For many years, environmental campaigners have focussed on the idea of sustainability – that we should be creating systems which use resources at a sustainable rate.
For some campaigners, thinking has now shifted towards the idea of regeneration. Many of our environments and societies are already damaged, so sustaining these in a damaged state makes no sense!
What we need is systems that can regenerate damaged environments – by putting back more than they take out.
By regeneration we mean systems and practices that take a ‘holistic’ or ‘systems approach’ to solving environmental, social and economic problems; aiming to restore and rejuvenate rather than merely sustain.
Regenerative projects globally tend to embrace the values of permaculture design, agroecology and food sovereignty. They also strive to create closed loop systems that restore their own resources.
‘Regenerative agriculture’ is probably the most commonly used phrase at present, but we also know that many regenerative projects also work on issues like supporting solidarity, community cohesion and resilience or on generating renewable resources or restoring ecosystem functions.
To find out more about regeneration download the Lush Spring Prize Background Paper 2016-17
Many people recognise that we need to do things differently. But more people need the opportunity and the resources to be able to do things differently.
The Lush Spring Prize will support initiatives where energy, natural resources and materials are conserved and enriched and contribute towards equitable development. It will support communities and initiatives that work and develop in partnership with nature rather than against it.
There are many examples of how people can live in closer harmony with nature and each other, but these stories are often untold within the mainstream media and exist on the margins of society, sometimes going unnoticed and uncelebrated.
The Prize also aims to help people access information, resources and skills to build alternatives to the dominant culture of degeneration. Building alternatives to exploitation of both people and the planet, is fundamental to this shift.