DEEP Forest (by Alberto Gomes)

We welcome you to join us on our journey in search for knowledge about dialogue, peace, nonviolence, conflict transformation, empathy and sound ecological practices. What we learn will guide and shape our mission of fostering a peaceful and ecologically regenerative world. Our journey will resemble a trek into the depths of a dense forest. We commence by exploring the well-travelled paths in the forest, radiating from the centre (the global north and capital cities), peppered with potholes and pitfalls and leading to a dead-end (the demise of humanity). Before long, we shall head south taking the off-beaten tracks. Our walk in the forest will be a journey into the past to arrive at a better future. It will by no means be a ‘walk in the park’; at times we might get lost as we try to gain a perspective of the forest in the maze of the trees and we will also have to grapple with the forces that degrade and destroy the forests. But there will be pleasant surprises as we navigate the twists and turns, uphill and downstream. The natural beauty of the forest, its luxuriant flora, the melodic sounds of cicadas, birds, and calls of the other creatures, big and small, will bewilder and mesmerize. Along the way we will meet the forest indigenes who we will come to appreciate have more than their remarkable knowledge of the forest to offer us. Their social ecological philosophies and practices form the basis of their good living (buen vivir), that is living in peace and harmony among fellow humans and with nature. We will delve into their different ways of knowing and their cultures of peace ecology to help us challenge conventional ‘wisdom’, dispel myths, and formulate alternative pathways to good living in which peace and regeneration (social, economic and ecological) are integral and salient features.