The South Asia Bioregionalism Working Group (SABWG) is a voluntary network of members ‘reimagining ecoregional and bioregional governance for South Asia’. The group works to explore and highlight shared and connected ecologies and culture, through research, dialogue and action.
The SABWG website explains why they’re exploring bioregional governance:
“Experience over the last many decades indicates that current political and administrative boundaries, both within and between countries, are often not suitable for decision-making that indeed leads to ecological sustainability and livelihood security.
Existing political and administrative boundaries often cut across contiguous ecological and/or cultural landscapes, thereby disrupting the natural movement of wildlife and genes, as also the historical movements and links of communities (especially nomadic ones). So the idea is to rethink/relook at existing political and administrative boundaries, and consider transboundary or borderless or reconstituted approaches that respect Eco-Bio-Cultural linkages and contiguities.”
It was fantastic to meet with bioregional thinkers and advocates from the group, to discuss different concepts of ‘bioregionalism’ and to hear about their research and on-ground projects in a range of jurisdictions in South Asia. A shared concern was how best to articulate and address decolonisation in the field of bioregional governance. There were a number of participants from India in the workshop, and while the experiences of British Imperialism and colonisation in India and Australia are vastly different, there are also shared themes and it was extremely enriching to speak with bioregional advocates grappling with the very real challenges of deconstructing colonial thinking, rebuilding ancient practices and rethinking new ways forward. I’m looking forward to longer term collaboration between AELA, Greenprints and the SABWG.
To find out more about AELA’s awesome bioregional community program, please visit the Greenprints website, listen to some of our public talks and check out our past ‘Greenprints Exchange’ webinar series.