Altering the Nature of the World: Decentralising Humanity

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Wednesday 20 February

6.00pm for a 6.30pm start

Room 9, West Downs Quarter, University of Winchester, Romsey Road, Hampshire SO22 5HT

'Humans as Hyperkeystone Species: Rewilding, Reciprocity and Sacred Ecology’, a talk by Kara Moses

‘Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species - man - acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world’. These words were written by the ecologist Rachel Carson, remembered as the woman who pioneered the environmental movement through her book Silent Spring published in 1962. Carson presented an ecological view in which humans should not be superior to other life forms but rather as an equal partner with the multiple systems connecting the natural world. Although written with reference to the twentieth century it remains clear in the age of the Anthropocene that human beings are still altering the nature of the world, and not always with the best interests of our ecological systems at heart. Reflecting the necessity for human beings to reduce their negative impact on the natural world, the Institute for Theological Partnerships would like to focus in on what we can do as concerned individuals and communities, and why we should all do something. We have, as Carson states, the power to alter the nature of the world, but for the better.

In ecological terms, 'keystone species' such as beavers and wolves have a disproportionately large effect on their environment, often creating habitat for other species. A key element of rewilding and ecological regeneration is restoring these species where they have been lost from ecosystems – as they frequently have. But as keystone species ourselves, humans must be part of that rewilding. As influencers of other keystone species, humans could be described as a ‘hyperkeystone species’. We currently destroy more habitat than we create, but in reversing this we can find a reciprocal process of healing and wellbeing for both land and people. This talk will explore the positive role humans can have on ecosystems and the role of reciprocity and sacred ecology in rewilding.Kara Moses is a facilitator of all kinds of rewilding – landscapes, people, and society – offering experiential, educational courses in nature connection, spiritual ecology and skills for social change. She teaches and facilitates on short courses and Masters programs at the Centre for Alternative Technology, Schumacher College, the Ecodharma centre, Hawkwood College and St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace, where she is an Associate Fellow. She is Vice Chair of the Wales Wild Land Foundation, which is currently focused on rewilding land in mid Wales with the Cambrian Wildwood project. As a grassroots activist she has spent much of the last few years fighting the fossil fuel industry with Reclaim the Power and Plane Stupid, and as a freelance writer she contributes regularly to Resurgence and Ecologist magazine among others. She lives in an off-grid housing co-op in a core wilderness area in mid Wales with three dogs and five humans.

This talk will take place at the University of Winchester, West Downs Quarter on Romsey Road, tea and coffee served in the Link Gallery from 6pm and talks to begin at 6.30 pm in room 9.For further information please contact Brenda.Sharp@winchester.ac.ukInstitute for Theological Partnerships

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