SANGAY FOUNDATION

PanNature initiative

Sangay Foundation is an environmental, cultural, educative, scientific, independent and non-profit institution. One of its main goals is to preserve Sangay National Park, a huge UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in Central Ecuador, and the native cultures it sustains.

This is not, however, our only concern. From a broader perspective, say, we agree that Latin America encloses amongst the richest pristine environments on Earth. We at Sangay Foundation are aware that the theoretical discussion about the Biotropics and, more in general, the ecological theme in all its aspects and implications, is currently developed mostly in Europe and North America; consistently enough, the majority of the relevant data and information on ecology (and, more in particular, on biotropical ecologies) circulates through English-written media; we are worried that such sources are seldom easily reachable and affordable for the Latin American environmental community; we are concerned that Latin American ecologists and activists need to travel huge distances to participate to the ecological debate; we believe that such a situation hampers the discussion and the elaboration and proposal of environmental solutions in this time of ecocide and global emergency; we think that such a situation is inherently against environmental sanity.

Thus, there might be discernible reasons for believing that it made sense to select and collect essential English-written bibliographic ecological resources in order to popularise them in Ecuador and Latin America, after translation into Spanish. We are confident that this could help to sharp, deepen and update the environmental debate currently ongoing in Ecuador, a country of utter importance, in terms of biological and cultural diversity, for the sub-continent and the whole planet.

Sangay Foundation is devising "PanNature'' as such a documents' repository (presently in the guise of an electronic web-site journal, but we hope there will be a printed edition soon) for the benefit of the sub-continent ecologists, activists and the public in general.

It is essentially a collection of contributions from world-class activists and thinkers, like Joe Kane, David Suzuki, Fritjof Capra, Chellis Glendinning, Paul Shepard, George Sessions, Thomas Berry, Jerry Mander, Wolfgang Sachs, Warwick Fox, Gary Snyder, Arne Naess, and many others.

During the last year or so, PanNature has received notable support and succeeded in obtaining licences and permissions for translating and circulating such contributions in Spanish and at a Latin America continental level. In addition, we encourage the submission of original articles by all insightful persons.

As a journal, PanNature does not defend a priori any specific point of view, rather an effort is made to reflect, through the selection of the published material, the tension of different or opposite positions.

In fact, the scenario of the present ecological discussion is not homogeneous or static at all, continuously reflecting very different points of view and strategies, and a dialectics that evolves rapidly and globally. Sometime, for example, the comparison of ideas of ecologists and activists from the First," the Third'' or the Fourth" World attains polemic tones.

Thus, one of the goals of PanNature is to present contributions of ecofeminists, social ecologists, spiritual ecologists and so forth, at the same time avoiding too Eurocentric a perspective: in brief, to give a comprehensive presentation of what could be called the past and present {\it pan-ecology}.

Nevertheless, Sangay Foundation and its journal PanNature are particularly committed to spread the message of Deep Ecology, whose vision is {\it ecocentric} and {\it bioregionalist}.

In this sense, we reject the anthropocentrism of main stream environmental movements and institutions (to be practical: The World should be preserved for the benefit of future generations of human beings," is a typical, and very popular, anthropocentric sentence), in favour of an assertion that human {\it and} non-human life should flourish. Also, life," in this framework and cosmovision, is understood in a very broad way, so broad to include, for instance, river, lakes, landscapes, and ecosystems - the latter being the real biological and even cultural unit of the earth: Humans are not the {\it only} valuable constituents of nature, since all life has intrinsic value and is inherently worth, and from this acceptance flows the innovative perception of Deep Ecology.

This vision is not completely new, anyway, dating back to the visions of Budda, San Francesco di Assisi, Hildegard von Bingen, Spinoza and Gandhi. It has been more recently developed by extraordinary thinkers like, for example, George Sessions, Paul Shepard, Thomas Berry, Theodore Roszak, Bill Devall, Joanna Macy, John Seed and, above all, Gary Snyder and Arne Naess.

We are not only committed to spreading the Deep Ecology message.

Our mentors, Joe Kane, activist and writer, internationally known for his two books RUNNING THE AMAZON and SAVAGES, is assessing us in making public the oil exploitation by multinationals in the Ecuadorean Amazon; we have translated into Spanish SAVAGES, which will be published soon in Ecuador; David Suzuki, a world-class geneticist based in Vancouver, is assessing us in making as broadly known as possible the side effects of transgenic products on our foods and lives. Dr.David Suzuki has been particularly active in personally mentoring our growth. In one of his letters to PanNature, Dr. Suzuki definitely expressed his sympathy and support for our initiative, allowing us to translate and use everything he published so far.

Sangay Foundation works to contribute to:
* Develop an ecocentric idea of society honouring the Earth
* Study the deepest causes of the present bio-cultural decline of the sub-continent and the planet
* Publicise at any level and through all actionable ways genuinely sustainable solutions
* Encourage initiatives and participate to projects that are model for an ecologically viable future

contact Paulo Catelan paolo@tapir.caltech.edu