As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Helping Hands Series (2): Permaculture Practitioners Guiding us to a Sustainable Future

As we all know, May 1 is International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day and Labor Day). So I thought I should dedicate this week’s posts to the countless people who have committed their labours so selflessly for change, who have extended a helping hand to this ailing world. When we watch the news, we often just see the bad that happens around the world, so I thought I’d highlight a tiny sample of the good that happens everyday in every corner of the world.

I have chosen to symbolize these efforts as a hand, a ‘helping hand’ and the design changes everyday depending on the field where help and good is being extended.

Today I feature “The Permaculture Movement”, the ultimate and simplest solution to the world’s most pressing problems. 
“Permaculture Helping Hands”
-leading the world to a sustainable future-
Digital Collage by Paulina Constancia
(thermal camera and posterize colour)
The Permaculture Flower
as explained petal-by-petal
by co-originator David Holmgren

Watch videos of Permaculture Principles
in Action

In the mid-1970s, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren started developing ideas about stable agricultural systems on the southern Australian island state of Tasmania. This was a result of the danger of the rapidly growing use of industrial-agricultural methods. In their view, highly dependent on non renewable resources, these methods were additionally poisoning land and water, reducing biodiversity, and removing billions of tons of topsoil from previously fertile landscapes. A design approach called “permaculture” was their response and was first made public with the publication of their book Permaculture One in 1978.
By the early 1980s, the concept had broadened from agricultural systems design towards complete, sustainable human habitats. After Permaculture One, Mollison further refined and developed the ideas by designing hundreds of permaculture sites [citation needed] and writing more detailed books, notably Permaculture: A Designers Manual. Mollison lectured in over 80 countries and taught his two-week Permaculture Design Course (PDC) to many hundreds of students.
By the mid-1980s, many of the students had become successful practitioners and had themselves begun teaching the techniques they had learned. In a short period of time permaculture groups, projects, associations, and institutes were established in over one hundred countries. In 1991, a four-part television documentary by ABC productions called “The Global Gardener” showed permaculture applied to a range of worldwide situations, bringing the concept to a much broader public. In 2012, Ryan Harb and his students won White House “Champions of Change” sustainability contest, which declared that “they demonstrate how permaculture can feed a growing population in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner”.

shows how natural systems can teach us better design practices. Learning to work with the earth not only creates a healthier environment, it also nourishes the people who live in it.

What sets permaculture apart from other developmental approaches is that it is not just a model, it is a comprehensive design process. Each site, whether a household, school, clinic, business, farm, or village, has a unique set of elements and design considerations. But while each site is viewed as unique, in permaculture design and practice, economic benefit does not contradict, or even benefit to, three core values or ethics:
Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
Care of People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
Setting Limits to Population and Consumption: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.

What Bill Mollison and David Holmgren started in the 70’s in Tasmania is now a growing global movement. There are permaculture practitioners in every continent now. If you are interested to learn about Permaculture please visit the permaculturedotorg

Watch a video of my art collection “Quiltopia”
which was shown at the Ayala Museum/Makati.
A percentage of the proceeds went to the
educational program at Cabiokid
a permaculture development site in Nueva Ecija.

“What permaculturists are doing 
is the most important activity 
that any group is doing on the planet.
We don’t know what details of a truly
sustainable future are going to be like, 
but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical gangs that are doing that.”
-Dr David Suzuki- 
geneticist, broadcaster 
& international environmental advocate

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This entry was posted on May 1, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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