What is a Regenerative Society?
A Regenerative Society meets the needs of humans and all life systems through the practices and principles found in Permaculture Low Impact Sustainable Development.
Watch this video to begin your introduction to regenerative concepts implemented through Permaculture practices:
Permaculture EcoVillage Model
Low Impact Sustainable Community Development
The United Nations issued a report that stated “Only Small Farmers Can Feed the World” Governments must shift subsidies and research funding from agro-industrial monoculture to small farmers using ‘agroecology [permaculture]’ methods. [Download Report Here] According to the UN’s Special Report on the Right to Food modern industrial agricultural methods can no longer feed the world, due to the impacts of overlapping environmental and ecological crises linked to land, water and resource availability. A UN official said that new scientific research increasingly shows how ‘agroecology’ offers far more environmentally sustainable methods that can still meet the rapidly growing demand for food.
Agriculture needs a new direction: Permaculture
Permaculture is a design discipline that guides the development of diverse agricultural ecosystems that are capable of sustaining large human populations while having a positive impact on the environment.
These designs can be implemented virtually anywhere on the planet, in any ecosystem, from rural developing countries to modern cities. The carbon footprint of agriculture can be realistically reduced and even reversed, while feeding everyone profitably and addressing the real problems that have led to widespread hunger, waste, and environmental destruction as a direct result of how human beings are currently feeding, clothing, transportation and sheltering themselves.
Permaculture has the potential to eliminate the dangerous and toxic chemicals that have dominated every step of the modern industrial food chain, by shortening supply chains and turning what is now viewed as waste into valuable resources that ensure food security in the present and into the future.
The separate challenges of waste management, natural resource management, agriculture, and human settlements are typically handled as standalone issues to be handled by different departments, but with a whole systems design approach a problem in one area becomes the solution in another through integration.
Modern agriculture, which began in the 1950s, is extremely resource intensive, very fossil fuel dependent, using fertilizers, and based on massive production. Industrial agriculture grabs 80% of subsidies and 90% of research funds. This policy has to change.
We are already facing a range of challenges. Resource scarcity, increased population, decreasing land availability and accessibility, emerging water scarcity, and soil degradation require us to re-think how best to use our resources for future generations.
The Permaculture EcoVillage Model is designed to address global world hunger, poverty, and environmental damage that have resulted from our current infrastructure systems and resource management practices. It is a fresh approach to community development that creates low impact infrastructure and builds community with self-reliance as its end goal.
Human settlements in these areas have the built in potential to operate sustainably without heavy dependence on scarce imported inputs, through permaculture design and management. A developing country with very little infrastructure is actually at an advantage since they do not already have a top heavy, resource intensive infrastructure to replace.
Permaculture designs concentrate at least 80% of the major infrastructural changes and installations at the beginning of the project, with maintenance needs falling off over time as the system matures. This creates a self- sustaining system that needs less and less imported inputs and maintenance over time.
The model described in this document has every chance to succeed because it is based on a synthesis of the best development practices pioneered and tested over the past 50 years. Using the model, it is possible to achieve a vigorous and effective empowerment of communities worldwide.
The EcoVillage Model is created from the ground up using permaculture design. In 2008 the Lammas Ecovillage Project in Wales set a precedent when they received planning approval for the development of a settlement using criteria and protocols established by the local planning department.
Building upon this ground breaking project A.N.G.E.L. in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Center (RMSC) is launching a global initiative to bring permaculture design and EcoVillage development education to countries who are ready to pioneer a new sustainable global culture.
This program can radically and rapidly put in place, in rural communities strategically located around the world, community developments and sustainable technologies that release and empower millions of people to participate vigorously in the 21st century.
Purpose: To address global world hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation by building low impact sustainable communities using permaculture design. To accomplish that, the Permaculture EcoVillage model adopts the following specific objectives:
- Create Self Sustaining Communities
Every step of the design, implementation, and completion of the project is oriented towards creating a self-sustaining member community, who will be equipped and empowered to share their knowledge and resources with others through education. Every possible effort is made to ensure the self sufficiency of the project. The intervening organizations strive to mature the system as quickly as possible so as not to be needed for the ongoing maintenance and administration of the project.
