Emergency permaculture

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This page is only a start. Please see Talk:Emergency_permaculture#Emergency_permaculture_workspace for some rough ideas.

Food production, and more, where it's really needed.

Permaculture is a set of thinking tools, in particular an awareness of context, threats and opportunities. What we normally think of as permaculture (such as planting gardens and fruit trees) may or may not be appropriate in the weeks after a population is forced to resettle; however the perspectives of permaculture may be valuable throughout the emergency management process.

Potential[edit]

Emergency permaculture may be relevant for:

  • Shelter, in the short to medium term - look for threats (rain, flood, wind, structures in danger of collapse, electrical wiring...), locations that are safe from those threats, and available resources (materials, natural windbreaks...) that help protect against those threats.
  • Food production in the medium term - where populations are resettled in one place for a period of months, there may be a benefit to beginning food production as soon as it is practical, to provide a supplement to diets, activities and a sense of normality for a traumatized population.

There's another notion that could also be called "emergency permaculture": fast forests. Not an emergency for us, in people's usual emergency timeframes, but for the ecosystem. Think years and decades, not days to months to a few years. Should this be another notion, or is it a fractal-ish continuum?

Perceptions[edit]

Efforts to improve the situation in temporary settlements should not be seen as an acceptance of the current status of people living in such settlements long term, and should not distract from the primary goals, i.e. to return people to their homes where appropriate. It will be important to be very careful of perceptions, by refugee camp residents or outsiders, that they will be expected to stay there long term.

However, the unfortunate reality is that displaced people, such as refugee camp residents, often do stay in such conditions for years, suffering stress, dangers, and shortages. Attending to the conditions in such settlements is of value to potentially millions of people around the world.

Outline[edit]

A crisis happens, triggering an immediate response which keeps people alive while preparing the way forward. The way forward may be a bounce-back if the initial situation was good, but it may be a bounce-forward if the initial situation was bad. "Good" and "bad" are defined in terms of sustainability and developement.

This page intends to collect the models needed to quickly find the best way forward, using whatever combination of local resources and external help that's most suitable to the particular situation.

  • What happens? A crisis happens. People stay put in an impoverished and more hostile environment, or move to a new place where they may not be welcome because there's just too many of them/us. It's not unusual for people to stay in refugee camps for several years (citation needed).
  • What do we have?
    • SCIM
    • permacultural concepts
    • local haves
    • some global haves
    • (some global needs, if "the problem is the solution": maybe people could be paid to restore ecosystems.)
  • What do we need/want?
    • Short term SCIM, with hexayurt & infrapak. "Staying alive" & "first do no harm" come before anything else.
    • These emergency permaculture tools/templates we're developing.
    • Long term SCIM/permaculture hope.
  • What do we do?
    • SCIM: how is "6 ways to die" is covered now, and what's missing or at clear risk of failing.
    • Permacultural assessment done rapidly, with templates, looking at basic 6wtd, basic camp governability, basic contact with the outside world, and little else. Look at what you have with permacultural eyes, maybe taking video and asking for assessment, a la crisiscamp mapping, bringing in historical climate data and all the data for questions asked by permaculture practitioners. Ask for specific stuff from outside, and it's the locals who do the asking. Outside has concentric circles: close regions/countries first if possible. Look at the longer term.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]