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Established in February 2017, AGROECOPOLIS is the first Greek grassroots NGO to focus on food sovereignty, access to land and agroecology, and is the product of many years of collaboration.
It’s work involves: supporting networking and skill-sharing amongst agroecological practitioners; participating in research projects with CAWR, FIAN, TNI; helping establish practical land-based projects in Greece.
For example, it has supported a solidarity exports initiative whereby citrus fruits and olive oil are exported to food initiatives in the EU; supporting small agroecological Greek farmers.
AGROECOPOLIS is currently in the process of setting up a Greek Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Association, and hopes to create an agroecology training centre and revive the Permaculture Caravan.
Blueprint is an international alliance and network of individuals, small businesses and not-for-proft organisations, that collaborate on developing integrated design solutions for regenerative human settlements. It partners with communities and organisations to develop, research and promote regenerative principles and practices.
It’s currently working on ‘Blueprint200’ – a design framework, demonstration site and sharing resource for creating regenerative refugee camps that meet and go beyond current humanitarian SPHERE standards. It has visited refugee sites and interviewed refugees, aid and social workers, permaculturists and more. In 2017 it developed the first version of a framework that includes design principles, a regenerative continuum and a pattern language for refugee camps.
Byspokes’ journey began in 2010, when Philip Jones and Lorena Viladomat embarked on a cycle-ride from the UK to Palestine to fundraise for a new aquaculture program in the area, and raise awareness of Palestine’s water crisis. They joined Alice Gray at Bustan Qaraaqa (a permaculture farm in Bethlehem) and built the first aquaponics system in the West Bank, going on to implement many more projects with various partners in the region.
In 2013, Alice, Phil and Lorena formalised their partnership, creating a platform to raise awareness of permaculture as a strategy for community development, and creating a repository for their shared experience. Byspokes now works globally, supporting communities to revitalise ailing environments; sustainably enhance food and water justice for all, and reconnect with nature.
Ecosystem Restoration Camps aim to restore degraded land whilst training people in ecosystem restoration. They do this by building camps on degraded land; using the camps to house trainees that learn how to restore the land around them. The first camp is being set up in South-Eastern Spain, and has started the initial process of restoring the land: de-compacting the soil, planting the first 100 trees and building the camp’s initial structures.
It has also planted 50,000 trees donated by Ecosia to restore the ecology of a local mountain and has partnered with a local farmers’ association to collaborate with local farmers in developing their regenerative agricultural practices. The camp’s education programme and business ideas are currently being developed.
The need for the International Permaculture Education Network (IPEN) was identified in 2015 when experienced permaculture tutors from across the world considered Permaculture education’s next big steps – the need for greater collaboration and coherence among permaculture teachers.
Steve and Lachlan took on the challenge and started networking with others, informally initially, then formed IPEN as a member project of the UK Permaculture Association in September 2017. IPEN aims to increase the coherence and effectiveness of permaculture education globally.
IPEN working groups are now working globally to: create new education resources, support demonstration projects and teacher training, develop new core courses and model curricula, and share permaculture educational resources widely in many languages.
London Grown is a not-for-proft workers’ co-operative that’s building a co-operatively run ecological community food hub in London – increasing local access to fresh, healthy and affordable food and community space. It’s committed to the values of regenerative agriculture; aiming to restore derelict land. It operates over two sites in London: Pasteur Gardens (PG) and the Wolves Lane Centre (WL), collaborating with local groups in an area of significant social deprivation, to transform these previously derelict sites into productive community spaces.
It gained access to PG in April 2016 and has: made it accessible to the public; dedicated two acres to food production; installed essential infrastructure and an accessible education hub. It recently won a 25-year lease to develop the WL site into a community food hub.
Malawi Schools Permaculture Clubs (MSPC) empowers primary teachers in rural northern Malawi to run after-school student permaculture clubs. Each student works on an individual permaculture plot and collectively they implement a school design. Now in year three, MSPC is working with nine schools, 300 pupils, and has a waiting list of interested schools.
MSPC started in 2015 after a successful trial club at Mkondezi Primary School. During that first year, four critical factors were identified that would enable other teachers to run clubs in their schools:
1. Permaculture training & facilitation skills for teachers
2. A ‘syllabus’ & detailed teaching materials
3. Supporting infrastructure
4. Schools & pupils must be self-selecting
MSPC was established to offer these, enabling Mkondezi’s work to be rolled out widely.
Mubaya Ecovillage Zimbabwe started the journey of becoming an ecovillage in 2015, with the aim of introducing permaculture to all aspects of the existing Mubaya village by 2020, including energy autonomy, ecological and economic sustainability, and social coherence.
Since the creation of the ecovillage Centre in 2015 it has: run workshops on constructing solar ovens and solar driers, on food processing and community building; raised and distributed indigenous and exotic trees to surrounding villagers for reforestation purposes; installed drip-irrigation, done composting and eco brick construction. It has also raised awareness of permaculture, attended training on Moringa and Artemisia for herbal medication and food and started BioChar production, and has shared skills on building fences to keep animals out of fields.
