Introduction to a Bioregional Movement

More than just geography or people, a place based bioregional movement has several specific characteristics that define it.

If it is listed on our website, it means that we are working with individuals to build bridges with each movement, and who are actively working to grow resources and introduce bioregional principles and movement building into each.

The Core Principles of a Bioregional Movement

A Bioregional Movement works for:

  • An Independent Bioregion. A bioregional movement works for an independent, and interdependent bioregion. This means moving away from colonial & national borders and boundaries, and celebrating indigenous & holistic ways of living best adapted for the diversity of different watersheds. This includes increasing our autonomy on a political, social, cultural and economic level, and working to better fit into a global supply chain in a manner that is responsible, sustainable and ethical. The people who live here are better able to represent our needs, rather than those thousands of miles away with little or no vested interest in our well being or livelihoods.

  • A Watershed based approach. No matter the conext, it starts with the watersheds that make up a bioregion, and works to shift from that nationalist persepctive to a bioregional one.

  • A Bioregional Economy. Works to keep wealth local, supports local businesses and a local economy where discussions about how that economy can have a direct impact. Within that, a bioregional supply chain that works to produce and create as much as we can from here, while fitting into a global supply chain in a manner which is responsible, equitable, sustainable and just.

  • Community Resiliency & Empowerment. Works to build the self reliance, sustainability, networking and locally based disaster preparedness of each watershed and bioregion, as well as to increase the representation of each community to represent the issues important to them, and ensure that those most impacted by an issue have the final say. This includes building bioregional networks, building disaster preparedness networks, supporting local fibersheds, locally grown food and real food in schools and public buildings rather than with trans-national corporations.

  • Dynamic and Open Governance. For a government that is by, and for, and of the people, and is accountable and transparent to them. This includes local democracy, examples of direct democracy, decentralizing existing centralized power structures, using delegates rather than representatives, access into the governmental systems by any who want to be a part, and an infusion of democracy into a representational system. We support policies that bring our government into the 21st century that are accountable and transparent, and allow for every person to substantially participate in the issues that most affect their lives. This includes increasing citizen and community empowerment, participation and representation, Implementing new models of government that are decentralized, delegative, democratic and open source. Increasing transparency and accountability in all governing.

  • Environmental Sustainability and Bioregionalism. Bioregional movements grow the inter-dependence, sustainability, autonomy and resiliency of their watersheds, ecoregions and bioregions. This includes growing caborn neutrality and net-negative impacts, but also growing regenerative ecosystems, cultures and economies. We start from our watersheds as a framework, guided by key principles, to break global issues down to a local level and move our actions and impacts to where individuals have the greatest say in the issues that affect their lives. In addition, bioregionalism reflects perhaps one of the most important, yet least known or understood philosophies that may exist today. There will be no one right answer, or one right solution. Rather it will be hundreds of solutions working together, adapting to fit different needs of different backgrounds, locations and contexts, to achieve the real change that we want to see. Together, bioregionalism provides a unifying set of principles and organizing methodology, and is a powerful tool for connecting and breaking down large, urgent global issues to specific areas, and creating simple, accessible pathways for action and change. Every bioregional movement works to adapt the principles of bioregionalism into direct, tangible impacts in their watersheds.

  • Increasing the Livability and Well Being of the Bioregion and it’s inhabitants. This includes supporting, partnering, connecting with, leading and raising awareness for anything that improves the well being of the inhabitants of the Cascadia bioregion. We treat these issues as our own, and understand that each person and each communities will have their own priorities. None of these are better than any other – and in fact, it will take each working in tandem to create the change we want to see.

  • Indigenous Sovereignty. Bioregionalists support indigenous sovereignty and ways of living, especially those that are adapted over hundreds of years for each area, or that are regenerative in ways that we can begin to heal the damage of where we are living. Bioregionalists build confederation and provide solidarity, leadership, and space for indigenous communities to take the lead where they see fit around common shared principles we have all worked to establish. This starts with round table discussions with each First Nation and group to explore what decolonization looks like, what reconciliation looks like, and what a joint pathway for this future looks like and to come to agreements with each, and majority and consensus approval from all. We work around these agreements from our core principles, and do not support governments or groups that put forward exclusionary ways of being based on race or ethinicity, or that seek to act against people based on their origin, or where they come from.

  • Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Personal Freedoms. Cascadians believe there are personal guarantees and freedoms that the government cannot abridge, including freedom of expression, speech, the press, assembly, the right to privacy, to control one’s own body and data, and the pursuit of happiness, so long as it does not infringe or violate the rights of others.