2. Habitat and species protection
    a.Private, community and municipal nature reserves
    b.Research centers, scientific stations
                3. Habitat and species restoration
                4. Field programs (observation, experience, education, etc.)

    J) Human resources
                 1. Volunteers
                 2. Skill bank
                 3. Special mobilization
                 4. Employment counseling andservice

    K) Education
                 1. Schools and universities
                 2. Public classes and workshops
                 3.Government statements and media
                 4.General education workshops, preparation do study plans
                     environmental emphasis
                 5.Teachers Ecology Club
                 6.Scolarships in environmental studies for high school
    students and teachers

    L) Culture celebrating natural systems and ecological practices
                  1. Public information and installations (Green Map. murals,
    markers, etc.)
                  2. Arts, culture and crafts workshops,
                  3. Awards program
                 4. Events
                 5.Camps for training ecology leaders

    M) Business development
                 1. Sustainability emphasis and incentives (incubators,
                           consultation and guidance, etc.)
                 2. Visitor services (eco-tourism, facilities, etc.)
                 3. Environmental Interpretation Center

    N) Funding
                 1. External (international, national, foundations,etc.)
                 2. Internal ("green tax", sales, benefits, donations,
    bequests, etc.)
                 3.City budget for specific items (concrete projects)

    O) Municipal environmental planning
                  1.Legal aspects
                            a. Creation of use ordinances (permits): transit,
                                recreation, green areas, pedestrians, nature
                            b. Environmental ordinances: hygiene, health, and
                                   visual contamination noise and garbage
                            c. Signage for public and tourist information
                   2.Creation of Municipal Environmental Department.
                            a.Environmental planning
                            b.Committees with neighborhood components
                            c.Environmental study scholarships for municipal
                           d.Exchange of municipal staff with other green
                    3.Environmental Audit
                         a.Evaluate desirable and undesirable commerce in
    terms of an ecocity.
                         b.Environmental considerations for use permits in
    public areas and streets
                         c.Environmental enforcement
                          d.Management of environmental complaints

    Marguerite Hampton
    Executive Director - Turtle Island Institute

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