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About Us

Our Values

About this Website

Board of Trustees

About Us

Never before in the evolutionary history of our Earth has the whole ecosystem been so endangered by the actions of the human race as to threaten the life-support system of the planet. It is in response to this realisation that the Foundation for GAIA has been set up. Gaia, the name of the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth, represents the living being of this planet as embodied in all its life-forms and ecosystems.

The Foundation for GAIA is an international humanitarian foundation with a global outlook that operates worldwide. It is non-profit-making, non-governmental and non-denominational. With headquarters located in the UK, the Foundation for GAIA, founded in 1983, was formally established as a registered charity (No 327843) under the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

It calls for humankind to act in partnership with nature in protecting the complex life-support system of the planet, to husband resources appropriately, to modify ecological relationships wisely, to establish satisfactory recycling mechanisms in harmony with natural ones, to develop clean energy sciences and to move towards a new ecological economic system that makes a clear distinction between wholesome and cancerous forms of growth.

We work in partnership with a variety of groups around the world.  We support the work of grassroots organisations in the South, as well as representing NGOs at international forums such as at the United Nations and its various bodies in Geneva and Vienna, and work ceaselessly, with our partners, to put environmental and human rights issues on the international agenda and to work together to achieve our vision of an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable and equitable world.

Our Values

With a view towards an equitable and humane world, the Foundation posits that a fundamental human right is that of living within a balanced bio-system, where the health of that bio-system is seen as integral to the flourishing of human life. The ecological ethic involves identification with the whole of nature, from the smallest life form to the planet itself and the evolutionary forces that prevail at that level.

We believe that every living being is unique, and respect for the diverse cultural, spiritual, social and ethnic values of the human race is paramount to our philosophy.

Our priority is to work in partnership with individuals and organisations who are taking action motivated by true global perspectives in which people, society and nature are given full recognition as part of a larger evolving and fundamentally interconnected whole. Individuals and organisations working as catalysts for the transformation of human consciousness are an important part of this ecological work, because it is from such a shift that a new set of fundamental assumptions about human life will emerge.


About this Website

Throughout all these years students, teachers and NGOs colleagues have told us how useful the  website of the Foundation for GAIA has been to them. In creating this new website, we have made it a point to keep this informative format that includes general information on a particular topic and supplies many links so that people have easy access to information related to the environment.

We are well aware that there are many for whom English is not the main language and so we have made an additional effort, whenever possible, not to use jargon but to use easy to understand language. We have also written this so as to be useful for primary and secondary school students and links are provided for those needing to engage in more research. The Foundation for GAIA is as much an educational organization as one involved with a variety of projects worldwide.

 

The Foundation ƒor GAIA - The Current Board of Trustees

TEDDY GOLDSMITH passed away on August 21, 2009

If is with immense sadness that we inform all our friends and supporters that Teddy has died peacefully in his sleep on August 21, 2009.  He was a passionate, warm-hearted and persistent champion of the Environment (with a capital E) as the environment did not stop for him with the natural world, but related to all that was by nature formed and infused. As a pioneer, he was one of the first to promote the interdependent and inter-retaled aspects of systems within the ecological agenda, be this from the importance of humans, from economic, educational and social systems.

He was a real family man, a real gentleman and a real rebel who felt at home and at ease with the most diverse people. He was always interested in what was happening in the world and nearer home and it comes as no surprise that this commitment was put into action by him becoming the  founder the the UK's People Party  (later  to become the Green Party), being a prolific writer and creating one of the word's first environmental magazines called The Ecologist, which is still considered as one of the most important ones today.

We want to express our gratitude, our thanks and our delight for having been able to have Teddy's company on our Board for over 20 years and has contributed much to our work. Teddy expressed and showed that he took great pride in his immediate family and in his bigger extended family, and it is with a heavy heart that we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Katherine, his five children and his many nieces, nephews and grand-children. Teddy's life has made a difference to many and has helped to create a new paradigm for the XXth century,  and will be his biggest and lasting legacy.


EILEEN NOAKES

Counsellor, Mediator, Founder Member of the Scientific and Medical Network, Vice-Chair Friends of Dartington, Hon. Secretary Friends of Nzega, providing aid to Tanzania. Formerly: Religious Advisor to Television SW, Co-ordinator and Training officer Victim Support South Hams, three year's freelance mediation work for Kingsbridge Police, prior to setting up South Hams Mediation Scheme, and training volunteers. Chair of Kingsbridge Empowering Youth, Member of Steering Committee of Magna Housing Association to set up a Foyer, Scheme for homeless young people in Kingsbridge, Assessor Rent Guarantee Scheme for homeless people in Kingsbridge. Made one Mediation Study trip to the former Yugoslavia during the war, and one as a Mediator to a Conference attended by representatives of every Balkan Country. Three working trips to Nzega. Attended the Women's Conference in Sarajevo during the Balkan war. Has spoken at conferences in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, India, America and Canada. Joined the Board in 1988.


