RootBridge Ecosystems

Rootbridge Ecosystems recognizes, supports, and connects local initiatives that contribute to healthy social-ecosystems with a particular focus on spiritual ecology and climate action. They leverage existing resources and capabilities and catalyze new relationships and global networks. Rootbridge facilitates workshops, training programs, and co-creative gatherings and offers editing, writing, and strategic support services. 

Currently the emphasis of collaboration with grassroots, endogenous, local and indigenous climate action and biodiversity regeneration groups is in Asia (especially Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, S. Korea, Japan, China, Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh) and the UK / Europe (especially Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and France; Holland, Belgium and Denmark as well). There are also Rootbridge network affiliate collaborators across Africa, Haiti, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador, as well as in California, Oregon, Washington, New York, Boston and DC. 

"If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence /
we could rise up rooted, like trees."          - Rilke

                                                                                                           ***

Not far from Bhutan and Bangladesh, in Meghalaya, across Manipur and Nagaland India, one finds ancient living rootbridge systems spanning across rivers and sharp crevasses of rocky terrain.  These rootbridges serve to connect many species, including humans, across seemingly divided spaces. They offer up living biodiverse ecosystems within their own root and tree systems.  The Indigenous Khasi and Jaintia peoples of mountainous Shillong Plateau have collaborated with trees for generations, slowly guiding root systems to form strong and powerful bridges that, in their essence and in their roles, transform relationships, transcend barriers, and create richly diverse social-ecosystems.

Rootbridge Ecosystems is named for these amazing Indigenous social-ecological phenomena.  As an organization, a platform, a service and facilitating catalyst, Rootbridge exists to serve, link and strengthen emerging social-ecological initiatives for Earth’s healing: people collaborating with and as nature in response to the major challenges of a global eco-crisis (include mass species extinction), climate disruption,  and complex emergencies increasing from the Anthropocene.  Largely local, Indigenous and endogenous in emphasis are these initiatives. By bridging, connecting, leveraging, supporting and working together to form healthy, strong mutually dynamic relationships for climate action and biodiversity / ecological  regeneration, Rootbridge seeks to support pathways to renewal and a rising new epoch of the Ecocene. The Ecocene opens to a period where the living Earth is resurgent, and we come into harmony with our own true natures.

Deep ecology, rather than the shallow ecology of sustainable development frames, informs and grounds this receptive, responsive engagement.

Rootbridge is also about recognizing our own roots: roots as ancestry, and roots as linking to back to the Indigenous / Earth wisdom and spirituality which is present across all of humanity.  It values the stories, the challenges, the gifts and teachings that have brought us all here to this present moment of Being. Not only can we learn from, protect and support the Indigenous biocultures that have survived and evolved over the centuries into present day-- but we may also, through a path of spiritual ecology and reawakening to our interconnection with all life, come to recall the ways in which humanity may live in harmony with and as nature. We are all from the Earth, of the Earth, and return in our cycles back to the Earth, again and again.

 

Root Relationships, Teachings and Initiatives

Rootbridge Ecosystems was born through working with interfaith, bioculturally-informed, indigenous and endogenous local-to-local climate and ecology networks and movements.  These networks form, interact and behave in the interconnective and cooperative ways of organisms, ecosystems linked across eco-tones and integrating into the self-regulating Gaian Earth system. Their initiatives are as diverse and unique as the people and social-ecology-cultures who engage with them.  

Initiatives include building alternative nature-based, ecologically responsible and climate-smart market systems (ranging from food systems to textiles and clothing, household items, health care and beauty, sustainable technologies and much more covering all processes from soil to packaging, distribution and recycling / upcycling);  facilitating ecotemples, eco-mosques, eco-churches and ecovillages / eco-community centers; biodiversity restoration as climate mitigation, risk reduction, adaptation and resilience; biodiversity regeneration as an aspect of Right Livelihoods, sustainable food systems and food forests, permaculture, organics; zero waste campaigns; climate and ecology outreach education and trainings; urban greening; sustainable and green energy systems; and many more initiatives, programs and community / systemic eco-transitions.

In this work, it has beens recognized that there are still great challenges and gaps as these networks and their affiliates emerge from a dominant industrialized exponential growth era with siloed institutions and dynamics of power, structural violence and extractive, exploitative mechanisms.   

Limitations include insufficient time and overstressed organizational and individual capacities, lack of awareness of what others are doing and how they are doing it (wasted time / resources from not leveraging shared experiential knowledge across like-minded actors), lack of awareness of other actors or potential partners / collaborators, limits to skills and technical know-how, overstretched resources and funds; lack of access to certain circles of engagement,and influence, along with other gaps and challenges.

Many affiliates across these growing networks and movements make the decision to start with what they have, to make the road by walking,  refusing to ‘wait for permission.’ Due in large part to this decision, rapid, catalysing and inspiring whole-systems eco-action has rippled across communities and regions, with a marked shift in awareness and action.  Nevertheless, the above noted gaps and challenges slow the potential catalysing of learning and engagement, and diminish the potential of these emerging earth-based modalities.

Rootbridge, responsively and dynamically, serves to bridge these gaps, leverage capacities, strengthen the sprouting new life, the fledgling markets, the emerging biodiversity recovery analog forestry climate network actors-- to support and strengthen what already exists and is emerging from local, endogenously-derived actions.

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