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Date: Oct 05, 2017 - Start:06:30 PM - End:07:30 PM

North Central Michigan College’s International Committee will present an illuminating lecture about a great sustainability program in the Peruvian Amazon on Thursday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 311 of the Health Education and Science Center on the Petoskey campus. This lecture is free and open to the public. No reservations are necessary.

VASI, translated Amazonian Vision for an Integrated Sustainability, works with nine communities in the Peruvian Amazon to combat the growing pressures from industries, violence and illegal activities threatening biodiversity of the region and the livelihoods of its residents.

Nancy Dammann, Ph.D., VASI’s international facilitator, and Edgardo Gomez Pisco, VASI’s local facilitator, will present their vision for sustainability in the Amazon and connect it to similar challenges that northern Michigan faces. Dr. Dammann, originally from Charlevoix, MI, has been working in the Amazon region of Peru for more than 20 years. She and Mr. Gomez Pisco have teamed up with local community leaders, students and professionals to come up with a vision for sustainability in all forms in the Amazon. Their organization, VASI, works from a collaborative framework, creating teams of community members and experts and students from an array of fields—everything from medicine to chocolate making, engineering and arts to fishing, law, and psychology—to address pressing local and global issues. They will give an insightful talk on what it takes to help rural communities face growing pressures and changes, how to support community efforts to maintain resiliency, and how to work in a way that disrupts colonizing structures. They hope that this project will serve as a model or inspiration for collaborative projects in communities around the world.

Edgardo Gomez Pisco was born, raised, and remains a permanent resident of a small rural town in the Peruvian Amazon, he has more than 30 years of work in local politics, governance, and collaboration with national and international non-governmental organizations and researchers.

Nancy M. Dammann, Ph.D., is a Political Ecologist/Conservation Biologist with a focus on resilience, community based governance, landscape, and community. She has more than 20 years of experience in Latin America.

For more information, contact North Central instructor, Kerri Finlayson at or 231-348-6653.