“We all depend on deep species relations. We are nested within each other. Each of us is a collection of a huge diversity of life.”

Dr. Jerome Lewis — Associate Professor of Anthropology, UCL

Why Flourishing Diversity?

At the heart of Flourishing Diversity is the understanding that life on earth is possible because of biological and cultural diversity, where each part is equally vital to the whole. Every species, every behaviour, every tradition and every relationship contributes to the continuous emergence of the diversity of life. This intricate interplay animates and assures the ecosystems upon which all life depends.

Diversity is not just a concept; it is the process by which Life assures itself. The modern obsession with designing scalable systems for maximum convenience and productivity is creating uniformity across landscapes, mindsets and practices that are profoundly damaging to the flow of diversity on which flourishing life depends.

Whilst ecological and cultural diversity decrease together, a modernist vision of the world organised for bureaucratic and financial efficiency is fuelling the intensification of monocultures across all domains – from education to agriculture, from cities to forests, from cultural practices and beliefs to economic values and governmental practice. This monocultural movement is steadily destabilising the very fabric of life.

As Flourishing Diversity’s indigenous partners remind and invite, now is the time for people living in societies producing these monocultures to question what drives these behaviours and to desist and change course on behalf of all planetary life. It’s time to re-evaluate what’s truly important and make choices that strengthen the interconnectedness of life. It’s time to re-imagine the systems humanity operates within, based upon the realisation that our own health, and ultimately our joy and wellbeing, depends on the health of the whole.

Cultivating a flourishing of diversity in the environments you can influence will contribute to this process. Whether in green places, uncultivated spaces, within your home or in your approaches to personal relationships, local community or work, we can each respond according to the possibilities available to resist the ecological collapse. As Gandhi proved: when small actions are taken by millions of people, profound change is possible.

VISION

A vibrant and healthy planet in which all species flourish in their own, unique way.

MISSION

To put life’s rich and complex diversity at the heart of solutions to restore planetary health.

COLLECTIVE GOALS

  • “Territories of Life” are protected from extractive industry, large infrastructure development and industrial agriculture.
  • The root drivers of ecocide are replaced by value-led, holistic ways of living.
  • All are empowered to take responsibility for the spaces and places we have influence over to create spaces for diversity to flourish.

Focus Areas

Addressing
root causes

How can the perspectives, systems and practices of humans evolve to align with the rest of nature?

Envisioning
new possibilities

How can we use our vast creativity to envision and enact ways of living that enable all life to thrive?

Supporting diverse
solutions to blossom

How can we listen, learn and collaborate with diverse communities and cultures across the world?

Solidarity

“This forest has taught us how to walk lightly, and because we have listened, learned and defended her, she has given us everything: water, clean air, nourishment, shelter, medicines, happiness, meaning. And you are taking all this away, not just from us, but from everyone on the planet, and from future generations.

Nemonte Nenquimo — President of the Waorani of Pastaza & Co-founder of the Ceibo Alliance

The concept of Flourishing Diversity is born out of long-standing collaborations between anthropologists and communities who’ve maintained traditional ecological knowledge. Their systems respect and support the diversity of all the species dependent on the same ecosystems.

These collaborations are producing a growing body of evidence (as understood by science) documenting the diversity of ways that such groups have developed to foster abundance for all life forms on their territories. Indeed they have been so successful at this that scientists now recognise that 80% of the planet’s remaining biodiversity is to be found in their territories. Their territorial struggles are therefore the planet’s struggles.

To address the global ecological crisis, it’s essential to learn from, listen to and support the continuation of these diverse alternative worldviews that so effectively steward most of what remains of the bio-cultural diversity sustaining this beautiful planet. Allyship with such communities asking for our support is a vital contribution we can all make.

Together, maybe we can stop the practices harming and dismantling Indigenous lands, and promote ways that consumer cultures can shift to align with the perspectives and priorities under-pinning such life sustaining cultures.

You can contribute by:

  • Amplifying the voices and situations of communities facing continued threat and attacks from commercial interests and the businesses that are irresponsibly profiting from nature.
  • Investigate your consumption and the origins and integrity of the global supply chains you buy from.
  • Advocate for global conservation to support Indigenous and local communities to continue protecting and reviving their Territories of Life in their own cultural ways.
  • Advocate for Indigenous Peoples’ representatives to be involved in all international dialogues seeking to address the planet’s ecological crisis.
  • Decolonise your thinking, communities and institutions in every possible way.
“There is no hope for restoring the planet’s fragile and dying ecosystems without Indigenous liberation. This isn’t an exaggeration; it’s simply the truth. Indigenous people understand the choice that confronts us: decolonization or extinction.”

Jason Hickel — Economic Anthropologist & Author