About the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council




Ayahuasca Dialogues

Stakeholder Voices from the Amazon:

“I would like it if there were an organization, for those of us who are prepared, to make us recognized…I want the people to know this medicine.”

– Peruvian mestizo ayahuasca center owner (from Ayahuasca Dialogues interview by Kate Keller July 2014, anonymized to encourage dialogue. Read more in the Ayahuasca Dialogues Report here.)
Photo: “Marcial” by Joshua Wickerham, taken at the greenhouse where we are pilot testing sustainable planting and safety guidelines for visitors based on the Ayahuasca Health Guide. Read more about our project with this community.

What is the ESC?

The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit organization registered in the United States.We were founded in 2013 by two best friends whose lives have been transformed by traditional plants.

Our mission is to transform lives by assuring the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants.

Our vision is a world where plants, their traditions, and the people who work with them are respected and empowered culturally, legally, economically, and religiously.

Our Most Important Principles and Values are:

• Transparency;

• Stakeholder engagement, characterized by being inclusive, listening, and being responsive to feedback;

• Consensus (characterized by the lack of sustained opposition by any stakeholder group);

• Respect for traditional knowledge holders;

• Preservation of biological and cultural diversity;

• Personal and professional growth; and

• Accountability to the stakeholders we serve. 

The ESCs method is to facilitate transparent dialogue between all people who care about the future of specific traditional plants by holding a space where all stakeholders can collaborate as equals to identify best practices for safer and more sustainable ethnobotanical cultivation, trade, and use.

Dialogues to Develop Consensus on Safety & Sustainability

The ESC develops and convenes individual Plant Dialogues that provide every stakeholder the chance to share and learn from one another and contribute to shaping broad consensus on voluntary principles and criteria for ethnobotanical safe use and sustainability. These Dialogues are based on globally-recognized good practices (The ISEAL Codes).

Recognizing Good Practices

The ESC also works to recognize consistent good practices that meet Plant Dialogue principles and criteria by developing credible assurance mechanisms through community consultations. We hope our work helps seekers of plant medicines better recognize consistent safe and sustainable practices, thus allowing them to know that their purchases are leading to ever better social, economic, and environmental outcomes.



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Due to sustained opposition from a small but significant portion of stakeholders, we have dissolved the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council.

We are grateful for your support in increasing dialogue, learning with one another, and raising awareness about safer, more sustainable, and more reciprocal traditional plant use practices.

For a summary of our work, please see our 2014 financial report or our Dialogues Report.

If you are interested in learning more about ethnobotanicals, please visit ICEERS.