Really sorry the Sector39 website www.permaculturedesigncourse.co.uk is off line currently and we are trying to fix it. the site contains blogs and posts from past courses as well as booking details for current ones, please contact us via this site for information on our courses
Meanwhile we had begun promoting our next PDC which will be i in Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant, Powys, Wales SY10 0JN
It has taken our team three years to complete this text book. We have been working with our local high school and across our whole community to investigate how we can raise this essential issue in a meaningful and constructive way.
Permaculture gives us the statment, ‘the problem is the solution’ recognising that a problem is the inverse of its solution, problems are not unrelated but directly connected to their solution. Further more simply presenting dire predictions of a problem so huge humanity cannot face it achieves nothing but either continued denial or all out nihilism. Permaculture is a design process that is inclusive, works out from one’s own experience and helps build a co-ordinated and unified response.
Greta Thunberg began her activism at 15, starting alone yet within months creating a world wide movement. We take our inspiration from her work, we challenge everyone who cares to set in motion their small and slow solution and lets see how it builds and where it takes us.
We are excited to be featured in the latest Permaculture Magazine (PM101) in a piece exploring our work in refugee settlements in Uganda last year. It was a huge experience for all of us involved. We trained 40 refugees in permaculture and then supported them over the following 6 month period to become teachers and leaders , each trainee was tasked to train 4 families from their own surrounding communities.
Here are the pioneers, those who are now on the front line of bring permaculture into the community of Bidibidi refugee settlement and beyond. We are hoping we can find ways to continue to support them in this vital effort to combat poverty, de-forestation and food insecurity by bringing design and purpose via permaculture to their communities
The trainees, first generation permaculture team, Maaji and Bidibidi 2018
These stunning portraits were taken by Angharad Rees
Biodiversity in Wales has collapsed over the last 4 or 5 decades. This became blatantly clear on the publication of the State of Nature report in 2013. No one articulated this more strongly than local Welsh naturalist Iolo Williams when he spoke at the Senedd in 2013
In our response to the changing climate and the loss of biodiversity it is apparent we need new models and approaches. Ones the restore depleted soil carbon, reducing flooding and reverse erosion and that protect and enhances biodiversity.
Permaculture is a design approach that has nature at its heart and increasingly we have been applying these ideas to more and more challenging situations and at greater scale. Sector39 are currently building a coalition of partners to take on a 124 acre hill farm on the edge of the Berwyn mountains here in Wales with the specific aim of creating a model for regenerative farming that could perhaps lead the way in land reform and demonstrate how a diversity of incomes can lead to a diversity of biological life on the farm.
We have 25 years of housing co-operative experience and community building and this would give us the change to couple this experience with large scale habitat restoration. We have 2 objectives, one to establish a trust to purchase this unique farm and hold it in perpetuity so that we have establish a land based community to live and take care of the land.
The Trust needs to secure £400,000 in investment to secure the land for the proejct itself to go ahead. We already have finance in place for the actual project itself. As a training and teaching organisation we dont anticipate a problems recruiting members to the proejct or tenants for the farm and buildings.
This unique farm takes in a whole water system, several springs and 124 acres of land, not all of which has been ploughed and ‘improved’ with fertilizers and rye grasses. Rather than see it disappear under the uniformity of even more ‘sheep monoculture’ our vision is to take in the other direction, finding economic and responsible ways to restore diversity and create new possibilities for especially farms on marginal and upland locations.
The urgency of the situation demands that we stand up and be counted. Our governments have failed us, they sign agreements, nod to the science but do nothing real in response. We have to make an intervention. Human society needs to be governed in line with the laws of ecology and society. Solving climate change means building a whole different type of society and that will only happen if we all take part. It is time for the lunatics to leave the asylum.
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” –
Extinction Rebellion is our best chance to bringing climate change into everyday language; it needs to be on everybodies lips, we need to be talking about it every day.
The next two weeks of disruption in London aims to be the spark the lights the tinder. The public needs to seize the narrative away from this corporate catastrophe and together we can evolve a new society that restores diversity and abundance to the earth. We know how to do it. Permaculture, co-operation, organic, solar powered we have to accelerate to the only future that can sustain us.
