What is a Department of Bioregion?
Departments of Bioregion are movement hubs for local communities to define and grow their capacity to solve important problems consistent with their own needs and with the ecosystems around them. Each Department researches and maintains bioregional maps, educational presentations and written material, an ecoregional encyclopedia, and a directory of bioregional organizations and organizers. In addition, they undertake and partner on local campaigns, build bioregional identity, define the carrying capacity of each ecoregion, determine metrics for fighting climate change, and research strategies and technologies appropriate for each place.
The Department of Bioregion is a 501(c)3 organization that educates about bioregionalism and creating a network of interdependent bioregional movements around the world. We seek to build Departments of Bioregion in each bioregion and ecoregion. Departments of Bioregion have autonomous leadership teams, grows networks of members, and sponsors projects and groups to achieve goals that it sets out for itself.
Why a Department of Bioregion?
Our Theory of Change
Symbols are powerful. Not by themselves, but because of the power and tradition people imbue in them.
Rather than a State Department, we are a Bioregion Department. We promote bioregionalism as a viable alternative to capitalism and the nation state, and as a place based solution to contemporary problems facing our planet.
Indeed bioregionalism, the idea of living in connection to and within the confines of a place, in a sustainable, ethical manner, and when needing to step beyond those borders do so in a responsible way, is an alternative that has been the dominant way of living for the sum duration of human existence. A philosophy which has been intentionally disrupted and erased over the past several hundred years to support the narratives of colonialism, nationalism and capitalism; such as the inevitable separation, exploitation, extraction and domination from natural resources, as well as the supposed and necessary social woes from each.
Our goal is to build teams of barefoot and grassroot cartographers, geographers and organizers to subvert and subsume harmful and toxic language, narratives and symbols, and infuse these dominant power structures with a healthier and necessary way of living. We want to develop bioregional movements where our own information and models are housed, all over the world, each one responsible for a discrete bioregion and ecoregion. No political or economic motive other than improving the well being of our inhabitants and planet, and each accessible to everyone – not walled off, as scientific centers so often are, from the lives of ordinary people or from the realities of political processes. These movements would be at home with farmers, miners, planners, and heads of government and they would be able both to listen to, and talk to, all of them.
We are all the experts that we have been waiting for. We must be the leaders who do the hard work to begin reconnecting and rooting ourselves back into the places we live. By shifting the framework away from these colonial narratives and into bioregional ones, we are able to have conversations, and occupy spaces in ways that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to. In addition, for ourselves – it changes how we think, how we act and how we respond.
Every map we see is an imagined geography. What reality, what vision, do you want to share?
Using the principles of Bioregionalism – what would Departments of Bioregion look like? How would we respond to different issues? How do we work with indigenous organizers to create a movement or government? What is the population or GDP? What are the rivers, watersheds, forests, etc? We’re compiling these now – and it’s incredible that they don’t exist in current colonial frameworks, many of whom have spent centuries destroying any evidence of bioregional cultures and ways of living. Governments and corporations have specific economic and political agendas they promote through their information – and by creating grassroots and citizen led maps, information and resources – we create effective counter narratives that can inspire us to the changes we need to see.
Ultimately — institutions have their own power, traditions and language — and by subverting them, and infusing it with bioregionalism and our own principles — we begin our own shift towards those ends. Communities build these connections and affinities through shared language and cultural values — music, sports, work, hobbies, interests, activities, gatherings, fun, grief — transmitted through common media and events that build perceived connections. Just as Nations are imagined communities, they replicate themselves through maps, symbols, visual mediums and shared stories. Those shared values — the American & Canadian identities of consumerism, growth, manifest destiny — are all embedded within those models.
By seizing and creating our own symbols, our own narratives — we can begin a process of deconstructing these harmful systems, and envisioning what true & just alternatives might look like.
So what is the planet and the future you would like to see? Join with us to make that a reality.
Quick Reference Guide:
- What is a Department of Bioregion?
- Start a Department of Bioregion
- Bioregional Directory
- Find Your Bioregion
Depts of Bioregion:
- Have Leadership Team
- Maintain a Dept Website
- Grow a Bioregional Encyclopedia
- Grow a Bioregional Directory
- Connect and Empower Similar Movements
- Share Updates
- Maintain a Social Media Presence.
- Build a 501(c)3 Membership Base
- Organize activities which build Cultural Identity
- Sponsor Bioregional Projects
- Connect with other Bioregional Movements around the world to empower each.