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Ethics of Permaculture

Trees From Above

EARTH CARE

CARE FOR THE EARTH AND ALL THAT LIVE ON IT

Natural resources are the key to future prosperity. The natural environment must be protected and repaired.

This includes: • The forests and the plants, animals, birds, and insects • Lakes, rivers, river catchments, and estuaries • The ocean, especially the coastline and the reefs • The air.


Any action that damages, pollutes, or destroys the natural environment has the same effect on people.

All farmland, including land for forestry and animals, must be thought of as the base of a country’s wealth. If it is farmed responsibly and sustainably and the land is slowly improved, the country’s wealth will grow.

The benefits are: • Long-term productivity for farmers and their children • Protection and health of the surrounding environment • Protection and health of the people farming the land

Sustainable farming includes: • Improving soil quality • Taking all steps possible to stop erosion and mudslides • Reducing and stopping burning • Using natural materials, organic fertilisers, integrated organic pest and land management techniques • Working with nature, the land, and its natural patterns • Creating integrated and diverse systems • Using cultural practice and traditional land laws to help protect and repair the land.

Happy Indian Girl

PEOPLE CARE

EQUALITY, RESPECT AND OPPORTUNITY 

People are also at the centre of permaculture strategies and techniques. Every person has the right to land, food, water, and a healthy future.

Permaculture improves basic food security and health for ALL people which include: • Increasing production, diversity, and the quality of produce • Food sovereignty from seed to market and plate • Improving food storage and preservation • Securing a clean water supply • Improving nutrition • Encouraging the use of and training on natural medicine, combined with modern medicine • Improving house health and hygiene−especially for kitchens, water, toilets, and waste management

Permaculture promotes equality, security, and opportunities for all people through: • Equal opportunities and rights for men, women, and children • Improving basic wealth, not just in terms of money, but also in land and people • Improving livelihoods and opportunities for people in rural and remote areas • Taking action to reduce hard work, such as carrying water and firewood • Sharing and trading knowledge and resources.

Permaculture practice is working together with traditional cultures and strengthening them. Sometimes traditional practice is changed or improved but this is done through collaborating with people, not forcing new ideas onto people. This is achieved through: • Encouraging and using traditional ceremonies, beliefs, and knowledge • New techniques and ideas recognising, respecting, and fitting together with traditional culture • Educating children about traditional knowledge, language, and ceremonies and about how these can be part of a modern society • Culturally appropriate permaculture training, books, posters, etc

Monk's Rice

FAIR SHARE

DISTRIBUTE SURPLUS, LIMIT CONSUMPTION, AND CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE

To achieve a fair share, we need to change our priorities. In the current world, economic systems and making money are the highest priorities. This leads to hoarding, excess consumption, and wasting precious resources. We need to change this to ‘quality of life’ being the highest priority. Quality of life means having access to and sovereignty over food, water, housing, energy, transport, livelihoods, education, opportunities, and human rights.

The foundation of the quality of life is equally supported by:

• A healthy economy

• A healthy environment

• A healthy society and culture.

Then the fair share concept works.

At a family and community level, the more self-sufficient we are, the easier it is to achieve fair share. At a government level and nationally, some important functions in society need to be separated from profit making, such as health, water supply, education, and renewable electricity, and with technology developing quickly, this can happen.

WHEN THERE ARE SURPLUSES OF PRODUCTION, IT IS BETTER TO SHARE THEM THAN HOARD THEM.

Sharing the surpluses leads to: • Equality • Cooperation • Feeling secure and content • Community resilience • Community strength • More efficient use of resources

Hoarding surpluses leads to: • Surplus waste−in some countries up to 50% of food is not eaten and thrown out!! • Resource waste−water, soil, forests, etc. • Inequality • Division • Envy.

Excess produce can be shared and there are many groups and people who already do this. Some methods are: • Cooperatives and community groups • Collecting and cooking food for the poor by religious organisations, charities, and non-government organisations (NGOs) • Providing excess to children at schools and in orphanages • Food swaps and direct bartering.

LIMIT CONSUMPTION AND IMPROVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:

• Continually look at ways of using less energy and changing to renewable energy. • Localise!!! Transporting products that come from far away uses a lot of energy, and they often require more processing and packaging. • Water is precious and we must do everything to store it, keep it clean, and not waste it. • Organic food production uses local, sustainable, and low energy resources. • Reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle! • As food, water, and life security improve, population growth naturally decreases: this idea causes lots of debate and there are many factors around how many children people have. However, if the world’s population keeps growing at the rate that it is, we will have resource depletion sooner than later, especially water and food. The best solution is to improve the quality of life, because when this improves, birth rates naturally decrease. • Diet−balance sources of protein: high meat consumption creates huge environmental and health problems. • Transport: use cars and other vehicles wisely not wastefully; use the most energy-efficient method possible, e.g. bicycles.

WHAT WE DO NOW AFFECTS THE FUTURE:

 • All practices MUST consider the future. • All current plans MUST also include plans for the future on all levels–government, district, communities, families, and individuals. • Consider and plan not just for 10 years, but 20 years, 50 years, and 100 years in the future. • Our children, our children’s children, and their children will inherit this land. It is up to us to make it a good place for them to live.

The most important part of planning for the future is EDUCATION. Knowledge and information have to be taught and shared if your country’s future is to be strong and healthy, and everybody benefits. This includes sharing and trading our extra resources and skills.

 COOPERATION NOT COMPETITION IS THE KEY

 • Use local and natural resources whenever possible • Protect the natural environment • Reduce the amount of packaging that is bought and waste that is produced • Recycle and reuse waste whenever possible • Move towards using renewable energy sources, such as biogas, solar, hydroelectric, and wind power.

The future is ours to decide and it begins today.

SOURCE: INFORMATION SOURCED AND REPRODUCED FROM: TROPICAL PERMACULTURE GUIDE BOOK- A GIFT FROM TIMOR LESTE.

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 Ethics: Team Members
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