Additional Information on the Foundation for Deep Ecology

Additional Information on the Foundation for Deep Ecology


* FDE believes that mankind’s current problems are largely rooted in the following circumstances:

  • a lost awareness of “the intrinsic value and sacredness of the natural world”;
  • “the assumption of human superiority to other life forms,” and “the idea that Nature is mainly here to serve human will and purpose”;
  • “the prevailing economic and development paradigms of the modern world, which place primary importance on the values of the market, not on Nature”;
  • “the conversion of Nature to commodity form, the emphasis upon economic growth as a panacea, [and] the industrialization of all activity, from forestry to farming to fishing, even to education and culture”;
  • “the rush to economic globalization, cultural homogenization, commodity accumulation, urbanization, and human alienation”;
  • “technology worship and an unlimited faith in the virtues of science”; and
  • “overpopulation, in both the overdeveloped and the underdeveloped worlds, placing unsustainable burdens upon biodiversity and the human condition.”

* FDE identifies several spinoff and associated organizations with which it works very closely. These include:

  • The Conservation Land Trust (CLT), created by FDE founder Doug Tompkins, was established in 1993 “to acquire wildlands for conservation in Chile and Argentina, both directly and through grant assistance to other stewarding organizations.” CLT’s modus operandi is similar to that of the Nature ConservancyTrust for Public Land, and the Conservation Fund—i.e., it acquires specific parcels of land and thereafter thwarts the initiation of any development efforts or logging projects on the land. In 2002, FDE itself launched a major program initiative to increase emphasis on this type of land acquisition in South America as a form of wildlands conservation.
  • The Wildlands Project (WP), established at a November 1991 FDE-hosted meeting in San Francisco, has been heavily funded by FDE. WP is devoted to “restoring the native biodiversity of North America and ‘rewilding’ endangered landscapes from Canada to Central America.” Working from the premise that existing protected areas are too small and too fragmented to sustain healthy ecosystems and wide-ranging animals, WP seeks to stitch together an interconnected system of large core reserves that can sustain roaming animals and plants, linked by corridors and surrounded by buffer zones.
  • The International Forum on Globalization (IFG) — created by FDE co-founder Jerry Mander and heavily funded by FDE — helped organize the massive 1999 anti-globalization, anti-World Trade Organization protests (which devolved into violent riots) in Seattle and Washington, DC. The Foundation for Deep Ecology originally conceived, housed, and funded the IFG, which has since become an independent nonprofit organization.
  • The (now defunct) International Forum on Food and Agriculture, an FDE spinoff, similarly opposed globalization, stating: “One of the more tragic consequences of economic globalization has been its effects on agriculture: farms, farm livelihoods, the quality and availability of food, as well as on the soil, air, water and public health…. Most of the world’s people still live on the land, but because of globalization, they are now being forced to give way to multinational corporations. So, where we once had small farmers growing diverse food crops to sustain local communities, we now have giant global agribusinesses, growing monocultures of luxury products like cotton, beef, potted plants, and exotic vegetables to export to already wealthy markets. Small farmers and laborers are being replaced by machines and pesticides.”

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