JAMES ZUBIN POPE

Currently working as a researcher at BBC Monitoring in Caversham, London. EA (Masters) in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, focussing on the Middle East. DEA in International Relations, HEI Geneva and BA Hons in Experimental Psychology, Oxford. Internships at UNHCR, OMCT, UNICEF in Geneva, Switzerland and Science & Arts Foundation in Tehran, Iran. Founder of TravelAid, Oxford. Humanitarian Projects: International Solidarity Movement (Palestine), Prometheus (Republic of Georgia), Prisorners of Conscience (UK) and Camino de Vida (Peru). Joined the Board in 2005.


JONATHON PORRITT

An eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. His most recent book is Capitalism, as if the World matters (Earthscan, 2005). Co-Founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world’s leading companies. It offers a solutions-oriented approach to today's environmental and social problems, developing strategic partnerships across different sectors. Jonathon is also a senior advisor to the UK Prime Minister on environmental issues. He was appointed Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission - the Government's principal source of independent advice across the whole sustainable development agenda. In addition, he is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Programme which runs Senior Executives' Seminars in Cambridge, Salzburg, South Africa and the USA. Jonathon is a Trustee of WWF UK, a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency, a Vice-President of the Socialist Environment Resources Association (SERA). He was formerly co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member, Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); chairman of UNED-UK (1993-96); chairman of Sustainability South West, the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development (1999-2001). He received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection. He also is a Columnist for BBC Wildlife & NFU Countryside. Joined the Board in 1988.


VITA de WAAL

Widely travelled from a very early age, Vita had contact with a wide variety of  indigenous cultures and experienced the powerful living approach of a spirituality blended with all aspects of daily life. A prolific networker, she is actively engaged in humanitarian and environmental strategies with a focus on sustainable development, water management and biodiversity, with a specific concern for nomadic populations. She worked for 10 years at the Findhorn Foundation in what was to become one of the first NGOs to create the eco-village concept and that was recently found to have the lowest ecological footprint ever measured in the industrialized world. Workshop leader and international conference coordinator, she lectured at conferences and universities in Europe, the USA and India She is currently Executive Trustee of the Foundation for Gaia (UK), Director of Altea Publishing (UK), Vice-President of the Institute for Planetary Synthesis (IPS), Main Representative to the UN for the Planetary Association for Clean Energy (PACE, Canada), Chair of the United Nations NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns (CSVGC ) and Chair of the Working Group 'Sacred Knowledge and Sacred Sites' (CH). She has recently joined the IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas Specialist Group CSVPA on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas. She joined the Board 1984.

She was awarded the  Accademia dei Georgofili Medal for salvage of rare agricultural texts as a "Mud Angel" during the 1966 Florence floods.


FRANCO ZUNINO

Italian conservationist, former Ranger in the Gran Paradiso National Park, former staff member of the Abruzzo National Park, biologist of the Abruzzo Brown Bear, member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission - Bear Specialist Group. Associate Editor of the "International Journal of Wilderness" published by the WILD Foundation (US) and on the International Board of Senior Advisers of the Listening Point Foundation (US) which promotes Sigurd F Olson's philosophy and builds upon his legacy in the field of wilderness education. Prolific writer, photographer and eminent commentator on wilderness philosophy: man as an harmonic, inseparable part of the natural world, and the need to preserve it not only for scientific or economic purposes, but for a spiritual need too. Pioneer of the Italian wilderness movement. Co-founder and General Secretary of Associazione Italiana Wilderness, has pioneered working relationships with municipalities and regional governments that led to proclamations of 58 new wilderness areas throughout Italy. AIW adopted two key words as a concept in dealing with the public: the first was self-resolution where local people, not higher authority, took responsibility for the preservation of their own "environmental treasure" - the second is rational use of renewable resources where rational hunting, rational woodcutting, and rational pasturage are proposed and accepted for wilderness areas. AIW is working on rational recreation use inspired by the principle of carrying capacity. Thus they have enjoyed the cooperation of the resource users without which it is almost impossible to obtain local acceptance for environmental preservation in Italy. He was proclaimed on of the Wilderness Pioneers at Wild9. He joined the Board in 1985.

Former Trustees Former Trustees

Naseeb Dajani – A human and social development specialist. Former Project Director at UNESCO and Director of Technical Assistance of the Vivamos Mejor Foundation in Switzerland. Founder and Director of the Global Harmony Foundation in Switzerland. On the Board from 1985 to 2001.