PERMACULTURE IN UKRAINE was founded in October 2013 with the aims of: promoting agroecology; protecting the environment & cultural heritage; developing ecovillages, transitional towns & bioregions; supporting unprotected groups of the population.
Since 2013 it has organized a number of events in different regions of the Ukraine; has created a certified permaculture design course which is free for internally displaced persons from the occupied territories of Ukraine, and has translated permaculture materials into Ukrainian. In June 2017 it organized an international conference « Permaculture for Farms » in Hungary which gathered 50 participants from five countries. Its next step is to establish a Network of Permaculture Education and Demonstration Centres in Ukraine.
The Practical Permaculture Institute Zanzibar (PPIZ) began in October 2015 and follows a practical hands-on approach to teaching permaculture skills. Most of its courses are taught in Kiswahili and are held at its demonstration farm. It’s courses include a monthly Permaculture Design Course, practical workshops on Composting & Natural Pesticides, specialized courses on Beekeeping, Moringa and Food Forests. It also hosts visits for school classes, NGO’s and a teacher’s program.
In August 2016 it started a program that targets out of school youths to be trained in Permaculture skills through a four month long program, getting them into green jobs afterwards.
Sociedade Histórica e Cultural Coluna Sanfns was established in 2015 by commoners of the Froxán Common Woodlands Community as a tool to defend and engage local people and civil society with destructive mining, particularly the « San Finx » mine. The « Sociedade », in partnership with groups such as Verdegaia, ContraMINAcción and Yes to Life No to Mining, temporarily brought mining operations to a standstill, by exercising social, administrative and legal pressure.
To ensure long-term protection, the Froxán Commons and the « Sociedade » worked together to gain recognition by the UN Environment programme as the first « Indigenous and Community Conserved Area » in Spain. It also set up the « Montescola » programme for twinning common land communities with urban schools to restore woodlands threatened by degradation and extractivism.
In 2014 SWAYYAM began work on 5 acres of overgrazed, eroded and barren land outside the village of Yelachatti (India). SWAYYAM uses Permaculture and Natural Farming principles to build self sufficiency in communities by focusing on planting local and drought tolerant trees; reviving local and traditional polyculture farming systems that can nurture the soil, people and the ecosystem; saving and sharing of seeds; use & sharing of medicinal plants; reviving local water bodies; soil and water conservation; building with local materials using local skills and labour; use of alternate energy sources like solar and wind etc.
In just three years, what was bare sub-soil has become a bio-diverse hub of fruit, timber, fodder and fibre trees, grasses, insects, butterflies, birds, reptiles and other wildlife. The focus now is on growing native and traditional crops specific to the area that are drought tolerant and can ensure multiple and extended yields, nutrition, health and food security.
Tahtacıörencik Ecological Living Collective (TADYA) is a grassroots group working in Güdül, Ankara, Turkey. It practices and promotes agroecology and aims to foster ecological rural development through supporting sustainable rural livelihoods.
In April 2013 the Temürcü family moved to Tahtacıörencik village to help the TADYA collective with other villagers. Since then, the collective has encouraged local farmers/producers to be part of the DBB Participatory Guarantee System, securing them income while directing them to more nature-friendly and healthy production methods. The group is also developing an agroecology training center and a permaculture demonstration site, and supports villagers in organizing eco-tours from the city to the village; helping to build solidarity between rural and urban populations.
Uryadi’s Village was established in 2014 in response to the orphan crisis in Ethiopia. It became clear that the degradation of Ethiopia’s land is linked to widespread food access issues, and that this is linked with the high orphan population. (Newborns are abandoned because their parents cannot feed them). Uryadi’s Village aims to address both the immediate needs of these children and the systemic breakdowns that lead to newborns being abandoned.
At Wolayta Village – the project’s permaculture demonstration site- a home is provided to 78 orphaned children. The site is also used to provide training and resources for regenerative food production as a long term investment in the regeneration of the surrounding land. A local adoption program has also been pioneered, having facilitated three adoptions into local homes so far.
The Whales of Guerrero Research Project (WGRP) collaborates with local communities, government and universities to create incentives and opportunities to restore the region’s collapsing marine ecology. WGRP cultivates environmental stewardship via meaningful education, science and conservation programs. A community-run humpback whale study is the entrance point to conversations about marine wildlife and why nature matters.
Since 2014, it has: spearheaded 1500 hours of whale and dolphin field studies in partnership with local citizen scientists; formed and empowered ecotourism co-ops; trained 75+ fishermen as “whale safe captains” and taught 2500+ students in 25 schools about the surrounding environment; brought 250 kids out to meet their local whales and dolphins for the first time; and led 250+ international travellers on ecotourism adventures. Next steps are a fishermen’s learning exchange between community leaders from Guerrero and communities in Baja California that have restored their seas and are now thriving as a result; the creation of a community-backed marine management plan, self-supporting education and guide training programs and a well-known and well-run ecotourism industry.