Keeping Ayahuasca Sustainable: Meet The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council
Ayahuasca is at a tipping point within our culture, fortunately there are people there to stop it going over the edge.
Ayahuasca continues to gain popularity, yet there is only so much of this finite Amazonian resource available. This begs the question as to how ayahuasca and the cultural significance it holds can remain sustainable, and weather the storm of mainstream interest. Fortunately there are people aiming to answer this question, let us introduce you to the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, and the great work they have been doing.
WHO IS THE ETHNOBOTANICAL STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL?
The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, or ESC for short, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the ensuring this wonderful and life changing Amazonian brew remains available to those who need it, whilst preserving ensuring it is used in a safe, educated and sensible manner.
The way they do this is by accommodating a common ground, bringing together all of the key players surrounding ayahuasca, and facilitating a dialog between them all to make sure that everyone is on the same page – key players being cultivators, recreational users, medical patients, experts, policy makers, healers, and pretty much anyone who has something to say on the matter.
It is hoped that through this work, key issues like conservation, ethics, safety, sustainability, and access can be agreed upon, eventually resulting in the Ayahuasca Agreement – being a “global consensus on principles and criteria for implementing and recognizing safer and more sustainable Ayahuasca cultivation and use from the ground up using globally recognized best practice.“ This way, an ayahuasca culture can be established that focuses on safe, certified practices, engages with communities and government officials, and remains ecologically sustainable.
Since its founding in 2013, the ESC has already achieved a lot, and continues to work hard in the pursuit of consensus on the responsible use of this brew and the plants used to make it. Their work and reports are available to download and read here. They give a great insight into just what they have discovered, what they plan to achieve, and how they plan on doing it.
Their work is an inspiration and a great example of how all aspects of society can come together to work towards a common goal when it comes to drugs. Many could learn from their example.