[permaculture] Tues Aug 26, Biodiversity Hotspots: A Conversation with Permaculturist Gabriel Howearth Tues Aug 26, Santa Barbara CA

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Mon Aug 25 10:44:52 EDT 2008


Biodiversity Hotspots: A Conversation with Permaculturist Gabriel Howearth
Noted Botanist and Co-founder of Seeds Of Change Seed Company

                 Tuesday August 26, 2008, 7PM, $5 donation
         Santa Barbara Main Library, Faulkner Gallery, 40 East Anapamu Street


         Humans have been more actively changing the earth's
ecosystems in the last 50 years than any time in human history,
resulting in a huge loss of biological diversity. Global hotspots
have been identified as the most biologically vulnerable places on
the planet. Thirty-five of these most biologically valuable locations
from Peru, to Easter Island, Madagascar, New Zealand, Brazil and the
United States have been highlighted by a team of scientists from the
organization of Conservation International.

         Knowing humans have initiated this crisis, how can we step back from
a destructive path and instead secure and create a sustainable future
for the Earth and it's species?  Can individuals play a part, help
change this course even in Santa Barbara and our own backyards,
become our own protected Biodiversity Hotspot?

         We are pleased to offer an opportunity for an evening of sharing and
conversation with Gabriel Howearth , co-founder of Seeds of Change,
the foremost GMO free organic seed bank company in the world. Joining
him will be Dr. Adam Green, assistant professor of Biology and
Director of the Santa Barbara City College Center for Sustainability
(<http://sustainability.sbcc.edu>http://sustainability.sbcc.edu), and 
Dr. Robert Bruegel, founder of
OlaBrisa Eco-village development (www.OlaBrisa.com) in southern Baja
California.

         Biodiversity is a term that implies more than tallying species. It
also suggests multiplicity. Identifying endangered hotspots and
preserving the environment in its native state are the best-known
aspects of biodiversity. The practice of biodiversity encompasses
critical features in light of humanity's apparent inability to slow
the rapid loss of wilderness, stop global warming, or reverse the
greenhouse effect. It includes heritage seed collection and seed
banking to ensure future diversity, the creation of urban and
suburban ecological zones, establish new and more extensive botanical
gardens, and planting oases of human-made biodiversity.

         Buena Fortuna, the botanical gardens of Gabriel Howearth, are a case
study in the creation of biodiversity. Located in the desert of
Southern Baja California, Howearth tends more than 4,000 different
native and introduced plant species that co-exist on nearly 10
acres.  The entire Baja peninsula has only approximately 2,700 plant
species.  The 4,000-plus species under Howearth's care make an
astounding vision that steadily expands as he adds more species.


         Gabriel Howearth is a Botanist, Landscape Architect and Seedsman.  He
is the founder of Buena Fortuna Botanical Garden, located in Baja
Mexico (3700 plant species of the tropical and dry tropical regions
of the world), and president of Siempre Semillas AC, a Mexican NGO
whose main focus is to preserve seed diversity by teaching and
planting. His center offers educational workshops and apprenticeships
in Botany, Permaculture, Organic Gardening and seed
harvesting.  Currently he is working with several ecological
organizations in Central and South America and travels worldwide to
teach about Organic seeds and ways to preserve our genetic seed
purity locally in order to contribute to the global change in
positive ways.  He provided professional consultation for "Dreaming
New Mexico" a strategy of food & energy self-sustainable for the
state by the year 2020; an ambitious and well supported project, an
initiative of Bioneers, with the participation of a number of NGO's,
Farmers,  Indigenous Groups, Schools as well as Governmental support.

*** Youtube Trailer for the Documentary Feature Film "HOTSPOTS"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY08NIXvrxc , produced by Conservation International.


         The evening lecture takes place at the Santa Barbara City Public
Downtown  Library Faulkner Galley 40 E Anapumu St,  Tuesday Aug 26,
  7-9pm, for a donation of $5.   No reservations are required.
Santa Barbara Permaculture Network,  Sponsors for the event are The
Santa Barbara City College Center for Sustainability ,  Women's
Environmental Watch (WE Watch), and OlaBrisa Eco Development Company
sponsor the event.  For more information, please call (805) 962-2571,
margie at sbpermaculture.org or www.sbpermaculture.org.


-end-

RESOURCES
One of the main findings of the the UN's Millennium Ecosystem 
Assessment Report www.millenniumassessment.org/en/Index.aspx 
2001-2005 . "Over the past 50 years, humans have changed ecosystems 
more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in 
human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, 
fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel. This has resulted in a 
substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth".

Terraforming in Southern Baja California: Arid-Tropical Biodiversity, 
Regeneration, and Preservation
HerbalGram. 2000;50:58-63 American Botanical Council
http://content.herbalgram.org/wholefoodsmarket/herbalgram/articleview.asp?a=2288


by James E. Williams, OMD

Creating an oasis of biodiversity in the imposing desert of Southern 
Baja California, Mexico may well be the ultimate challenge for any 
gardener. It may also be the key to survival. Biodiversity, a term 
that has become a bit trendy lately, implies more than tallying 
species. It also suggests multiplicity. Identifying endangered 
hotspots1  and preserving the environment in its native state are the 
best-known aspects of biodiversity. However, the practice of 
biodiversity encompasses other features of equal or, perhaps, more 
critical importance in light of humanity's apparent inability to slow 
the rapid loss of wilderness, to stop global warming, or reverse the 
greenhouse effect. This practice includes heritage seed collection 
and seed banking to ensure future diversity, the creation of urban 
and suburban ecological zones, establishing new and more extensive 
botanical gardens, and planting oases of human-made biodiversity.

The botanical gardens of Gabriel Howearth are a case study in the 
creation of biodiversity. Located in the desert of Southern Baja 
California, Howearth tends more than 3,000 different native and 
introduced plant species that co-exist on four hectares (a hectare is 
equivalent to 2.47 acres). Compare those numbers with these: 155 
plant species in a 400-hectare suburban Boston park. The entire Baja 
peninsula itself has only about 2,700 plant species.2  The 3,000-plus 
species under Howearth's care make an astounding vision that steadily 
expands as he adds more species......

read article  on Herbalgram website



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