We are not innocent bi standers, the general public has obligations, . and if they are not performing their obligations then it is justifiable to disturb the population. Failing enact their social obligations to maintain and sustain a democratic and civilized society is a dereliction of social duty. We are trying to mobilize the general public
Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion
Extinction rebellion are asking three things
1: Full disclosure of climate science, lets talk realistically about this crisis we are in
2: Develop policies in line with science and the agreements we have made
3: Form General citizens assemblies to hold governments to account and to involve everyone in shaping a sustainable future.
videos: Calls to Action and an extended interview with Roger Hallam of XR
Extinction rebellion is here. The next 2 weeks are going to be a turning point in our collective history
The dates for the first weekend is set for 16th and 17th of March and we will negotiate the remaining dates with the group on the first weekend.
Times: Saturday 9.30 – for 10.00 am start until 5.30 pm Sundays 9.30 – for 10.00 am start until 4.00 pm Meet at Dragons, for coffee from 9.30, Llanrhaeadr High Street or Llanrhaeadr Village Hall, Back Chapel street from 9.50
Lunch is bring and share + soup and sourdough provided by Sector39
This page will be updated with more course info when available
Please consider making a donation to Ramadam Mutebi in support of this course. Rama is a PDC graduate in Uganda from 2017 and has amde significant contributions to his community since. We really hope to support him to achieve very much more.
Chris Hedges is one of the foremost ‘public intellectuals’ in the USA. One of the clearest voices on the left and a harsh critic of US imperialism. Hedges takes a clear, uncompromising view of the reality that is confronting us.
He advises us to abandon hope, as that leads to disappointment and desolation, and to focus on what we can practically achieve and through that process find deep personal meaning in our engagement.
He references many key texts, and draws on his deep experience of 20 years as foreign corespondent for the New York Times before quitting his influential position as head of the middle east office over the NYT’s refusal to accurately convey the disaster that was the Iraq war. The interview is deeply revealing of how the state controls the narrative and also how journalism has been eroded to ‘court gossip’.
Ex Wall Street bond trader, turned financial journalist presents a fresh perspective on economics and social change. This episode fits perfectly into the theme of climate emergency and collapse. Its a good watch and on topic, witty, acerbic, insightful and informed.
Are we living in an era of soft totalitarianism?
Will there be a Davos 2020?
‘Bitcoin is the guillotine of the 21st century’
Thinking about the fragility and beauty of the natural world
We need to cultivate a culture of deep reverence for nature and be prepared to accept the lessons of our own observations. I added this as a counter balance to the other two videos.
However we see the times we are living though it seems to me it is this interaction between our economic world and the real ecology we are embedded in that we need to concentrate on fully as we are clearly getting this very wrong currently. The issue both of the first two videos addresses is the mechanism by which we can over throw the status quo. The over throw of Wall Street, of the Imperialism and the empowerment of all people to face our collective challenges together seems to be a common theme.
This Council in seeing Powys as the Green Heart of Wales;
1. acknowledges the Climate Change Emergency and thus:
2. Asks the pension trustees to develop a strategy of divestment from fossil fuels
3. Supports the principles of Zero Carbon Britain and the work done by CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology)
4. Encourages the development of Hydrogen production and technologies in Powys utilising the clean environment, water and energy supply
5. Highlights that green technologies and the new economic opportunities as part of environmental sustainability should be a fundamental part of the Mid Wales Growth deal thus giving us a USP (Unique Selling Point)
6. That the authority should put in place a strategy for net zero carbon of its activities and develop best environmental practice in its buildings
7. That the authority should look at best practice from other authorities such as robinhoodenergy.co.uk with Nottinghamshire Council and theleccy.co.uk/about/ with Liverpool City Council, in not only developing local energy ownership and supply chains but also assisting tackling fuel poverty.
Cornwall Council has declared a ‘climate emergency’.
The authority says the declaration “recognises the climate change crisis and the need for urgent action”. It follows a motion debated at a full Council meeting today, where the Council called on Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary to achieve the target for Cornwall to become carbon neutral by 2030 and committed to work with other Councils with similar ambitions.
