ESC Releases First Financial Report

We are happy to announce the release of Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council’s first financial report, which includes details of ESC income, donors, and expenditures for 2014. This report represents an organizational commitment to good governance practices, including transparent and accessible communication about our work and finances.   Download the 2014 ESC Financial Report (.pdf)   In compiling the report, our finance team has been assisted by the finance advisor of our fiscal sponsor MAPS. All data and the report itself have been reviewed by the ESC board. We are also grateful for the advice and involvement of our accountants at Altruic Advisors. We appreciate your patience, as the report took longer to prepare than we had anticipated. We are committed to improving over time. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions on how we can improve our financial or other reporting. Contact...

Pausing the Ayahuasca Dialogues for Feedback

Dear members of ayahuasca drinking communities, experts, and fellow seekers: Because the ESC is a community-based initiative, we want to take seriously all input from those involved in ayahuasca practices and who are concerned about its future. Due to recent critiques by experts who have expressed their serious concerns about the fundamentals of the ESC and its approach, we have decided to put the Ayahuasca Dialogues on hold to go back to basics and engage in an open conversation with everyone who wants to share feedback and critique the ESC’s approach and vision. We want to be 100% sure that the ESC constructively serves the future of ayahuasca in the globalized world and is not the cause of unintended consequences. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary time for reflection, analysis, and revision. We will continue to seek relevant experts’ guidance at every stage of our work. The last 15 months of the scoping phase of the Ayahuasca Dialogues has been based on building consensus among all interested groups about the cross-cultural safe use and sustainability of ayahuasca. This originally included some of the signatories of the recent critique. Therefore, for everyone at the ESC, the public criticism has been surprising and difficult to understand. We thought at first it was based on misunderstanding of our approach or message. However, we were wrong. Through continued dialogue with our critics, we realized that we hold significantly different opinions about how the ESC should proceed. We recognize the wisdom in the public statement by MAPS, which is entirely consistent with private conversations we have had with MAPS Executive Director Rick...

Ayahuasca Dialogues open letter

January 9, 2015 Dear members of ayahuasca drinking communities: The main purpose of the ESC is to engage in dialogue toward consensus on responsible plant use. We are doing this work because interest in sacred plants is growing fast, which puts pressure on traditional safety and sustainability approaches. Though most people seem to be benefitting greatly, some people are getting hurt. The ESC works at points of cultural contact and tension—where global meets local, where ancient meets modern, and sacred meets commercial. We work to minimize the bad, maximize the good, and avoid unintended consequences. We do this through open, honest dialogue giving everyone a voice. As a young organization, after 15 months of scoping and feedback on the Ayahuasca Dialogues, I want to share some thoughts on who we are, who we are not, and where we want to grow with you. We are: Supporting responsible ayahuasca wild collection, cultivation, and use, and encouraging deeper international safety and sustainability debates; Serving the people who drink and will drink ayahuasca; Having economic discussions. They can be useful and improve lives; Utilizing our expertise in “resourcery” (sustainable management of resources); Reorienting our work and communications based on individual and community discussions; Multi-lingual. Website: English/Spanish; Ayahuasca Health Guide: English/Spanish; Ayahuasca Dialogues Report: English (Spanish version coming soon, under review); Fundraising from multiple sources. We have raised ~USD $58,000. ESC co-founders have donated ~$15,000 more. In-kind donations far outnumber monetary donations. We have spent ~75% of the money raised, ~39% on research & engagement; ~39% on communications & development; ~13% on education of seekers; ~9% on administration. Our first fiscal year financial...
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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.