What would Government Agencies need for Permaculture Endorsement ?

Discussion in 'Environmental and Health Professionals Interested' started by Callum EHO, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    With so many governments and agencies coming into disrepute - what criteria should they be encouraged to meet in order to qualify for permaculture endorsement?

    What can a "permaculture approach" do to help get policy, legislation and guidelines right and claw back some credability?

    Is permaculture a "practical green" approach and how reliant on this will communities be in the near future? How well supported is it going to need to be at higher levels of government?
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    What part of the world are you in? I think the answers vary somewhat depending on place.
     
  3. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    Australia, but it appears governments all over the place in the global village are starting to have difficulties with energy, food, environmental protection, economy, pollution, ethics, law etc

    I guess is there are practical code of ethics or ideals that permaculturalists would support in government agencies?

    I guess even devising some tests of legislation of policy or a somesort of criteria for a permaculture impact statement ?

    eg: permaculture takes up space but is it recognised for its low footprint, social benefit/model or is the land just rated and valued in accordance with the lands value for less environmentally friendly measures?

    Lots of government agencies are scared to talk or even support debate on even these basic measures - maybe permaculture could draw some of this out for our benefit and theirs ?
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Earth care, people care, fair share? There's some discussion about maximising happiness rather than profit out there.
    The difficulty is always going to be how that is interpreted.
     
  5. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    People are starting to change their attitudes and change is also starting to change changes more quickly than ever before. Political players are getting harder to recruit and people are starting to get more wary of sticking their hand or their head up.

    Governments and agencies are trying to give the impression they are responsible and that things are normal or better than normal but how long can this last?

    Should permaculture be making any moves in all this or maybe just provide some guidance in some way on at least the issues that effect permaculturalists who are trying to set the right example. Community Gardens are a great example - very popular now but still a struggle to get established and presumably they could be developed to go much further.
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I'm involved with local government, and have an understanding on several environmental pursuits within it.

    Best practice is best practice. Often, time and money, gets in the way of that and everything suffers. A lot of it is based on personal bias, so if the person has no idea of other factors in relation to the decision being made, they are ignored. I won't say what, I typed out a few examples and deleted them but you get the idea. Chemicals, removals, procedures, Australian Standards etc.

    Basically, you could have community-run gardens, probably fenced off, all earthworks done in-house and surveyed, sewered facilities, mulch/organic matter supplied, as big as you could manage food forests on dead (grassed) parklands (there are thousands of unused parks, getting mowed every now and again) IF,

    Big IF, if it was an election issue. Councillors and Mayors, which then filters down to CEO and Directors all have the simple ability to make these things happen. If they say Jump.

    Even now, after I've been researching passive watering and using the natural area philosophies I already have and mixing them with Permaculture, I could see it happening in strategic places all over Council-owned land. I know of one 'Food Forest' and it was remarked to me what a failure it was. Driving past, it's a stand of trees, mowed and sprayed around. I can see why.

    People can make things happen, if they complain enough. I also know of one 'No Roundup' area put together by a co-op of residents and good for them. The way it gets sprayed around here, it's probably for the best.

    Roads are now the big issue because people complain about potholes, all the time. Not that many complain about community gardens, or even the environment any more and budgeting dictates that (also reflects on mindsets of Councillors, Mayors, Directors, CEO i.e. no environmental credentials - has to be election issue). You may question the word, 'complain'. It starts of as 'suggestion' and will be ignored. Squeakiest wheel, keep that in mind.
     
  7. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Sometimes I think we get a bit caught up in calling something 'Permaculture', it may be more accessible to people if we broach it in terms of individual principles. Just use the principles without carrying the Permaculture banner perhaps?
     
  8. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Exactly! For example: Tomorrow evening a group of we under/post grads will be presenting (in response to their invitation) to a local community on the benefits of 'good urban planning/design'. When my turn comes to present, I will not be mentioning the term 'permaculture', but you can rest assured that my understanding of the ethics and principles will be guiding me in my delivery. Likewise when we respond to questions, 'permaculture' will not be a term I will automatically refer to. Of course, should one of our more enlightened audience members broach the subject, then of course I will be only too happy to extol on the virtues of furthering the 'permaculture' cause. It all comes down to context: Who is the audience; what is it that they are trying achieve/resolve, and what is the best (in terms of understanding/acceptance) frame of reference to use in any particular place/time? Occasionally when lecturing/tutoring I throw the odd 'permaculture' in here and there, but it is always used judiciously, and always in an environment where/when its full potential (understanding) can be best utilised. Words are powerful, but only when considered within the full context of their unique situation.
     
  9. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Wow Callum, where to start? I agree with what SOP has said. From my perspective the only way to get things included in a government agenda is if there is enough groundswell support for it and there are votes in doing something they might just do it. Pragmatism has replaced idealism to such an extent that I think getting the principles behind permaculture accepted and adopted has to come from the ground roots. If you try and get legislation, policies and or guidelines there are so many hoops to jump through that from my experience, would not even get a second look. Try fighting chemical companies without public outrage.......Try protecting areas of freehold land and not upset landholders.... try stopping water going to farms to prevent river degradation and not have farmers go ballistic (Murray Darling report delayed again for "more consultation").....and the list goes on.

    In queensland we have to complete a climate change impact assessment that accompanies any new legislation or amended legislation. It attempts to gauge what impact the law will have on the climate. Hard to substantiate in many instances and can be subjective according to the policy/leg officer doing the work.

    Even trying to brief on a particular issue, your words get rejected up the line as those above may not agree and so it goes nowhere.

    Even a lot of environmental legisation has no enforcement provisions, so basically are a wish list. In a bid to save money a lot of it is self regulation. Like getting the mice to look after the cheese and write a report about it that never gets checked.

    Has to come from the ground up. Or education programs that highlight the economic and envirnomental advantages that are taught to as many people as possible. I have helped people i work with to design their gardens along permaculture principles and it slowly is catching on as more and more come to ask my advice. Even a poster in the workplace can encourage discussion and education.
     
  10. Callum EHO

    Callum EHO Junior Member

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    That reminds me - I want to start a garden again at work. I have done it three times and the fresh air and fresh food did wonders for government minds !
    I wonder if it is possible for a post to trigger a thread that becomes a chapter, that becomes a story or a paper, then a play, then a film?
    Do you think packaging ideas in ways that hit chords might help sometimes? Spin doctors so often make their situation worse some times.
    I know I get most of my inspiration out there dealing with real people and their issues
     

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