Thanksgiving weekend I was thinking about the growth of the Ecosystem Restoration Movement in the Netherlands. I am beginning to see 5 steps ahead and then the long path to success.
First Step: I think the way forward is to join together to create a robust and resilient mass movement where we all state our intention to work together to restore the Earth – namely increasing organic soils, propagating and planting out mainly indigenous and endemic trees and infiltrating and retaining moisture. We can’t restore the Earth without engaging everyone so we are all sharing 10 Euros per Month (Those who can give more) to grow the foundation and the movement. The more members the stronger we will be as long as we are modest in our administrative costs and all but a bare minimum goes to camp creation and operation. Perhaps using mainly retired people who do not depend on the income to help administer.
Second Step: Those who are able to lead and organize should begin to choose dates and activities that need to be done and use the huge growing network to publicize them. Get 10 or 20 people or more if you need to join in some activities. Rik Armando Ridder, Sonne Copijn, Tante Myrthe, Wouter van Eck, Marc Dekens, and others are planning activities in the Netherlands. I would recommend weekly activities with different teams organizing different weeks and as many volunteers as necessary joining to have effective efforts.
Third Step: The activities ideally will create satisfaction within the entire group and natural leaders will identify themselves and distinguish themselves through accomplishments. From these activities the community should grow larger and stronger and we will be continuously engaging many in sequestering carbon in the soil, infiltrating and retaining moisture and protecting and encouraging biodiversity.
Fourth Step: From these activities can emerge communities of action that share the common goal of collaborating to restore the Earth. These communities can come together in Visioning Co-Creation Councils (We are pioneering a strategy like this is California now) where a collective consciousness about how to move forward can be identified. The various available land options for camps can be discussed and perhaps even all can be accepted and then plans made to create the camps in each chosen locality.
Fifth Step: As the Activities, Communities, Foundation and Movement grows stronger Camps are designed and established in the Netherlands where ongoing large-scale composting, tree nurseries and water harvesting can be studied, taught and implemented. All institutions and individuals that wish to collaborate should be welcomed to use the camps. This can involve NGO’S, government agencies, Universities, Schools, Corporations. All should be welcome to learn and participate. Simultaneously the Netherlands Restoration Community can begin to help design and build infrastructure to serve in other parts of the world. Composting toilets, Solar Saunas, Yurts, Teepees, green houses, mobile kitchen units. etc.
From this point the movement should continue to grow the supporting membership and continue to grow camps around the world. In a few years we will see that we have collectively helped to change the course of human history to a survivable and sustainable civilization.
There will be years and decades of work. Generations even but this is what we are called to do now. Future generations will look back at this time and evaluate whether we did what we could to ensure the quality of their lives or not. Let’s go camping and restore a little bit of paradise every day.
-John D Liu, Founder Ecosystem Restoration Camps