permaculture relief aid in Afghanistan/ Pakistan

J Kolenovsky garden at hal-pc.org
Sun Oct 14 22:22:38 EDT 2001


Grayson, read the 2 individual posts from Cropper and Tenner and then
read mine again. You'll see you didn't follow what I was trying to say.
The "quoted sentence before John Cropper's name is about
neo-colonialsim".

So...Russ Grayson, she never said any of what you wrote.

Here's what you wrote she said:

I agree to some extent with the assertion of Jo Tenner, who wrote:
> 
> >"Any aid that can get there should seem to have two objectives:
> >> - meeting the immediate needs of hungry/starving people
> >> - preserving indigenous planting material and indigenous knowledge
> >> in order to allow the people to get back as quickly as possible to doing
> >> what they know best - feeding themselves.
> >>
> >> Lets not introduce yet another form of neo-colonialism, however
> >> well-intentioned."

NOW, go back to her original post and tell us where she said that. Then
read Cropper's original post. She didn't. Cropper did.

For the records...
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Pacific Edge Permaculture + Media wrote:
> 
> The idea of emergency aid intervention to Afghanistanis by permaculture
> people is reminiscent to what happened with East Timor (where permaculture
> people are at present operating and where agencies unconnected with
> permaculture are doing permaculture-like work) and after the tsunami that
> devestated the north coast of PNG several years ago.
> 
> There is, it seems, a welcome humanitarian streak to be found among
> permaculture people that manifests in the desire to do something positive
> about humanitarian relief.
> 
> May I throw into the discussion a few questions regarding the Afhganistan
> proposal:
> 
> 1) What would be the objectives of the operation?
> 
> Would it be to assist refugees on the Pakistani border cope with the
> emergency phase of the crisis?
> 
> Would it be to enter Afghanistan, when that becomes possible ( I believe
> that aid agencies have evacuated Kabul - there's probably a very good reason
> for that), and to provide assistance to the reestablishment of civil
> infrastructure, including the food supply? That would be a project spanning
> a reasonable number of years if it is to provide sustainable outcomes.
> 
> The reason you need clear objectives is to stay focused, otherwise you will
> be all over the place, spreading you energy too widely and producing little.
> 
> 2) If intervention is aimed at the humanitarian situation, what sort of aid
> is necessary? Food supply? Medical services? Water supply? Housing?
> Sanitation?
> 
> There are already organisations geared specifically to emergency response
> operational in the field - Red Cross/ Red Crescent; UN; Medicins Sans
> Frontiers, military organisations and so on... then there are similar
> organisations such as CARE International and World Vision that have people
> cognisant with the challenges of emergency relief.
> 
> Has the permaculture team spoken to any of these to assess what are the
> priority needs?
> 
> 3) What is the capacity of the permaculture people/ organisations to provide
> the type of aid necessary without duplicating what the professional
> organisations are already providing and without getting in the way of the
> humanitarian organisations?
> 
> Can they sustain an operation in terms of skills availability (some needs
> might require specialist skills - water supply/ medical assistance etc);
> logistics (do they have a support team at home who can source materials/
> liaise with aid bodies and government; communications - how would  they
> communicate with their supporters - are phone lines available? mail? fax? do
> they have a satellite phone? then there's the budget  -  how would the
> operation be sustained financially?)
> 
> 4) Can they support themselves in the field?
> 
> Is food available locally? Communications? Can they care for their own
> health (without this capacity they are useless to anyone)? Where will they
> accommodate themselves? What about transport? Climatic conditions? Do they
> have medical insurance with medical evacuation coverage?
> 
> What is their knowledge about field security?
> 
> Would they liaise with their own consulates so their whereabouts are known?
> 
> 5) How would they get permissions to operate in-country?
> 
> Would they need special visas? Do they need permission from local military
> authorities to enter areas where they might operate? Do aid organisations
> need registration or accreditation with the Pakistani government to work
> in-country?
> 
> 6) Is there anyone available with necessary language skills?
> 
> 7) Is anyone available with humanitarian aid experience/ knowledge of the
> challenges of operating in the confusing dynamics of a refugee/ humanitarian
> situation on the edge of a military conflict in which supporters and
> possibly combatants of the pro-Talibal forces could be among the refugees?
