“Taking back the land” has been a call in societies in times of strife. On a world scale, the need to take back the land to fight desertification is the next major crisis. The world’s food basket is being emptied by a mismanagement of the macro-climates of the world. Areas that were once lush and populated with animals are turning into deserts. This system failure cannot go uncorrected.
During his presentation at Concordia’s “Bite Me Week”, Graham Calder, founder of P3Permaculture introduced the concept of permaculture as a regenerative design science; a positive solutions approach to live with the earth. Of a “Permanent Cultural System” if you will. Permaculture has a 3 tier Ethics system that provides a framework to respond to a vast array challenges:
Earth care – Environmental friendliness, balance and sustainability
Fair Share – Of surplus resources equally between people, access for everyone (animals included)
People care – Human rights
The approach can be applied to all sorts of things, from water management to heating with the goal being to create self sufficient, and self abundant systems. It is modelled after the observation of nature and integrating these principles in designing sustainable human societies. The problem with many of our systems is that they rely on constant growth until the system inevitably collapses, like our capitalist economy. Problems also stem from corruption in the management of surplus. Permaculture foster circular systems that can operate infinitely.
What does this look like? Experts sought to solve the problem of soil erosion in areas destroyed by human activity. These areas didn’t lack rain, but the soil was so dry and hard that the water wasn’t able to seep in. Instead it would remain at the surface and trickle away or evaporate. These experts observed the natural movement patterns of animals and noticed how it contributed to the fertility of the land.
By grouping the animals in large herds and moving them to mimic nature (in patterns as if they’re being chased by predators) it helps to cover the soil. This movement also prevents the overgrazing of plants. The animals manure and urine in turn help to replenish the soil. By applying these movement patterns to dessert areas, they were able to revitalize the soil. Who would have through that all we had to do to save the planet was to go back to our roots?
If you’re interested in learning more watch the video below or visit the website: p3permaculture.ca