Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Trees — by Mongabay June 9, 2012
Originally published on Mongabay.com
An Eco-Ola permaculture plot with yuca, beans, sacha inchi, bananas, charapitas,
herba luisa, and moringa in the Peruvian Amazon.
Communities living in and around tropical forests remain highly dependent on forest products, including nuts, resins, fruit and vegetables, oils, and medicinal plants. But relatively few of these products have been successfully commercialized in ways that generates sustained local benefits. When commercialization does happen, outsiders or a few well-placed insiders usually see the biggest windfall. Large-scale exploitation can also lead to resource depletion or conversion of forests for monoculture-based production. The ecosystem and local people lose.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Dams, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Population, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Swales, Terraces, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 24, 2012
As most of our readers will know, John D. Liu caught a vision years ago, and, thankfully, he ran with it. We’ve shared John’s excellent media work before (see here and here), and today have the pleasure of doing so again….
This new video, Green Gold, was first aired last month on Dutch TV, and will be shared at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (to a captive audience of influential representative delegates during their dinner!), which is being held next month in Brazil (20-22 June 2012).
The video takes you to China, Jordan (more background on the PRI Jordan project here), Ethiopia, Rwanda and Bolivia, and features the PRI’s own Geoff Lawton (and a cameo appearance from Nadia!), who adds impetus and technical know-how to John’s impressive toolbox, as well as the ‘Permaculture Princess‘ (Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan), and others.
It’s the story of healing landscapes at scale, and, with it, restoring life, livelihoods, security and a future.Comments (6)
APC11 Presentation: Permaculture Disaster Response to Japan’s 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster, by Toru Sakawa
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conferences, Food Shortages, Nuclear — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor May 17, 2012
At the recent Australasian Permaculture Conference (APC11) held in Turangi, New Zealand, one of the highlights for me was hearing Toru Sakawa’s tale of permaculture aid work in very unusual circumstances. I say unusual, as the triple woes of having an earthquake and tsunami followed by a nuclear disaster is somewhat unprecedented. Some parts of Japan were suddenly left without food, fuel, water and many other supports that we generally take (a little too much) for granted, and efforts to help oneself were restricted for many by the need to stay inside, out of radioactive harms way.
It was inspiring to hear Toru share how he and his peers did their best to help people in coastal areas, and how permaculture played some part in enabling them to do so. Toru and his friends, with fuel supplies cut, made their own biofuels from waste oil, and used it to transport their permaculture produce, and other supplies, to the people who needed it. They also brought people back to care for them, and to give them time away from the more radioactive areas.
It should help remind us what permaculture is really about; that being to not only create permanence, but also resiliency against abrupt shocks to the system, and the compassionate care of the people around us.Comments (0)
Aid Projects, Building, Conservation, Irrigation, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Robert Cork May 14, 2012
A finished tyre tank stand
You may remember reading about the work of FoodWaterShelter to develop a sustainable home for vulnerable women and children in Tanzania. And you may recall their innovative approach to water storage. Well here’s another innovative use for old tyres — and one that may alleviate some potential concerns of unwittingly contaminating the environment through alternative uses of tyres.Comments (1)
Quail Springs Permaculture launches PDC for International Development Professionals and Social Entrepreneurs
Aid Projects, Courses/Workshops — by Warren Brush April 30, 2012
Permaculture Design Certification Course Hosts Roster of Instructors from around the World. Quail Springs Permaculture launches Permaculture Design Certification Course for International Development Professionals and Social Entrepreneurs.
Quail Springs, California
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Monetary assistance and training without stewardship ethics seems to be the standard for international aid today. With over 14 billion given by the U.S. Agency for International Development alone, it is increasingly important to ensure the results of aid are regenerative. Today, giving a man to fish, opposed to teaching him to fish, means that he will overfish. Quail Springs is not only teaching people how to “fish” but they are equipping people with the ethics and tools that lead to multi-generational ecological, social and economic sustainability. By using permaculture as a sustainable design framework to help secure community and individual stability, Quail Springs is innovating a new pathway for the international development community. Their upcoming Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC), taught by professionals with experience in international development projects, will teach participants sustainable systems thinking, design strategies and provide a comprehensive approach to permaculture as a tool for future development projects.