> 
> I offer none of this as discouragement, but as things to think through. Most
> of all, you need a clear sense of your own mission.
> 
> I agree to some extent with the assertion of Jo Tenner, who wrote:
> 
> >"Any aid that can get there should seem to have two objectives:
> >> - meeting the immediate needs of hungry/starving people
> >> - preserving indigenous planting material and indigenous knowledge
> >> in order to allow the people to get back as quickly as possible to doing
> >> what they know best - feeding themselves.
> >>
> >> Lets not introduce yet another form of neo-colonialism, however
> >> well-intentioned."
> 
> I would suggest that the first  of Jo's assertions is the critical one at
> this phase of the situation. Her second is really a concern of the
> post-emergency phase of reestablishment of the civil society infrastructure.
> 
> I'm unclear what she means by the statement about neo-colonialism. Emergency
> aid is not colonialism, it is a temporary phase of keeping people alive. It
> seems to be a 'political niceity' that could self-impose limitations and
> might be best left to the armchair politicos in the comfort of academia or
> those burdened with political guilt or bearing the burden of a political
> ideology/ agenda of some sort.
> 
> I use the term 'permaculture team' deliberately above. A single person or a
> vary small team - especially if they are  poorly resourced - can achieve
> only a little and not contribute a great deal to the overall humanitarian
> effort. A team, preferably set up as an aid organisation or operating with
> an existing aid agency, can maintain a momentum and sustain itself far
> better. It can have a greater impact and carry on longer than it takes a few
> well-motivated individuals to burn out or retire from the field due to
> illness or injury.
> 
> There is the wider issue of the reputation of permaculture. A colleague of
> mine was asked by the aid organisation he consults to to justify the use of
> permaculture approaches in aid, as there is practically no reliable
> evaluation of permaculture aid projects -or permaculture projects in
> developed countries, for that matter.
> 
> There does exist - and I know this from my own involvement in development
> aid project management - the notion in some areas that permaculturists,
> though they be well motivated, jump into field activities impetuously and
> may not stay around for the years that are necessary for development
> projects to have sustainable outcomes.
> 
> Emergency aid is not simply food supply - governments and the UN are more or
> less good at supplying emergency food. And a sustainable food supply is the
> product of the post-emergency phase when aid folds into development.
> Emergency aid involves medical services, sanitation in camps, housing,
> linking up displaced relatives, water supply and more - these things are all
> linked - food and gardening are not ends in themselves; they form part of
> the overall emergency aid package.
> 
> How would permaculture fit into this?
> 
> It's good to see participants on this list offering information for those
> who would volunteer for this unenviable task.
> 
> ...Russ Grayson
> 
> > From: J Kolenovsky <garden at hal-pc.org>
> > Organization: HAL-PC
> > Reply-To: "permaculture" <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> > Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 13:45:10 -0500
> > To: "permaculture" <permaculture at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> > Subject: Re: pc in Kabul
> >
> > Below is John Croppers quote about the take on Afghanistan and I feel it
> > is a good one. Many of us are compassionate towards Afghan issue and
> > want to share our contributions, but there could be a fine line here
> > about true motive and its efforts. (i.e., Nation-building) I think his
> > point is one to be conscious of.
> >
> > The earlier post that day from Jo Tenner about the current relief
> > efforts of the UNHCR is closer to the parallel that John is drawing.
> >
> >> "Any aid that can get there should seem to have two objectives:
> >> - meeting the immediate needs of hungry/starving people
> >> - preserving indigenous planting material and indigenous knowledge
> >> in order to allow the people to get back as quickly as possible to doing
> >> what they know best - feeding themselves.
> >>
> >> Lets not introduce yet another form of neo-colonialism, however
> >> well-intentioned."
> >>
> >> John Cropper
> >
> >
> > --
> > J Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
> > Texas Wildscape # 1564, NWF Backyard Habitat # 28771
> > http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/reference.html
> >
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-- 
J Kolenovsky, A+, Network +, MCP
Texas Wildscape # 1564, NWF Backyard Habitat # 28771
http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden/reference.html



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