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|Written by Andy Goldring|
|Saturday, 17 September 2011 20:52|
Its the end of a very long and interesting day. We were treated to a host of excellent speakers who told us of the many of the ways that permaculture is solving water shortage through ecological design and practical action. I have just eaten a delicious Jordanian feast in good company, and feel real gratitude for the opportunity to be here.
Today I have tried to meet as many of the people attending as I can. Each has an interesting tale to tell about their own experience and work with permaculture. I feel incredibly inspired when I realise how much people are achieving with permaculture. I came with three purposes in mind – to enhance international cooperation, to find out how permaculture is being used in different educational settings and to identify researchers that are making permaculture accessible to new audiences through documentation. I have been able to progress these aims already with new leads and contacts and each conversation makes me realise that our global permaculture community is a truly innovative educational network that is changing the world. (I will write the notes up in more detail after the event.)
The conference talks told of people transforming communities after war, of creating forests in deserts, of making changes to villages, towns and cities that create oases of plants, animals and wildlife. The people doing this aren't superhuman, they are like you and me. They had a vision of what is possible and they followed their heart, and used their minds and determination to make change. We can too. I really recommend you watch some of the live streams that Craig has created, and think about how you can be the change in your own place.
Its hard to pick out highlights, but here are a few. Brad Lancaster said “plant the rain the the plants will plant themselves”. I was taken by his take on 'ephemeral creeks' – the water that flows along the side of the road in rain. A simple but effective intervention can stop this flowing into storm drains and instead divert it into roadside plantings. Simple and effective, and one I'll be trying when I get back to Leeds.
Tony Rinauldo of World Vision has been developing Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration. This work is changing the lives of people across Africa. He has helped us to see trees in what appeared to be barren landscapes, and the motivation and encouragement he has given farmers to experiment in the field has meant the ideas and practice have spread far and wide.
Warren Brush told us about his incredible journey to Liberia where he was able to work with communities and reintroduce methods that had previously been part of their culture. The banana circles used to treat grey water reduced the spread of malaria, increased food supply and were found to be a traditional practice forgotten after years of war.
Sameeh Al Naimat's work to develop wells in his village of Bayoudah, Jordan has been calculated to increase per capita share of water by 60%. This is staggering and if applied across Jordan would change the fortunes of the people of the second most water stressed country in the world.
As Rhamis Kent reminded us, the biggest opportunity lies in understanding how permaculture can resonate with the people we are trying to serve. If we find that resonant place, our work spreads fast and with little effort from us. Many notes were played today at IPC10, they will spread far and wide.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 18 September 2011 20:52|