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Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.

Permaculture (the word, coined by Bill Mollison, is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture and permanent culture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.

Permaculture DESIGN is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms.

The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.

As the basis of permaculture is beneficial design, it can be added to all other ethical training and skills, and has the potential of taking a place in all human endeavors. In the broad landscape, however, permaculture concentrates on already settled areas and agricultural lands. Almost all of these need drastic rehabilitation and re-thinking.

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Comment by Michael Grove on February 3, 2021 at 14:58

In the context of my [BE]ing a long time advocate of Permaculture and an active supporter thereof and having watched an early version of the Cowconspiracy Documentary some years ago, I decided that I would take a look at Netfix's latest showing last evening, as a reminder of [IT]'s basic premise that methane was more of the cause of the problem which underlines the issue of climate change, that Carbon Dioxide.

So having watched what to ALL intents and purposes was a valid proposal from the film, to "feed ourselves directly with products of the grain which we otherwise feed to cows" I was inclined to re-watch the TED talk "How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change" which I had originally found so inspiring at the outset to the launch of the Transition Towns initiative.


Comment by Michael Grove on February 19, 2022 at 14:59

Permaculture movement has no central structure but has a strong sense of shared work towards evolving sustainable, ethical and viable systems for Earth and People Care.

The term was coined by Dr. Bill Mollison of Tasmania, Australia in the early 1970s to mean Permanent Agriculture or Permanent Culture. David Holmgren was a collaborator in this venture. Dr. Mollison was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (otherwise known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) in 1981, for this contribution in the search for alternatives.

It was initially conceived as a framework for a more permanent basis for agriculture rather than just the raising of annual crops. The idea was a beneficial assembly of multi-crop elements of perennial trees, shrubs, annuals (food crops), herbs, vegetables, useful weeds, fungi, tuber crops with integration of animals, aimed towards household and community self-reliance for food sufficiency.

However, Permaculture has now come to mean much more than food sufficiency at household level, for, self-sufficiency in food becomes meaningless unless people have access to land, information and financial resources. Today Permaculture has come to mean a whole life system encompassing various strategies for people to acquire all those resources, including access to land needed to evolve self-financing and self- managed systems to provide for all their material and non-material needs, without depleting, polluting and destroying the natural resources of the biosphere.

Central to Permaculture is the relationship humans should have towards natural resources and their wise, ethical and judicious utilization so that posterity is not saddled with the consequences of our irresponsible conduct. Today Permaculture has made a start all over the world, in some aspect or other, on some issue or other. Except in three countries of the world (Uruguay, Afghanistan and one African country) there are Permaculture groups, organizations, and individuals undertaking efforts, howsoever small to repair the Earth and become more responsible for their actions and enabling others to do likewise.

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