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...
Summary of first Ayahuasca Dialogues roundtable in Iquitos, Peru (Español and English)

Summary of first Ayahuasca Dialogues roundtable in Iquitos, Peru (Español and English)

Note: This preliminary summary will be updated and expanded after receipt of final feedback from participants. This roundtable is not representative of the issues the ESC is exploring elsewhere, but represents the ESC’s commitment to responding to local conditions and interests. With community support, the ESC will host dialogues elsewhere with more stakeholders. Donate now to help support the ESC’s work to develop consensus on the sustainability and safe use of ayahuasca. Visit the ESC’s Ayahuasca Dialogues crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.    Resumen Mesa Redonda: Modelos sostenibles y justos para el cultivo de la ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi) y chacruna (Psichotria viridis) con beneficios económicos, sociales, culturales y ambientales   12 de Agosto, 2014 Iquitos, Región Loreto, Perú   Organizado por: Consejo para la Sostenibilidad Etnobotánica (Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, ESC) Acogido y respaldado por: Dirección Regional de Comercio Exterior, Turismo y Artesanía. (Dircetura) Participantes: La mesa redonda dio la bienvenida a más de 25 participantes en representación de las partes interesadas como curanderos (healers), centros (albergues) Propietarios, empresas, universidades, investigadores, agricultores y productores.   Moderadores: Solange Pineda, Comunicadora Social , Dircetura; Joshua Wickerham, Director Ejecutivo, ESC   Coordinadora: Sra. Mariella Noriega, Consejo para la Sostenibilidad Etnobotánica (ESC) Resumen Ejecutivo: La Dircetura y ESC organizaron esta mesa redonda sobre todo para hacer frente a la escasez de chacruna (Psychotria viridis) en Iquitos y explorar modelos, o sistemas e implementación de un plan de manejo cultural para aumentar la producción de ésta y otras plantas utilizadas en la mezcla de la ayahuasca en Loreto, mientras que al mismo tiempo que ayuda a asegurar los beneficios sociales, ambientales y económicos a las comunidades...
Ayahuasca Dialogues podcast on Soundart Radio

Ayahuasca Dialogues podcast on Soundart Radio

The ESC’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, Joshua Wickerham joins Soundart Radio host and ESC Research and Outreach Coordinator Ellen Percival to discuss the founding of the ESC, as well as the ideas, experiences, and principles that are growing the organization. As ayahuasca demand grows, the ESC aims to ensure that traditional knowledge holders and practitioners benefit economically, socially and environmentally while keeping seekers safe. Listen for a broad overview of how the ESC is stewarding Plant Dialogues with healers, ayahuasca centers, policy makers, and other stakeholders to develop consensus on good practices around the safe use and sustainability of this important medicine. Listen now: http://www.ethnobotanicalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ESC-SoundArt-Podcast.mp3 Download MP3 file: ESC SoundArt...
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...
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.