Permaculture Around The World

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MEDITERRANEAN PERMASCHOOL, GREECE

www.facebook.com/Nea-Guinea

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Image courtesy of the projects

Nea Guinea is a non-profit one-acre permaculture farm in Athens that models permaculture practices and offers education programs. Based here is the Mediterranean Permaschool, which offers a range of permaculture education programs for the community, for youth; and also helps organise permaculture courses for refugee camps located in Greece.

Refugee camps are built rapidly but end up being far more permanent than originally planned and are reliant on external inputs. Permaculture courses in these environments can effectively help people develop the skills to transform these camps into eco-villages. They transform their physical and social spaces, grow food, enhance collective resilience, reclaim some control over their lives and begin to heal from the trauma that brought them to the refugee camps.

ETHIOPIAN VILLAGE WITH PERMACULTURE APPROACH

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Image courtesy of the projects

In the far north of Ethiopia, in the Tigray region, a project to combat desertification and land degradation received the United Nations’ Gold Future Policy Award in 2017. The award recognised the role of 5000 people to reduce erosion, recharge groundwater and use agricultural practices to restore land on a massive scale.

The Tigray government mobilised villagers to volunteer 20 days of labour a year to build terraces, irrigation projects and stone walls on mountains and hillsides, among other initiatives. The UN award recognised how, since 1991, these landscape changes meant 1.2 million hectares of land was restored to grow food, contributing to food self-sufficiency and economic growth for the Tigray population.

The statistics are impressive. Hundreds of kilometres of soil was moved by hand and stone bunds built to harvest and shape rainfall runoff. The population is producing 10 times more food than they were before the drought and farm incomes are up 20 times in value. The water table has risen from 15 m to 3 m depth.

Dignity and hope have returned to the population, with a renewed focus on improving education, sanitation and housing. A key to the success was strengthening women’s involvement in agriculture. The village is held as an example of how a permaculture approach can help address poverty and repair the landscape, garden by garden, farm by farm. Ethiopia has committed to restoring 15 million hectares in this style by 2025.

EARTH GUARDIANS YOUTH MOVEMENT

www.earthguardians.org

permaculture

 

Image courtesy of the projects

Earth Guardians is a youth-led global initiative to inspire and engage young people around the world to be effective leaders in the environment, climate and social justice movements. The movement was started by an extraordinary young man, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, who became an indigenous activist when he was six years old.

Earth Guardians has helped 10,000 young people around the world build a range of skills to help them shift their communities towards a regenerative future, making a positive and practical impact. Earth Guardians offers youth the tools, training and resources they need to turn hopelessness into action. Permaculture is one of these skills, as well as storytelling, music, art, legal action and civic engagement.

A free permaculture resource created for young people is ‘How to Get Your Hands Dirty: Digging into the Regenerative World of Permaculture’. The lead author is young permaculture teacher, farmer, film maker and activist, Sierra Robinson. Earth Guardians has a new online app, called EarthTracks, to help people measure and track their environmental impact. If you have young people in your life, get them connected with this positive global movement and get a local crew happening with a permaculture focus in your community.

CHILDREN IN PERMACULTURE

www.childreninpermaculture.com

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Image courtesy of the projects

Children in Permaculture is a network for permaculture educators who work with children. It is based in the UK and collaborates with groups in Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Italy, to share ideas and strategies to create children’s permaculture education programs and cultivate innovative teaching skills.

The group organises training for teachers, annual gatherings and has recently released The Children in Permaculture Manual, which you can buy, or read online for free. The resources page on the Children in Permaculture website is huge, filled with a wonderful abundance of permaculture-related activities and resources for people working with children.

PERMACULTURE KINDERGARTEN

www.makeyoursoulshine.com/essence/permaculture

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Image courtesy of the projects

Soulshine is a permaculture-based kindergarten and childcare centre in Georgia, USA, that offers an integrated permaculture curriculum through regular day programs. They also offer summer camps for primary school children. The teachers here love the grounded focus and are passionate about inspiring the next generation of children to be community focused, compassionate and capable agents of change.

The children are immersed in a natural environment and garden every day, and learn through hands-on garden sessions, reflection and eco-literacy programs. They focus on getting outside, being actively engaged in projects and community, valuing the earth and understanding place. The meals served to the children are sourced from local regenerative farms. Outside of class, the centre offers earth science teaching for children aged two-plus-years-old. The ethos of the educators is, ‘just imagine if permaculture underpinned all education’.

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