Bioregional Project

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Bioregional Project

Based in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, the Bioregional Project (BP) was founded in 1982 to promote the aims and interests of the bioregional movement in North America. Consisting primarily of a resource center designed to show people how to "come back home to Earth," the Bioregional Project is part of the international campaign to reshape culture and society according to ecological principles: "We work for the honor, protection and healing of the Earth, the Earth's people, and all the Earth's life."

A bioregion is what the group calls a "life region," an area determined by natural rather than historical or political boundaries. It is distinguished by the character of the flora and fauna , by the landforms, the types of rocks and soils, the climate in general, and by human habitation as it relates to this environment . The Bioregional Project emphasizes the natural logic of these boundaries, and it promotes the development of social and political institutions that take into account the interrelatedness of everything within them. They are working to increase the awareness that bioregions are "living, self-organizing systems," and they value humanity as one species among many. The Bioregional Project traces the roots of the movement to native and indigenous peoples and the "oldest Earth traditions." The group believes that ecological laws and principles form the basis of society and that the future survival of humanity depends on their ability to cooperate with the environment.

The Bioregional Project and the bioregional movement as a whole have strong ties to the international Green Movement, although bioregionalists consider themselves more "ecologically-centered." The Greens are oriented to urban areas, and they work for change in traditional political structures, operating within legislative as opposed to bioregional systems. The chief organizing tool of the bioregional movement is a model known as "the bioregional congress" or "green congress," where participants share information, develop ecological strategies, and draft planning programs and platform statements. The Bioregional Project convened the first bioregional congress in 1980 as the Ozark Community Congress (OACC), and it has since influenced both bioregional and green organizing throughout North America. The Project coordinated the first North American Bioregional Congress in 1984, an international assembly attended by over 200 people representing 130 organizations.

In addition to the assistance it provides for "those organizing bioregionally," the Bioregional Project also publishes books and pamphlets on bioregionalism and ecology . The organization sponsors lectures and educational presentations on these subjects as well. It supports research and lends technical assistance in a variety of areas from community economic development to recycling , sustainable agriculture , and forest protection. It is a subsidiary of the Ozarks Resource Center. Contact: Bioregional Project, Box 3, Brixley, MO 65618. telephone(417) 679 4773

[Douglas Smith ]