ESC and local community agree to pilot test ayahuasca safety and sustainability guidelines in Peru

ESC and local community agree to pilot test ayahuasca safety and sustainability guidelines in Peru

Following meetings with village leaders at the Santa Rosa cooperative in San Martin, Peru, the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC) has agreed to support the local community in implementing protocols for sustainable ayahuasca cultivation, ceremonial safety, and cultural sensitivity. After years of neglect of traditional ayahuasca culture in the region, this community has made a conscious decision to work to protect and enhance its relationship to ayahuasca and has asked for the ESC’s support to achieve safety and sustainability objectives. To date, the community has constructed a new ceremony building (maloca) and is working with local vegetalistas (healers) to administer ayahuasca ceremonies with the community and with visitors. This eco-tourism model is very connected with the community, as visitors stay in community members’ homes and get to experience village life on the river in an agricultural cooperative. The community has expressed three important needs: Cultural sensitivity: The community has experienced negative aspects of ayahuasca seekers who come to the community but do not interact with community members. The community wishes for visitors to understand the local way of life; Safety: The community wishes for ayahuasca seekers to feel safe and for the community to do all it can to reduce risks to safety at the site and during ceremonies. Therefore, the ESC has agreed to work with the community in early 2015 to implement and pilot test the Ayahuasca Health Guide, with its focus on visitor safety, the responsibility of ceremony organizers, and the ethical oath of healers to do no harm. The first version of the Ayahuasca Health Guide is being developed through community consultation. You too can read and contribute...
New podcast: How to stay safe when trying ayahuasca

New podcast: How to stay safe when trying ayahuasca

ESC Co-Founder and Executive Director Joshua Wickerham is featured on Amber Lyon’s Reset.Me podcast “How To Stay Safe When Trying Ayahuasca.” Listen to learn recommendations on how to choose a center that is best for you and the value of the “integration process.” Share this with your friends so they can gain from the podcast and learn about what the ESC is doing to work with communities and ayahuasca centers to improve safety and sustainability practices. Amber, an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist has shared the personal ayahuasca experiences which have transformed her...
ESC hiring Ayahuasca Dialogues field researchers to interview stakeholders in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

ESC hiring Ayahuasca Dialogues field researchers to interview stakeholders in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

Update: All researcher positions have been filled. Please check back in the future for more opportunities to work with the ESC!       The ESC is hiring Ayahuasca Dialogues field researchers to interview stakeholders in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru   **Download the full job description in pdf format** Title: Field Researcher (Consultant, part time) Location(s): (at least one person will be hired in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) About the ESC: Our mission and work: The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC) is a nonprofit organization launched in 2013 dedicated to transforming lives by assuring the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants. We believe that the best way to encourage people to work safely and sustainably with traditional plants is to help make best practice more visible and accessible to the market. We offer ESC members a voluntary assurance system whereby good work is recognized and rewarded. Assessment criteria are based on sustainability and safety principles and criteria developed by consensus through ESC’s Plant Dialogues. The Ayahuasca Dialogues: The flagship Plant Dialogue is the ESC Ayahuasca Dialogues to build consensus about the safe use and sustainability of ayahuasca in ways that protect seekers, benefit traditional knowledge holders, enrich local communities, and protect biodiversity and the natural environment. The Ayahuasca Dialogues will establish the Ayahuasca Agreement that outline principles and criteria for determining ayahuasca site safety and sustainability best practices and good cultivation techniques. Ayahuasca centers and practitioners can then request to have their performance assessed according to the content of the Ayahuasca Agreement. The voluntary assessment process and results will be transparent so as to encourage learning and...
Listen to the ESC on the Psychonautica podcast

Listen to the ESC on the Psychonautica podcast

The ESC Chief Advisor had the pleasure of sitting down with Psychonautica co-hosts KMO and Olga in Brooklyn to share the latest on the ESC’s work. Listen here. From the notes of the Psychonautica podcast website: KMO kicks off this month’s episode of the Psychonautica podcast by reading a classic LSD trip report from artificial intelligence researcher Ben Goertzel. After that, Joshua Wickerham tells KMO and Olga about the mission of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. According to their website, “The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring the sustainable and safe use of traditional plants, and enriching the communities who work with them.” Easier said than done. Listen in as the Psychonautica co-hosts press Joshua for the nitty gritty. Listen...
Call for nominations to join the Ayahuasca Dialogues Research Committee

Call for nominations to join the Ayahuasca Dialogues Research Committee

We are currently looking for people to join the Ayahuasca Dialogues Research Committee (ADRC). The Ayahuasca Dialogues are an extensive, consensus-based consultation process including as many people as possible who have an interest in ensuring the safety and sustainability of ayahuasca. You can learn more about the Ayahuasca Dialogues here. In order to map the scale of this interest, and understand how to make it as easy as possible for stakeholders to have their say, the ESC will be carrying out on-the-ground research in Peru, Columbia, Ecuador and Brazil in April, May and June of 2014 and writing a final report for launch at the World Ayahuasca Conference in Spain this September. The ADRC will help to provide guidance during this research and reporting, which as groundwork for the Ayahuasca Dialogues is aiming to ensure that the process is as effective and inclusive as possible. This first phase of the Ayahuasca Dialogues will set the stage for the multi-stakeholder consensus building process that will lead to the eventual drafting and public consultations of the Ayahuasca Agreement. Time commitment: Late March 2014 to September 2014, with the hope that individual ADRC members stay on throughout the Ayahuasca Dialogues in 2015-16. Nominee profiles: The Ayahuasca Dialogues Research Committee will be made up of approximately 10-12 people with experience in fields such as ethnobotany, anthropology, qualitative research, economics, development, drug policy, sustainable tourism, agroecology, sustainable plant collection and cultivation, and jungle safety. Individuals with experience of ayahuasca traditions or religions related to one or more of the four key target countries are also welcome to apply. For full details please see the PDF here:...
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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.