Re: Permaculture Workshop with author Bill Mollison
a Reconstructive Ecology
There is no doubt that our relationship to the
environment is the most pressing concern of our times. For the
past several decades there have been numerous reports
identifying which activities we must bring to a halt.
Discussion on where society is headed, ecologically,
has until recently, been limited to the opportunism of
corporate managers, prophecies of futurists or the soothsaying
These groups have been discussing the meaning of the
popular term, "Sustainable Development" as an approach to limit
the impact of their representative, self-interests. Meanwhile,
in these times of rapid technological change, the synergistic
impact of population growth, disease, hazardous wastes,
political unrest etc.continues to ravage the planet.
Fortunately an emerging movement has developed that is
not content with simply preserving what is left of the natural
environment; it is also commited to restoring what has been
damaged. This movement, called "Bioregionalism", comes from
the Greek terms meaning "life" and "territory", a place defined
by its life forms; and governed by nature not legislature. It
functions as a catalyst for empowering local people to promote
healthy change in their watersheds.
In his book, Dwellers of the Land: The Bioregional
Vision, Kirkpatrick Sale, explains that the nature of
Bioregionalism implies an understanding of the land, its
geographical features, resource inventory and carrying capacity
as a self-reliant, human and wild habitat. The Bioregional
vision requires a serious historical and anthropological
explorartion of the ways and wisdom of earlier cultures. Sale,
reminds us of the words of his mentor, E.F. Schumacher, who
once said that "We have discarded the two great teachers of
humanity: the marvelous system of living nature and the
traditional wisdom of mankind".
The goal of Bioregionalism is to develop a territories
fullest potential. To attain this goal, bioregionalism
challenges multinational domination which exports wealth to
distant banks and corporate offices. Bioregionalism envisions
what could be done in any region if all its funds, facilities,
stocks and talents were used to their fullest, limited only by
the carrying capacity of the land and its ecological
constraints. Bioregionalism is also liberating in the way that
it opens up to communitarian values of cooperation,
participation and reciprocity. These writes, Sale, are the
processes most central to the bioregional idea.
Within the Bioregional paradigm the system of choice
for ecologial planning and restoration is a system known as
"Permaculture". This term was patented by, Bill Mollison, in
the early 1970's to describe a design system of permanent
habitations. With roots its in agricultural planing,
permaculture has evolved into a program for designing
ecological communities and restoring urban centers.
On July 6, the first Permaculture Design course to be
offered in Atlantic Canada will be hosted by the Institute for
Bioregional Studies (IBS) at Shades of Harmony Farm in
Kingston, Nova Scotia. This two-week long course on the design
of sustainable systems for home, farm, community or urban
center will be taught by a team led by Michael Pilarski,
Founder of Friends of the Trees and Gary Lean, Instructor,
Integrated Resource Management, Sir Sandford Fleming College
Course topics will include: Local Self-Reliance,
Networking, Research and Site Analysis, Bioregional Planning
and Mapping, Organic Agriculture, Edible Landscaping,
Sustainable Forestry and Urban Reconstruction.
A special Strawbale Construction workshop will
introduce participants to a traditional form of building
construction that is efficient, low-cost and renewable!
Course graduates will be certified as Permaculture
Design Trainees. Graduates will be entitled to use the term
"Permaculture" in the pursuit of livelihood, and for
IBS, is a self-supporting educational institute
commited to the design and management of sustainable
communities. The Permaculture Design Course is the first in a
series of programs offered by IBS during the summer of 1995.
The programs are aimed at people whose curiosities may lead
them to seek careers in ecological planning, teachers who wish
to better inform their students and others desiring to pursue
ecologically responsible lifestyles.
Each of our week long and weekend programs is planned
to study the potential of humanity to create an ecological
society. A combined faculty of over 30 internationally known
planners and community activists will develop a reconstructive,
bioregional perspective that supports community health and
self-reliance. Students seeking college credit may do so by
special arrangement through their home institution.
For more information on IBS program schedules please
send $5.00 with your request for a catalogue to: I.B.S., 449
University Avenue, Suite 126, Charlottetown, Prince Edward
Island, Canada, C1A 8K3.
Phone: (902) 892-9578--
Phil Ferraro, Director
Institute for Bioregional Studies Developing Local Solutions
449 University Avenue to Global Problems.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Canada C1A 8K3