The instructors, hailing from Quail Springs Permaculture in southern California, all the way to Africa, span a gamete of professions whose various experiences make up an impressive group whose international efforts have seen much success.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Urban Projects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 28, 2012
Many of you know of the excellent work of the filmmaker, John D. Liu. Amongst other projects, John documented, over many years, the amazing transformation of China’s massive Loess Plateau from being a significantly degraded, and dangerous land (the vegetation-free landscape made for seriously destructive — even deadly — floods and soil erosion) to the much-improved state it’s in today (see here and here). John has also been turning his visionary eye to Africa and beyond…. For a little background on John and his work, this interview will help.
Well, John is now working on an important new documentary that will showcase the importance and potential of investing in natural capital and working with natural laws to restore invaluable ecosystem services — and at very large scale, as is needed at this historical juncture! Part of this documentary will be devoted to the work of Geoff and Nadia Lawton in Jordan, covering projects — and aspirations for their rollout on a larger scale — there.Comments (5)
Update on Progress on the Permaculture in Konso Schools Project and Our Last PDC at Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge, Konso, Ethiopia
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Alex McCausland March 22, 2012
An international student simultaneously gains permaculture knowledge and
experience, whilst supporting much-needed permaculture aid work
and project establishment — aka: The Permaculture Master Plan.
The latest PDC at Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge was a good step forward for us, as we managed to combine and integrate several objectives and deliver satisfactory results on all of them through the course of the program:
- Training a group of folks from various parts of the world to be permaculture designers
- Giving new impetus to, and gaining quality feedback on, our school’s permaculture outreach program
- Developing a plan for the next stage of that program.
Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Networking Sites, Urban Projects, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 14, 2012
I just wanted to share one of many expressions of gratitude we’ve received for our building and making the Worldwide Permaculture Network, launched a year ago, available to the world’s permaculturists.
Dear Geoff and team,
I am writing to advise you about an ambitious new permaculture project we are starting up in Bali this year. I have already posted a full Project Profile on www.permacultureglobal.com, under the heading Bukit Peninsula Sustainability Project. We have already attracted quite a bit of interest directly from that site, and have volunteers from around the world making their way to Bali to assist us at the end of this month.
I’d like to thank you for making the above website available to projects like ours for free — it has proven an excellent way of publicizing it and attracting interest.
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Irrigation, Land, Material, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Robert Cork March 9, 2012
Just outside of Arusha, Tanzania, is ‘Kesho Leo’– a sustainable home for vulnerable women and children operated by FoodWaterShelter. The principles of permaculture underpin the daily lives of the Kesho Leo residents. It is currently the home of seven families, each headed by a Tanzanian mama who cares for up to five children, including orphans. In addition to the daily essentials, Kesho Leo provides the many other aspects that a ‘home’ needs; access to family and social support, access to education and health, and very importantly – access to community.
Permaculture meeting the needs of the Kesho Leo residents
Revolving around the community and education aspects of Kesho Leo are the permaculture systems that strive to provide all of the food, water and energy needs of the residents. Basic needs of water, sanitation and power are provided through rainwater harvesting, innovative batch compost toilet systems, and solar power.Comments (7)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Forests, Irrigation, Potable Water, Village Development, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Warren Brush March 8, 2012
In a land of contrast, mystery and years of imperialism, a small village of over 300 people on the edge of the Kalahari in Namibia germinated a new permaculture resiliency project in January of 2012. In talking with the headman of the village, he shared that their people, the San Bushmen, have lived in harmony with the land as hunter gatherers for eons. They are often cited as the first peoples of Africa and very likely all of humanity may have descended from their ranks many millennia ago.
