Fifteen years ago, permaculture grew roots in Timor Leste after the Timorese people’s incredible and tragically brutal passage to gain independence from Indonesia.
Permaculture was introduced to Timor Leste by Steve Cran and a group of Australian permies which included Lachlan McKenzie, Julianne Hartmann, Rob Swain and others. They were hoping to help rebuild and renew the country in a sustainable, culturally appropriate way. They teamed up with some of Timor Leste’s student activists from the occupation, led by Eugenio ‘Ego’ Lemos, who had already started an organic farming movement pre-independence.
Permaculture grew and slowly spread through training and demonstration sites. It was already clear that permaculture went hand in hand with community based development work and could help guide growth, livelihood and agricultural development.