The motion – ‘Urgency on Climate Change’ – was brought to Full Council by Councillor Dominic Fairman, local member for St Teath and St Breward, and seconded by Councillor Edwina Hannaford, the Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for neighbourhoods.
The motion was amended by Councillor for Falmouth Smithick, Jayne Kirkham, to declare a climate emergency in line with the declarations of other local authorities.
Cllr Fairman said: “After a very lively debate a cross-party amendment was accepted which went even further than the original motion. If we are to avoid the worst-case scenarios, then the social change required will be deep.
Town by town and now whole counties are declaring a climate emergency, but what does that entail?
Should we all be pushing for similar action locally?
The science is settled, yet we seem unable to collectively plot a course to a safe horizon. Global emissions are still rising, they are still drilling and even worse we are still subsidizing the costs of bringing fossil energy to market and putting obstacles in the way of renewable energy development and investment. This must change.
But we definitely know that continuing to work in the ways we have done until now is not just backfiring – it is holding the gun to our own heads. With this in mind, we can choose to explore how to evolve what we do, without any simple answers.
Prof Jem Bendal PhD
The Prof. in a recent paper of staggering implications argues convincingly that we have to consider three courses of action, immediately as carrying on as we are is counter-productive to our own survival.
In the paper Deep Adaptation we are urged to look at our lives under these 3 headings
Resilience asks us “how do we keep what we really want to keep?”
What are the valued norms and behaviours that human societies will wish to maintain as they seek to survive?
Relinquishment asks us “what do we need to let go of in order to not make matters worse?”
This involves people and communities letting go of certain assets, behaviours and beliefs where retaining them could make matters worse. Examples include withdrawing from coastlines, shutting down vulnerable industrial facilities, or giving up expectations for certain types of consumption.
Restoration asks us “what can we bring back to help us with the coming difficulties and tragedies?”
This involves people and communities rediscovering attitudes and approaches to life and organisation that our hydrocarbon-fuelled civilisation eroded. Examples include re-wilding landscapes, so they provide more ecological benefits and require less management, changing diets back to match the seasons, rediscovering non-electronically powered forms of play, and increased community-level productivity and support.
There is much we dont know
Equally there is much that we do, the inevitability of transition or total collapse and the need for urgency. Every prediction made using 1990’s climate modelling is being overshot by current reality, we are looking at very grim scenarios within all of our lifetimes.. the only way we can mitigate the crisis we face is to begin to frame our collective response. If it is a crisis of our own doing, then we need to call it a crisis and stop doing those things rapidly
We will be meeting in the Cross Keys again next week, that is Thursday 31st January, Llanfyllin High Street. It is a free event, refreshments are served, donations to Cross Keys are welcome. Doors open 7.00 pm formal business from 7.30.
In last weeks meeting we looked at issues around key topics.
Feedback points included the following
Land, farming, food
A profound shift is happening in farming, localised, seasonal, organic, diversity friendly and carbon negative. There was interest in generating dialogue with farmers to release more marginal plots to re-wilding and local food projects. Starting co-ops, supporting local groups, more allotments and better growing skills and local distribution
Church land? Other public spaces that could be re-wilded or made productive
Will also be profoundly hit by transport costs. Ideas shared were can children educate their parents, it is after all there future that is being destroyed. The kind of jobs people are being prepared for will not exist, are we even creating the right skill set in pupils. Can we cope emotionally with the changes before us.
Food growing, processing storing and cooking. Can permaculture be part of education, and children more empowered to shape the school environment and hierarchy?
Un-schooling, can we bring people of different ages and backgrounds together to share life experiences and skills and find new ways of learning?
Powys has miles of roads, a dispersed population and is very vulnerable to cliamte or market disruptions. We need to think a lot more about transport. Car we go car free through sharing schemes, car clubs and community taxis. Electric bikes, what other alternatives are there?
Can we create a local currency, or several different types of ways to interact with local, esp. food economy. Social ecoomy work can be rewarded with local currency.