The village elder sadly shared that colonialism has destroyed the San migratory way of life — a hunter gatherer tradition that was sustainable for thousands of years. He told us that they were no longer allowed to roam freely and trophy hunters destroyed the vast herds of game that formed their principal supply of food. Both Black and White farmers alike built up huge herds of cattle that destroyed the ecology of the Kalahari and subsequently the foods that had been their staple diet. They soon found they had to work for the farmers to be able to feed their families and hence a cycle of poverty and separation from their cultural roots ensued.Comments (6)
Aid Projects, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Developments, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Elin Lindhagen February 28, 2012
FMNR workshop, Feb 2012, Kenya
Rusinga Island is situated in Lake Victoria in the Western parts of Kenya. It is known for its prehistoric findings of primate fossils dating from 17 million years ago and for being the birthplace of the famously assassinated Kenyan politician, Tom Mboya, whose scholarship fund enabled Barack Obama’s father to study abroad. Not too many years ago it was still known to be a beautiful forested island, rich in unique bird species and with access to great fishing. Today the island is considered a vulnerable ecosystem with marginal agricultural land, leading one author to call it ‘one of the driest and most environmentally marginal agricultural zones in the region’(1).
Rapid population growth in the 1980s led to intensified pressure on natural resources such as trees and fish. At the same time, other communities started coming into Rusinga’s fishing waters to exploit the fish resources. Fish stocks started declining and the fishermen of Rusinga were forced to start looking for other ways of making an income. Many turned to agriculture but the Luo’s on Rusinga were traditionally fishermen, not farmers. Trees were cut down to make houses for a growing population, firewood to feed an increasing number of hungry stomachs and charcoal to make an income. Within a generation, what was once a richly forested island had become bare — suffering increasing droughts, soil erosion and crop failures due to the loss of trees.Comments (1)
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Richard Higgins February 23, 2012
In January 2010 Richard Higgins, founder and CEO of Well End Permaculture International, arrived at the epicentre of the Haiti earthquake in Port au Prince.
We sat the visiting NGOs down to lunch just to the left of this picture
(see next picture, below). Each double pallet contained 1,200 fresh
human wastes and nobody had any idea they were there
After arrival in Haiti I presented my researched technology at various WASH cluster meetings at the UN information site, near the airport. After the third presentation — made before the meetings had started, I was spotted by the regional director for Water and Sanitation for Latin America of the NGO giant CRS (Catholic Relief Services).
One week later I began work in a contracted position to set up a pilot project at the Sainte Marie Community Convent for the remediation of the toilet waste and other refugee camp generated wastes, into fertilizer, for 200 people.Comments (5)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, DVDs/Books, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Village Development — by Monika Goforth February 18, 2012
Gillian Leahy (a documentary maker) and Terry Leahy (permaculture researcher) are making a film about the Chikukwa project in Zimbabwe.
This is a feel good story out of Africa. For the last 20 years an amazing permaculture project has been working in Zimbabwe. Where once the people of the Chikukwa villages suffered hunger, malnutrition and high rates of disease, this community has turned its fortunes around using permaculture farming techniques. Complementing these strategies for food security, they have built their community strength through locally controlled and initiated programs for permaculture training, conflict resolution, women’s empowerment, primary education and HIV management. Now they have a surplus of food and the people in these villages are healthy and proud of their achievements. Their degraded landscape has been turned into a lush paradise. This film shows how this has happened.Comments (2)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Village Development — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 17, 2012
USAID Permaculture Technical Brief
The growing food crisis has struggled to stay in the headlines since being highlighted broadscale in the mainstream media back in 2008, but it moves apace regardless, and I can assure you it will continue to do so, likely at a frightening rate. A 2012 Save the Children report shares that "Half a billion children could grow up physically and mentally stunted over the next 15 years because they do not have enough to eat" (BBC).
With this in mind, it’s excellent news that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID — "the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid" Wikipedia) is moving to incorporate permaculture design into its aid work for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). They’ve just released a technical brief (right) to help expedite this.
From the document:Comments (10)
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Project Positions — by Samuel Bonello February 15, 2012
In November of 2011 I was participating in a class as a student at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in NSW, Australia. It was the PDC Teacher Training Course taught by Geoff and Nadia Lawton. Five weeks later my wife and I were on a plane to Yemen to assist in teaching a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course.Comments (2)