- Build a strong shareable knowledge base
Open source sharing through documentation and building effective data bases are key to the rapid acceleration of creating Regenerative Societies. Already there is a vast wealth of information available world wide that can be translated and adapted to each participating Member State. Each project will have access and contribute to this data base and A.N.G.E.L Foundation will facilitate the initial organization and coalition building processes as well as product and technology transfers.
- Integrate traditional knowledge with modern technological advances for maximum productivity and diversity within the system.
A.N.G.E.L. provides the resources and RMCS provides the training and education for on the ground agents from host countries to guide the implementation and determine the appropriateness of design elements to the situation.
- Build a Collaborative NGO Network.
Each sufficiently strong NGO usually has one or more specific project with which it is associated. In a cluster organization, the NGOs work together and they share, as needed, their personnel, technical and program strengths to help in the initial stages of development.
In 2010 SeThInk Media sponsored and created an online network that allows people all over the world to share information, resources, and educational media about EcoVillage development. The network is private and free for members to write articles, share videos/pictures, and start ‘groups’ in. This network is an invaluable platform that will allow communication/strategic planning Member States to be able to track and monitor their regional developments.
II. FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
A set of basic low impact sustainable community development and permaculture principles guides the design and creation of an EcoVillage. They are :
- Participatory, Village-Based Development:
The EcoVillage is the basic unit of planning and action. Participatory involvement by everyone in the village is vital in creating a positive development climate. Participation is the key to human motivation. Each village that supports full participation of its members is ready for project participation. Where participation is the motivator of effective action, broad-based community planning is the generator of strategic action.
- Local Values.
Western culture is not determinative. Rather, indigenous and local values must be identified and employed as a motivating force to support the achievement of locally determined priorities. Both indigenous and developmental values need to be identified and understood before full project initiation.
In order to be sustainable, any village-based development effort must include all members of the EcoVillage. Villagers not only must participate, they must have a genuine voice in the process. Exclusion of any group risks the failure of the entire enterprise. Basic mutual agreements at the very beginning of a project insure a favorable climate for development which includes all village members.
- Self-Reliance and an Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Opportunities for individual and team initiative are the heart of any EcoVillage development effort. The future genuinely is in the hands of local activists and family members. A spirit of individual investment, community investment and local responsibility is essential for achieving EcoVillage objectives. This creates genuine ownership of the project.
III. 12 PRINCIPLES OF PERMACULTURE
The teaching and implementation of Permaculture design and principles will be the foundation for each project and program developed. Community members will be educated and training centers can be established so that everyone will have an opportunity to learn and apply these practices in their communities. Children’s programs can be initiated with basic permaculture principles as its core teachings. Below are the 12 basic tenets of permaculture principles:
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and Store Energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback
- Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services
- Produce No Waste
- Design From Patterns to Details
- Integrate Rather Than Segregate
- Use Small and Slow Solutions
- Use and Value Diversity.
- Use Edges and Value the Marginal
- Creatively Use and Respond to Change
A Member State that participates in the Permaculture EcoVillage initiative will be able to build food producing sustainable communities that have the ability to create strong local economies. Land that has been environmentally damaged can be regenerated into balanced ecosystems using permaculture methods. Permaculture EcoVillages provide low cost infrastructure/housing for students and families.
Existing villages/towns can be transformed into flourishing human settlements that provide an attractive place for families and youth which can lead to positive population redistribution back into rural areas. Permaculture food production can improve the health of communities by making organic non-gmo foods easily accessible.
Permaculture EcoVillages reduce carbon footprints and resource over consumption that have contributed to Global warming. It provides a development strategy that can be used in natural disaster areas for relocation and rebuilding of human settlements. In developed countries it provides new criteria for zoning and building codes for the allowance of low impact development both rural and urban.
A.N.G.E.L. Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Center in partnership with Member States and participating NGO’s will establish education centers that work with universities and create children’s programs. This will allow for wide spread sustainable systems education that goes beyond what has currently been implemented. .
We stand at a critical moment in history and humanity is ready for a transition that will bring us and our planet back into balance. Permaculture EcoVillage development can help solve world hunger/poverty/homelessness and achieve long term holistic solutions that can transform our global situation within a single generation.