Societies around the world are entering an era of interconnected challenges. Most experts indeed agree on the fact that "crisis" through its various forms (economic, ecologic, societal) will be more and more recurrent; the time to prepare our societies to get more resilient in the years to come is now! ...and that's what permaculture is all about!
As "a design system for creating sustainable human environments." (Bill Mollison), permaculture offers a holistic solution-driven approach and stands as an alternative to current linear models. Basing their actions on three ethics - earth care, people care and fair share - permaculturists are striving to conceive regenerative systems within a wide range of areas including farming, building, economics or education. With the common goal to achieve sustainable livelihood for all, many initiatives around the globe are being taken to secure basic human needs (clean water and food, adequate shelter and companionship) without undermining natural resources: all-encompassing towards healthy societies.
Happening every two years, the International Permaculture Convergence is a very special occasion offered to practitioners from around the world to share their experiences, learn from each other and strategize about the future of the permaculture movement!
Change is already happening! Will you be a part of it?
Women are the largest untapped reservoir of potential in the world! Women, in their role of preservers, nurturers and renewers of life, are key to the success of the global permaculture movement. A more sustainable and productive approach to agriculture can be achieved through reinstating the system of farming in India that is more centered on engaging women and giving them personal agency.
Bill Mollison said that "The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children." People Care begins with ourselves and expands to include our families, neighbours and wider communities. It is about a collaborative effort of sharing knowledge and experience, to bring change to one’s own life and that of others.
Permaculture can help grassroots level communities achieve ecological and social justice, be it through healthy, non exploitative subsistence farming practices, or equal distribution of land, or combining modern and indigenous knowledge through community based activities. It puts those who produce, distribute and consume at the heart of systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations, establishing new social relations free of oppression and inequality.
Environmental conservation is not a recent phenomenon. Past generations knew about environmental degradation and the need for preservation. This found expression in traditional practices and the belief that there must be a relationship of mutual obligations between people and nature. Indigenous communities hold worldviews and perspectives that are vitally needed to help us come back into balance with the natural world. We must build and repair relationships across cultures and communities on a basis of respect, and give prominence to these traditional practices.
A continuing task of water resource planners and managers is to identify and value the possible impacts of what we are doing, or are thinking about doing in the distant future with our water resource systems. This task must involve professionals from other disciplines in a context much broader than just water management. Once these impacts and tradeoffs are identified, it is then up to the political process to make choices when they are in conflict. All of us need to be a part of this decision-making process.
Both the use of fossil fuels and the mismanagement of land and resources are driving the climate crisis. Efforts to address the climate crisis must be rooted in social, economic, and ecological justice. We must shift from burning oil, gas, coal and uranium to capturing flows of energy from sun, wind, and water in safe and renewable ways. For decades, permaculture practitioners have devised creative responses to changes in local climatic conditions. In doing so, they have developed a collective knowledge and experience invaluable to global efforts to address climate change.
Dr. Venkat, India's own permaculture pioneer, led thousands people with his vision, kindness and dedication. He and Bill worked together on several occasions with great fondness and respect for each other. They featured together in the film "The Global Gardener".
Bill Mollison was a living inspiration to all the permaculturists and thousands of others. His foresight and his insight together gave the world a way of integrating all human lives with living and non living things. At this convergence we remember and celebrate Bill's gift to the present and the future.