[permaculture] Know of any projects here ?
Pacific Edge Permaculture + Media
pacedge at magna.com.au
Wed Jul 31 03:27:22 EDT 2002
On Wednesday, July 31, 2002, at 09:28 AM, Claude Genest wrote:
> Hi all,
> Does anyone know of any EXCELLENT PC projects going on in any of the
> following sepcific locations?
Melanesia – New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji
The Kastom Gaden Association (KGA) is currently working in the Solomon
Islands. It grew from the Kastom Garden Programme (KGP) that, until
2000, was supported by Australian NGO APACE (Appropriate Technology for
Community and Environment) until it opted out of agricultural assistance
in that year.
APACE was also involved in microhydroelectric development, mainly in the
Solomons and in one instance in PNG. APACE closed down last year. I was
employed by APACE in project management and development education until
The KGP was financed through AusAID, the Australian government's aid
funding body, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Following APACE's withdrawal from agricultural assistance and support
for the KGP, the KGA was established in the Solomons as a local NGO and
operates as a trust with a local board of management.
The present phase of work is supported via financial assistance from
European Union Micro Projects office.
The KGA focuses on improving the food security of rural communities
through training in small scale sustainable agriculture of the type
known in the development aid industry as LEISA - Low External Input
Sustainable Agriculture. People in developed countries would recognise
this as a permaculture approach to farming because it is from LEISA that
much of the permaculture approach to food production has been drawn. The
term 'permaculture' is not used because it is unknown inn the Solomons
and throughout the region.
The KGA approach is participatory, making use of established techniques
familiar to NGO workers such as community food security assessment and
participatory rural appraisal.
The APACE phase of the programme started in 1994 with the Lalano High
Altitude Farming Project. Work has been ongoing since then, initially
through a series of AusAID-supported projects: The Kastom Garden Project
(on Guadalcanal and Malaita island); the Lauru Kastom Garden Project
(set up to raise additional AusAID funding to take the project work into
Choiseul island, near Bougainville) and the Community Ethnobotanical
Manual project which documented the bush food resource of central
During this period, the Solomon Islands Planting Material Network (PMN)
was set up and continues its work today. Essentially, the PMN is a
farmer-led seed saving, processing and distrubution network for
non-hybrid seed which aims to increase regional self-reliance in
planting material. In my opinion, the PMN is probably the most
successful component in a successful programme of agricultural
Since its inception in 1995, the intention has been to boost the
sustainability of the programme through training local staff and
improving organisational capacity. This has proven a successful
approach, with local women like Roselyn Kabu, who started in 1995 as a
volunteer, now managing the work and Mary Timothy, who started as a seed
curator, now managing the PMN's work.
The only Australian staff is Tony Jansen, a manager of the programme.
The organic gardening manual for the Solomon Islands, 'Sapa', was
published in 1995 as the joint work of Tony Jansen and local organic
farmer, Joini Tutua.
As I write, a manual for seed saving trainers in the Solomons (and
useable elsewhere in the Pacific) written by Australian seed system
consultant Emma Stone, who carried out training for the PMN, and that I
edited and my partner Fiona designed is on its way to Honiara, capital
of the Solomons.
We are at present working on an integrated pest management manual,
written by Roselyn Kabu, that may be published by the South Pacific
Commission. Another manual with competency-based teaching notes for the
series of workshops offered by the KGA is nearing finalisation but
awaits financial support for publication.
Following the decade-long civil war with PNG which ended only a few
years ago, there has been interest from a people in the mountains of
central Bougainville in extending the agricultural training and seed
saving into their area.
More recently, the KGA has been working with TaroGen, a project to
document the diversity of the root crop Taro in the region.
As for PNG, there is nothing that I know of that fits your criteria. In
the late 1990s I was project manager for CanCare Lae, a non-ferrous
metals recycling project supported by AusAID funding.
There was also a project based at a hospital at Tari in the Central
Highlands of PNG that provided training in food security and small scale
agriculture but it is at present in abeyance.
Hope this info is of some use to you.
Pacific Edge Media; TerraCircle regional development team
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