Conservation, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Campbell Wilson November 23, 2011
Article and diagrams copyright © Cam Wilson
This is a pictorial tour of the degradation and dehydration process that the Australian landscape went through post European settlement, along with one of the major aims of Peter Andrews’ Natural Sequence Farming approach, namely the rehydration of the Australian landscape.
If you were one of the early explorers, walking into a wide floodplain system in the early 1800s, more than likely you would have found some form of discontinuous watercourse. One example is known as a ‘chain of ponds’, in which you’d find small bodies of open water, about a metre below the level of the floodplain, held in place and separated from the next pond by a marshy plug of reeds such as Phragmites.Comments (15)
Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Regional Water Cycle, Salination, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 15, 2011
This excellent little video, put together by Anselm Ibing, introduces a new series on sustainable land use in Jordan. It kicks off with a concise look at historical aspects relating to Jordan’s present ecological situation. I’m now left looking forward to Part II….
- Letters from Jordan: ‘Greening the Desert – the Sequel’ Site Contrasts Against Jordan Insanities
- Jordan Valley Permaculture Project Update: Post IPC Happenings
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Urban Projects, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 8, 2011
Staring into the eyes of the future of Jordan, one wonders how things could be….
All Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Al Jazeera’s very recent feature of the new ‘Greening the Desert’ site
Why did the photojournalist cross the road? It sounds like the beginning of a joke, and, in a way, it was. I was standing at a busy road in Amman, Jordan, contemplating crossing. I say ‘contemplating’ as there were three lanes in each direction, and the traffic was moving fast. Several hundred metres away I spied a pedestrian overpass, but, before reason could sway impulse, I saw an opening and took it. Then, with three lanes behind me, standing proudly on the 1-metre wide centre strip, it seemed that the deity in charge of roads decided to conspire against me…. In the 37°C+ heat, I watched, waited, and then watched and waited some more. The minutes dragged by. A few times I ventured one foot forward, only to snatch it back again. The sun blazed. I began to have visions of being stuck here until the traffic slowed in the evening….Comments (16)
Aid Projects, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 5, 2011
Here’s a sneak peek at Morocco — looking at water issues and the need to relearn traditional catchment management whilst adding in modern permaculture techniques of water harvesting and food forest development. David’s point about market gluts due to farmers all growing the same crop and harvesting it all at the same time is an important one. Diversity is stability — ecologically and economically.
Duration: 5 minutes
Owen Hablutzel: “Water and Transformation in Dryland Systems – Resilience Science & Keyline Application” (IPC10 Presentation – Video)
Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 4, 2011
Owen’s talk here is quite fascinating. While most in permaculture will recognise the importance of mainframe design, Owen’s talk goes a step further, and dips headlong into mainframe concepts as well. If you’re one of those right-side brain type people who just loves thinking a little above and beyond and immersing yourself into a bit of creative theory, you’ll find this talk from Owen hard to pause. If it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t panic, as Owen brings the theoretical aspects back onto the ground throughout, to show how it plays out (and boy does it play out) on a tangible property he’s been working on in the U.S. of A. — in this case the large broad acre Whirlwind Farm. In essence, Owen’s talk is about restorative, resilience farming: how we can think about it, and achieve it.Comments (4)
Animal Forage, Biodiversity, Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, GMOs, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Presentations/Demonstrations, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 25, 2011
If you didn’t catch it already, be sure to check out the previous post with Dr. Maarten Stapper’s first IPC10 convergence presentation. And, after several attempts, I finally managed to get his second presentation uploaded — you can click play above to watch this as well. With decades of experience in the farming industry, Dr. Stapper has a great deal to share, and a lot of insight to go with it.Comments (1)
Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 20, 2011
I’ve been a fan of Maarten Stapper’s work for a while now. In fact, further below you’ll find an article I wrote, way back in 2007, about his experiences at the hands of his former employer — Australia’s publicly funded CSIRO agricultural research body. I’d recommend you read the article before watching Maarten’s IPC10 Convergence presentation, as it’ll give you a good backgrounder on his valuable work and his commendable ethics. I say ethics because instead of compromising his principles so as to retain favour with those putting bread on his table, he stood his ground… and got sacked instead.Comments (0)
Compost, Conservation, Demonstration Sites, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, News, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Society, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor October 13, 2011
The Rodale Institute’s 30-year
Farming Systems Trial report (1.3mb PDF)
The Rodale Institute has been, for a full 30 years now, conducting a long-term comparative Farming Systems Trial. Starting in 1981, when it was already abundantly clear that industrialising nature was creating far more problems than it solved, the Rodale Institute began documented research comparing organically fertilised fields and conventionally fertilised fields on its 330 acre farm in Pennsylvania, USA.