Teddy Goldsmith -  Publisher, editor, author, lecturer and campaigner. Founder (1969) of The Ecologist; President of the Climate Initiatives Fund, Richmond, UK; Board Member of the International Forum on GlobalizationSan Francisco, USA; presented a series of talks "World Business Report" on the BBC World Service (2003); taught courses on ecology at various universities in the USA.   Awards: Honorary Right Livelihood Award (1991 (Stockholm) - Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, 1991 - Best Book of the Year" award for "Ecological and Transformational Politics" from the American Political Science Association, for “The Case Against the Global Economy: and for a turn towards the local”, co-edited with Jerry Mander, 1997. Joined the Board in 1988 till 2009

Willis Harman - We have been honoured to have had the presence,  active participating and precious advise of Willis who was on our Board of Trustees till the end of his life. Prolific writer and lecturer, he was President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences; Co-founder, Fellow and Trustee of the World Business Academy; former consultant to the White House's National Goals Research Staff; on Board of Directors of the Albert Hoffman Foundation; Director of the Center for the Study of Social Policy at SRI International; former Director of the Educational Policy Research Center at SRI; vice president of the International Foundation for Advanced Studies; Regent of the University of California. He was Emeritus Professor of Engineering-Economic Systems at Stanford University and for sixteen years was Senior Social Scientist at SRI International in Menlo Park, California.He was President on the Board of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. On the Board from 1985 till 1997.

Sandra Kramer – Former editor and director of Findhorn Press, editorial staff member of “One Earth” magazine and independent member of the Findhorn Foundation. Co-founder and editor of Altea Publishing, Sandra is currently Director of Wild Goose Publications, the publishing house of the Iona Community. Secretary General and Treasurer of the Foundation for Gaia since joining in 1985.

José Lutzenberger  ‘Lutz’ stayed on our Board of Trustees till his passing in 2002. A former chemical engineer with BASF, a multinational company, he changed sides to become Brazil's foremost environmental campaigner and was one of the pioneers of Brazil's environmental movement. In 1971 he helped to found Agapan, Brazil's first green non-governmental organisation, and became its president. Lutzenberger was also one of the first to denounce the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. In 1987 he left Agapan to become president of Fundação Gaia in Brazil. He received the Right Livelihood Award in 1988, one of the 85 awards he won for his work. In 1989 the election was won by Fernando Collor who appointed Jose Lutzenberger as the Minister of the Environment whom he mandated to stop the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest. Lutz played a major role in opposing the Polonoroeste Project, the financing by the World Bank of a mayor road through the Amazon forest. He took his fight to the US Congress as this project was detrimental to the biodiversity of the rainforests, the rubber tappers and the Indians, their knowledge and culture. The Project was stopped but hundreds of thousands of square miles of forest were destroyed. He was also instrumental in the recognition and protection of the land of the Yanomami Indians by the Brazilian government. After a visit to Highgrove, Prince Charles visited the Amazon in 1991 hosting an environmental gathering aboard the Royal Yacht. Lutzenberger resigned from government disgusted by the corruption he encountered. In 1992 Rio hosted the biggest UN conference on the environment and development, the first Earth Summit. He visited instead and gave a talk at the parallel alternative summit. He dedicated the remainder of his life to his beloved Gaia corner, his writings and his daughters, both biologists. On the Board from 1985 till 2002.

Azad Shivdasani Chairman of the multinational Inlaks Group of Companies, a diverse organization with business interests in India, the maldives, West Africa and the United Kingdom. For over twenty five years he has been a trustee of the Inlaks Foundation, one of the leading educational charities offereing scholarships for Indian students to further their higher education at leading academic institutions in Europe and North America. Director (1985-1995) and Treasurer (1988-1993) of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). On the Board from 1985, resigned in 1993

Jakob von UexkullFounder (1980) of the The Right Livelihood Award, co-founder (1984) of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) A writer, lecturer, professional philatelist and past Member of the European Parliament. As an MEP he served on the Political Affairs Committee and the Science and Technology Committee. He was also a member of the Delegation for Relations with the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Baltic Intergroup (1987-89). In 1993 he founded The Estonian Renaissance Award and in 2004 the World Future Council (WFC) He is a former trustee of the New Economics Foundation (London), a patron of Friends of the Earth International and a member of the Global Commission to Fund the United Nations. He has served on the Board of Greenpeace, Germany, and is currently on the Council of Governance of Transparency International. He also lectures and consults widely and has recently proposed a World Future Council of planetary elders, pioneers and youth leaders, acting as a global conscience, speaking up for our ethical values as global citizens and in the interests of future generations. He joined the Foundation for Gaia Board in 1988 and resigned in the summer of 2004.

Elrie de Waal-Bruning Founder of The Foundation for Gaia (UK) Major donor of the Foundation for Gaia. Elrie travelled extensively in Europe, Peru, Central America, China and Afghanistan, a country that she visited on various occasions. Towards the latter part of her life she became concerned about the environment and became an active member of various organizations, e.g. the Cousteau Society, Earth Life, Survival International and the Business Network Switzerland, which was promoting social responsibilities and ethics in the business environment. On the Board in from 1985 till 1992†

 

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