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What is Permaculture?

Who conceptualised it?

Permaculture was conceptualised by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Tasmania, Australia in the 1970s. It is a response to unsustainable methods of food production, especially industrialised agriculture, as well as unsustainable energy production, forestry, towns, cities, and ‘modern’ lifestyles. The design-based strategies come from traditional and sustainable agricultural knowledge, and techniques practiced in many−including tropical−countries, mixed with new sustainable strategies, technologies, and techniques.

What is permaculture? How does it work?

Permaculture creates designs that copy and use patterns and relationships found in nature, while producing an abundance of food, fibre, and energy for local needs. It is about making the absolute most of what you have, reusing all-natural waste as resources, and creating houses, farms, and communities that create most of the resources they need. This produces resilient and truly sustainable communities.

Permaculture connects and integrates different strategies and techniques of living and agriculture, so that they support each other and become as self-maintaining as possible. A key result of a successful permaculture project is that the land and people are better and healthier than when you started.

Why permaculture?

At present there are many problems in the world:

•  Natural environments are being destroyed

•  Farming land all over the world is being damaged and depleted

•  Rivers, lakes, the land, the air, and the oceans are being polluted

•  Climate change is occurring causing instability and rising ocean levels

• People, animals, birds, fish, and insects are being contaminated, and many species have become extinct

• Most of the world’s population is very poor, while a small percentage of the population is very rich

•  There is a loss of traditional culture, knowledge, celebrations, and languages


These problems are happening in every country, and people must take the steps towards building a sustainable future. Action and change must come from all levels of society–government, schools, businesses, community groups, workers, farmers, communities, families, men, women, and children.

It involves considering every aspect of our lives followed by thoughtful change. People have created these problems, and it is people who must change their ways for the earth to become healthy again. Future generations depend on it.

Permaculture is about techniques and ideas that move towards creating healthy environments, healthy cultures, and healthy people. Permaculture strategies and techniques recognise and respect the value of every living being and that everything is connected, including humans. What we do to one being has impacts on every person, every animal, every insect, every tree, every plant, every fish, even the fungi and bacteria in the soil. Every living being has its role to play and its function. This must be considered and respected in creating a truly sustainable society, the benefits of which will flow into the future.

Permaculture achieves its ‘permanence’ by constantly changing, moving, and improving. Permanence is never achieved by staying the same, it involves continuous learning, using new techniques, and applying new experiences. This allows sustainable lifestyles, food sovereignty, and resilience to grow, leading to better and stronger families, communities and societies, and a healthy environment.

How does one know if they are going on the right path?

Permaculture’s ethics and principles guide the designs people make and the strategies and techniques they use. They guide people to be more responsible for their own lives: with responsibility comes more control over their own destinies. They guide people towards a secure future for themselves, their land, and their culture.

Where can I learn more about it?

Permaculture is a framework for sustainable development that is now being taught and used in many different countries and cultures and promotes practical and empowering solutions.


There are many websites, videos, and books on this subject available on the internet. You can find many such resources in the below-mentioned book. Additionally, one can always pursue PDC(permaculture Design Course) offered by few organisations.  



It’s a wonderful open-source practical permaculture reference guide book with 2000 beautiful illustrations and comprehensive language which enables even a beginner to understand the permaculture design, food sovereignty, and environmental regeneration strategies and techniques. The vision of this project is to make knowledge comprehensible and accessible for everyone to accelerate sustainable practices in every corner of the world. It is especially useful when working with poor, low literacy, and disadvantaged communities and schools.

This edition was developed from the Permaculture Guidebook from Timor-Leste produced in 2008 and published by Permatil (Permaculture Timor Leste-NGO). It is used by farmers, families, community groups, government departments, schools, universities, agricultural colleges, and NGOs in Timor Leste, and re-used and translated in more than 10 countries.


Please find the link below to download this book and learn more about their work on their website.

Hidden What is permaculture?: Text
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