It’s the longest running comparative study of its kind in the world.
In time for their trial’s 30-year anniversary, the institute has put out a report outlining its documented observations. You can download this report via the link at right.
This report is one of several well-researched reports that have come out in recent years, including the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Failure to Yield report (which proves GMOs do not perform as claimed) and the IAASTD’s 400-scientist-strong, 3-year worldwide study (which concluded we need to quickly transition back to relocalised, diverse, agroecological methods).Comments (6)
Aid Projects, Building, Community Projects, Eco-Villages, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Monika Goforth October 1, 2011
by Monika Goforth and Terry Leahy, University of Newcastle, Australia
To use permaculture lingo, Chikukwa can be described as a real edge, both in terms of ecology, culture and language, and the edge effect has certainly produced something rich. The community here has a sense of being both somewhat innocent and progressive at the same time. It is as if they skipped the industrialized phase and went straight into becoming a sustainable community. — Lindhagen 2010
This shot shows how the Chikukwa lands looked in the early nineties,
bare hillsides and soil erosion, with the consequence in poor nutrition.
This picture shows a small section of the Chikukwa clan lands as they are now.
The houses nestled among orchards, the bunds with vetiver grass in the
cropping fields and the extensive woodlots are all typical of this design strategy.
The Chikukwa Ecological Land Trust (CELUCT) is a unique community permaculture organisation in the Chimanimani district of Zimbabwe. Set in the highlands bordering Mozambique, the region is heavily populated and has suffered from deforestation, serious erosion and soil degradation since the area was named a Tribal Trust Land in the colonial era. In this setting, the Chikukwa community has developed a successful permaculture program involving around 8,000 farmers in what Chan (2010) calls “one of the largest and relatively unknown permaculture sites in the world.” So, how did a remote Zimbabwean farming community learn and implement permaculture techniques? What have been the effects?Comments (20)
Biological Cleaning, Conferences, Conservation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Urban Projects, Waste Water, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 28, 2011
Brad Lancaster presents at the IPC10, Amman, Jordan, Sept. 2011
Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Brad of harvestingrainwater.com has well-honed presentation skills — urban water harvesting has never been more interesting and compelling than after Brad has laid it all before you, and injected no small measure of fun and humour into it as well. I applaud Brad’s valuable contribution to the permaculture toolkit, as I’m sure will you after watching the video below!Comments (4)
Roberto Perez Rivero: “Permaculture’s Use of Water in Time of Climate Change – the Cuban Experience” (IPC Presentation – Video)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Conferences, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Presentations/Demonstrations, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
Roberto Perez Rivero gives his presentation at the IPC10, Amman, Jordan
Photographs © Craig Mackintosh
Roberto Perez Rivero gave an excellent presentation at the Tenth International Permaculture Conference (IPC10). Watch it below. As the projector wasn’t the best, you may also want to make use of the links below to download the slideshow from this talk so you can click through those in a different window as Roberto speaks:Comments (2)
Biofuels, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 3, 2011
Peak Oil: Security policy implications
of scarce resources
Download PDF (1.77mb)
In previous articles (here and here) we’ve linked to the German language version of a study recently undertaken by the German military on the topic of peak oil, and we also linked to a couple of English summary-only translations as well. Now we can link you to a full English translation!
