We can only resolve the ecological and climate crisis by changing our relationship with the biosphere, our living earth. From the exploitative, extractive and throw away consumer relationship we currently have to one of restoration, rejuvenation and regeneration. Nature to a large degree is self healing and self restoring, permaculture is the design strategy we can use to accelerate that process and to steer it towards outcomes and pathways that help us meet our needs whilst allowing nature to do its thing.
The age of cheap and abundant energy set us on the wrong path many years ago, where it was thought we can dominate nature and subdue it into submission and do our bidding. This is proving in a myriad of ways to have been a massive and potentially disastrous departure from the right path. Is it too late to restore? We have certainly left it too late to avoid many major shifts and changes and this will create 10’s of million of climate refugees this decade.
Permaculture East Africa
In 2014 two members of the Sector39 team were invited to Uganda as part of a study of farming and enterprise projects in East Uganda. We had helped host a visit to Wales from Dolen Ffermio Ugandan partners in 2011 and this was the beginning of a new set of connections between Sector39 and African partners. As director of S39 my own career in permaculture began in Zimbabwe where I had received training and work experience in permaculture and I brought this experience and enthusiasm back with me as well as a determination to begin new permaculture projects here in UK.
I already realised how well permaculture fits and is relevant to the Africa experience and ever since had a feeling I needed to complete the circle by going back there to teach. Using the study tour experience of 2014 and the Dolen Ffermio network we returned in 2016 to deliver our first PDC in Kamuli, Eastern Uganda. We went back in 2017 to build on that and made strong links to the Uganda permaculture networks, finding new colleagues, friends and collaborators. In 2018 we had the opportunity to build this winning seed funding from the Wales government as well as a contract to trial permaculture in some of the huge refugee settlements in the north of the country.