Permaculture – a brief definition
Permaculture means “permanent culture” and is the conscious design of human living environments and social orders that are reflections of the ecological principle that underlies nature. This principle is applied to all aspects of the human endeavour to create a new civilization and attune it into the greater universal system.
Permaculture is best expressed as the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way, resulting from good design. Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms. The philosophy behind Permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.
Being that it is an evolving body of knowledge-action that is at the very basis of civilization, Permaculture can be applied as a set of principles or guidelines which are ethical by nature.
These ethically based principles have their foundation in the observation of ecological systems. When applied in design, these principles and ethics enable permaculture systems to mirror natural ecosystems. Nature is sustainable, abundant and non-discriminatory, where all organic and inorganic forms are integrated into a harmonious web of life that serves the well being of the whole system. It is in the recognition and connection to the Oneness that the true value of life is experienced and is summed up by the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. This is the essence of permaculture existence.
Thus Permaculture Principles when applied result in what can be called cultivated ecosystems or Eco systemic existence. These principles are universal and can be applied in any environment and circumstance resulting in sustainable systems… Environments or systems that do not reflect the set of permaculture principles have no chance of reaching sustainability or self-regulation, which is the holy grail of permaculture… What differs from circumstance to circumstance is not the principles or ethics, they are universal, but rather the selection of elements and techniques within the design that are suited to specific environmental and human needs. Thus although the underlying patterns and principles of all permaculture systems are the same, each one is unique and locally specific.
To learn more about permaculture attend a Permaculture Design Course (PDC), which provides the necessary conceptual and practical tools to begin designing and implementing permaculture systems. You can view the current courses in your area on our Events page and inform us of any courses around the country to include.
For more information on a PDC or permaculture consulting
PERMACULTURE EDUCATION AFRICA
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