It’s great that this landmark document is being made more accessible.
It’s quite a fascinating analysis, where you can begin to envision some of the oft-not-discussed implications of peak oil — like how oil can be used by producer states as a weapon to enforce their particular ideologies and/or political and economic agendas on oil-dependent states. Current allegiances between nations may be broken up and reshuffled as politicians prioritise good relationships with oil-rich countries, no matter what those countries might be doing in other areas. Hypocrisy can become the new norm, as authoritarian regimes get empty for-show lectures on human rights on the one hand, whilst being mollified and propped up with oil dollars on the other.Comments (1)
Energy Systems, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by George Monbiot September 2, 2011
It looks as if the UK government is allowing shale gas fracking companies to regulate themselves.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
Before the government approves a new industrial process in the UK it must have ensured that it won’t harm either people or the environment. Mustn’t it? That’s what any sane person would expect. Any sane person would be wrong.
One year ago, a company called Cuadrilla Resources began drilling exploratory shafts into the rock at Preese Hall near Blackpool, in north-west England, to begin the UK’s first experiments with extracting gas trapped in formations of shale. The process – called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking – involves pumping a mixture of water, sand and drilling fluids at high pressure into the rock, to split it apart and release the natural gas it contains. In June Cuadrilla temporarily suspended its operations as a result of two small earthquakes in the area, which might have been caused by the fracking. The experiment is likely to resume soon. Cuadrilla has also started exploratory drilling at two other sites in the region.Comments (6)
Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Earth Policy Institute August 28, 2011
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
People do not normally leave their homes, their families, and their communities unless they have no other option. Yet as environmental stresses mount, we can expect to see a growing number of environmental refugees. Rising seas and increasingly devastating storms grab headlines, but expanding deserts, falling water tables, and toxic waste and radiation are also forcing people from their homes.
Advancing deserts are now on the move almost everywhere. The Sahara desert, for example, is expanding in every direction. As it advances northward, it is squeezing the populations of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria against the Mediterranean coast. The Sahelian region of Africa—the vast swath of savannah that separates the southern Sahara desert from the tropical rainforests of central Africa—is shrinking as the desert moves southward. As the desert invades Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, from the north, farmers and herders are forced southward, squeezed into a shrinking area of productive land. A 2006 U.N. conference on desertification in Tunisia projected that by 2020 up to 60 million people could migrate from sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa and Europe.Comments (4)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Ethical Investment, Global Warming/Climate Change, People Systems, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Maddy Harland August 18, 2011
Editor’s Note: At time of writing, Polly is on a speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand — check out dates and locations here.
Maddy Harland meets Polly Higgins, a barrister who is campaigning for the United Nations to adopt an additional crime against peace: Ecocide.
by Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture magazine – inspiration for sustainable living
In my two decades working for Permaculture magazine I have met many fascinating and wonderful human beings but my recent meeting with the barrister and campaigner, Polly Higgins, was a turning point. She prompted a leap in my understanding of the power of law and our collective capacity to change the world overnight. I had heard of Polly’s campaigning work but I had not fully realised the far-reaching potential of international law. Polly deftly stretched my worldview. Bear with me if the subject of ecocide sounds grim… the outcome of these meetings was utterly inspirational.
What is Ecocide?
There are already four international Crimes Against Peace: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, War Crimes, and Crimes of Aggression. Polly says there is a missing 5th Crime Against Peace and that crime is Ecocide: the destruction of large areas of the environment and ecosystems. Obviously ecocide can be caused by severe weather events like tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, not directly attributable to specific human activity but there is another category: Ascertainable Ecocide. This is the destruction, damage or loss to the territory, caused by human activity – people, corporations, and nations. Activities such as nuclear testing, the exploitation of resources, mining practices like tar sands extraction, the dumping of harmful chemicals or the use of defoliants, the emission of pollutants or war. Examples of ascertainable ecocide affecting sizeable territories include:Comments (13)