[permaculture] IPC 2007 report by Robyn Francis with paragraph breaks

Jim ashevillecurrencyproject at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 12:25:34 EDT 2007

Thanks to Wesley Roe of Santa Barbara, California, US
for posting this. I tried to break it back into paragraphs for readability,
and am hoping that the listserv software won't just glom it all back 

I'd like to remind my fellow USA citizens on the list that this is an 
international list.
While the US presidency probably is the most important election in the world
(said with sorrow, not arrogance, I hope); how many of us can name the 
leader of
Australia or Britain after Blair (Please DO NOT answer this on the list!)
-- Jim
The 8th International Permaculture Convergence in
Brazil in May 2007was a resounding success, with
permaculture practitioners and representatives
from 42 countries attending to share their work
and experience. Following is a brief report
[ by Robyn Francis of Australia].

Delegates from Australia, Argentina, NZ & Cuba at the Convergence
The 3-day public IPC8 conference was symbolically
held in the green heart of Sao Paulo, the world?s
third largest city.

The conference theme of
Greening Economics brought together bankers,
financiers and grassroots economists with the
permaculture movement. Presentation topics
included ethical banking, the economic challenges
of climate change, potential and pitfalls of
carbon trading and taxing strategies, corporate
social responsibility, local and complementary
currencies and inspiring first-hand accounts of
community responses to economic crisis from
Argentina and Cuba.

Highlights included Brock ?s
(USA) inspiring and thought provoking
presentation on water and Paul Stamets
relevations about the cutting edge of fungi
research brought the entire 400-strong audience
to its feet with a standing ovation. Roberto
Perez presentation on the Cuba experience
balanced humour and probing insights into the
potential for community response to crisis and
the ongoing challenges facing Cuba.

acknowledgement of the multilingual nature of
conference participants and presenters, all
delegates were issued with headphones for
simultaneous translation of proceedings into
English, Spanish and Portugese. The venue
included a permaculture tradefair of mainly Latin
American permaculture groups, institutes and
projects, beautiful bamboo installations
functioned as spacial screens and display boards
for international delegates to present visual
poster displays.

The sheer number of young
Brazilians attending the conference was in itself
inspiring, as was their concern and enthusiasm to
embrace permaculture strategies for
sustainability. It was an exceptional honour for
me to be invited to give a keynote presentation
on the opening day of the conference on
Permaculture Solutions and provide a local to
global perspective on the range of activities
permaculture is involved in. It was also
privileged to close the conference with a premier
performance of Supplication to Gaia from my new
music CD.

The entire conference was
professionally filmed and edited footage will be
available soon for those who could not attend to
tap into the sheer wealth of information and
inspiration shared during the event. From Sau
Paulo we made our way north to Pirenoupolis, near
the capital of Brasilia for the 4-day
Permaculture Designers Convergence hosted by

The convergence is the professional
in-house event of our national conferencing and
here we enjoyed a balance of plenary sessions,
presentations on permaculture project work and
discussions exploring permaculture responses and
strategies for a changing world. The IPEC site
was in itself an inspiring example of
permaculture in practice with extensive gardens,
educational displays and innovative examples of
alternative architecture and natural buildings
infused with creativity and every structure a
work of art in its own right. A large brick dome
auditorium for the plenaries amply seated the
150-plus delegates, and workshop stations
included 2 large temporary geodesic domes erected
for the occasion.

It was quite a dilemma trying
to choose between 4 stations of concurrent
workshop presentations. Some of the most powerful
presenters were of the amazing dedication and
work of permaculturists in places such as Uganda,
central India, Nepal and the struggles of
rebuilding war-torn Cambodia.

Central and South
American projects were well represented and the
three Cuban delegates gave an inspiring
presentation on urban food production and update
on organic farming and environmental issues
facing Cuba. The Cubans expressed sincere thanks
to the support of Australian permaculture
trainers who brought permaculture concepts to
Cuba in the early 1990?s and have requested
support for advanced training and workshops with
urban planners on integrated urban design for
Havana and other Cuban population centres.

Australian delegates included Rosemary Morrow
(Blue Mountains), Faith (Sydney), Stewart Wilson
(Tasmania), Bood (Far Nth Qld), David Holmgren
and Sue (Victoria) and myself. The plenary
session on education commenced with an overview
of the Accredited Permaculture Training? in
Australia, which generated keen interest from
educators in other countries regarding this form
of vocational education and training.

A short
article cannot do justice to the wealth of
information and experience shared during this
exceptional and truly international event. The
number of young permaculturists present
represented a major generational shift in the
movement and encouragement for the future of
permaculture as an effective means of instigating
effective change and responses to a planet in
crisis through mobilising communities and
developing partnerships with government and
non-government organizations around the world.

The next IPC will be held in South Africa and
Malawi in April 2009.

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