Posted by & filed under Biodiversity.

The wild boar cull should be halted, and we should stop confusing conservation with gardening.

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

Is the United Kingdom the most zoophobic nation in Europe? Do we, in other words, have an unusually intense fear of wild animals?

We’ve certainly been less successful than other nations at protecting large mammals. Norway and Finland, for example, have lost none of their large, post-glacial land mammal species. But, until recently, our native species numbered just two: roe deer and red deer. As David Hetherington of the Cairngorms Wildcat Project pointed out at a meeting in London Zoo last year, the UK is “the largest country in Europe and almost the whole world” which no longer possesses any of its big carnivores. Other countries as densely populated and industrialised as ours have managed to hang on to theirs.

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Posted by & filed under Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings.

Photo © Craig Mackintosh (Permission given for personal non-commercial use)
Email Resolution (240kb) | Print Resolution (870kb) | Poster Resolution (4mb)

Whew! The post-IPC tours began today, but the conference and convergence themselves have come to an end. What a ride it’s been! I’m personally totally exhausted, but in a good way. I’ll tell you more and share more pictures and video soon — after I’ve had time to make my way home.

In the meantime, you’ll find the group shot of the IPC participants above, taken as the sun was setting on the last evening of the convergence. I’ll provide the image in three resolutions for you. You are welcome to access for your own use — so long as it’s not used commercially.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the events after I’m home, and thanks for your patience.


Posted by & filed under Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings.

Roberto Perez Rivero, Cuba, addresses the conference guests
Photo © Craig Mackintosh

It was a full day of varied talks — varied both in terms of the content, and the background and experience of the speakers. I won’t say a lot about the talks, as you are able to watch them yourselves on!

On the morrow we head to the southern end of Jordan, to the famously beautiful desert region of Wadi Rum — where the four-day IPC10 Convergence will ensue. Unlike the conference, we won’t be live-streaming the talks at the convergence, but I will be videoing as much as possible, and will YouTube them as quickly as I can after returning home. Also, because the above-linked conference videos were streamed, they are quite compressed, so not the best quality. I will re-upload those in higher quality when I get home after the events as well. When I do, I’ll post links to the speakers’ respective slide shows, so you can follow along with the talks better.

Stay tuned….

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings.

Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan opens IPC10
Photographs © Craig Mackintosh

The opening of the Tenth International Permaculture Conference (IPC10) already saw Permaculture getting the attention it deserves. Over 100 people from around the world were seated to ‘break bread’ at the conference’s opening gala dinner on the evening of Friday September 16. Aside from permaculturists from every continent, the event also drew (by our own ‘subversive’ design) people of influence from within Jordanian society who we hope will absorb the all-important Permaculture concepts and use their privileged positions to help permeate the kingdom’s populace with them. Not least amongst these was Princess Basma bint Ali of Jordan.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings.

Bill and Lisa Mollison about to go below sea level and into the
Dead Sea Valley, Jordan. Bill is, as you can see, particularly prepared.
Photo © Craig Mackintosh

Hello from Jordan! Many of you expressed interest in wanting to watch the IPC via live-streaming, and not a few of you were kind enough to contribute to our costs for facilitating this. Many thanks to those who did, it’s much appreciated indeed. If you were not amongst the donors, and you’re feeling able to do so, a little more help wouldn’t go amiss.

Anyway, I just thought I’d update you all now that I’m here, to let you know it looks good to go. I took my gear along, connected it all up, fiddled a bit, and it seems to be all working just as well here as it did when I tested it back home — except here I’ve also borrowed (and now tested) a wireless lapel microphone system to ensure the best audio. So, short of a power outage, an earthquake, the black plague or the cleaning guy tripping over our cables, you should all be able to check in and watch the speakers give their talks on Conference day (September 17), live as it happens.

Here are the details you need to watch:

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Education Centres, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

by Geraldine Quinlan, from Ireland, a new intern at the Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge in Ethiopia

1. Gocha

In the morning we visited Gocha Primary School. Before starting work together Tichafa gathered everyone in the classroom. He spoke about the importance of growing food for independence from food aid and eventually to sell at the market for profit whilst also taking environmental action for the school, the immediate community and finally the country. This would create an income for the school.

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Podcasts, Presentations/Demonstrations, Social Gatherings.

Margie Bushman & Wes Roe on Amazon boat tour, IPC8 Brazil

Here’s a great opportunity to get a bit of background and foreground on the International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (IPC10), which is now imminent! Listen to the podcast below to hear Margie and Wes talk to Sustainable World Radio and give their experiences with past IPCs, and their hopes for the current and future IPC events. It’s an inspiring, upbeat conversation that makes me more fired up to go (it’ll be my first!), and I’m sure it’ll be the same for you. At the very least, if you can’t make it yourself, it’ll encourage you to watch via livestream or follow the blog posts on over the dates (between September 17-23 and even beyond).

Click play to hear the talk!

Sustainable World Radio Interviews Margie Bushman & Wes Roe on IPC10

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change.

Sahel Drought – worst of the 20th Century

I thought I’d supplement the previous post by George Monbiot by expanding a little on his mention of the Sahel drought and its cause. Being one of the worst environmental disasters of the last century, it’s certainly worth a little consideration. A million people were directly killed by the drought, which lasted a dozen years, from the late 1960s through to the early 1980s, and 50 million more were adversely affected in several countries in a wide swathe of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change.

Why is the government spending £1.6m on a geo-engineering experiment whose results can never be used?

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

It’s atmospheric liposuction: a retrospective fix for planetary over-indulgence. Geo-engineering, which means either sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere or trying to shield the planet from the sun’s heat, is an admission of failure, a failure to get to grips with climate change. Is it time to admit defeat and check ourselves into the clinic?

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees.

School children take part in Nendo Dango in Argentina´s Rio Negro Province, Patagonia.

As part of a reforestation program around Argentina´s Eco Capital, El Bolsón, 21 schools have transformed their assembly halls into assembly lines for the production of over 25,000 seed clay balls utilizing the ancient technique of Nendo Dango. The method, re-invented by the ´father of natural farming´, Masanobu Fukuoka, was taught to the people of El Bolsón 3 years ago when Panos Manikis, Fukuoka´s most learned disciple, came to hold a series of workshops. Today, led by an inspiring group of permaculture activists, the technique is being used to do more than just rejuvenate the 1,200 hectares of forest that was incinerated in a 3-day fire earlier this year.

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