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of course permaculture
"if we all did our bit then we could all live in peace with nature alittle more.
nature is what has brought us here and supported us. to start your own forest garden for example is very simple. simplicity is a major part of permaculture. everything has multifunctions, cooperating with each activity. for example the garden gives you food, gives animals food, trees clean the air and may create windbreaks, the food you eat will be discarded and then turned into compost. I could go on and on. life supporting life. not major food chains, insecticides, or monoculture. what a healthy harmonious life it is too. coming from an ecovillage in argentina gives me inspiration to start my own one day. until then i will do my part, remembering that everything i do affects the generations ahead of me. community and family gardening, composting, or just being in nature are examples of awesome ideas for anyone if you are interested.. there is alot to learn from nature and permaculture, books are good but so is being surrounded by the wonderfulness of a green ecosystem. go outside!! chau from brazil"
lydia link to thunderbay.indymedia article


Ecovillages are intended to be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable intentional communities. Most aim for a population of 50-150 individuals because this size is considered to be the maximum social network according to findings from sociology and anthropology[1] Larger ecovillages of up to 2,000 individuals may, however, exist as networks of smaller "Eco-municipalities" or subcommunities to create an ecovillage model that allows for social networks within a broader foundation of support.

Ecovillage members are united by shared ecological, social or spiritual values (see Intentional community). An ecovillage is often composed of people who have chosen an alternative to centralized electrical, water, and sewage systems. Many see the breakdown of traditional forms of community, wasteful consumerist lifestyles, the destruction of natural habitat, urban sprawl, factory farming, and over-reliance on fossil fuels, as trends that must be changed to avert ecological disaster. They see small-scale communities with minimal ecological impact as an alternative. However, such communities often cooperate with peer villages in networks of their own (see Global Ecovillage Network for an example). This model of collective action is similar to that of Ten Thousand Villages, which supports the fair trade of goods worldwide.

Definition Edit

In 1991, Robert Gilman set out a definition of an ecovillage that was to become a standard. Gilman defined an ecovillage as a:

  • human-scale
  • full-featured settlement
  • in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world
  • in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and
  • can be successfully continued into the indefinite future.[2]

Note: In recent years, Gilman has stated that he would also add the criterion that an ecovillage must have multiple centres of initiative.

Characteristics of ecovillages Edit

The principles on which ecovillages rely can be applied to urban and rural settings, as well as to developing and developed countries. Advocates seek a sustainable lifestyle (for example, of voluntary simplicity) for inhabitants with a minimum of trade outside the local area, or ecoregion. Many advocates also seek independence from existing infrastructures, although others, particularly in more urban settings, pursue more integration with existing infrastructure. Rural ecovillages are usually based on organic farming, permaculture and other approaches which promote ecosystem function and biodiversity. Ecovillages, whether urban or rural, tend to integrate community and ecological values within a principle-based approach to sustainability, such as permaculture design.[3]

An ecovillage usually relies on:

The goal of most ecovillages is to be a sustainable habitat providing for most of its needs on site. However self-sufficiency is not always a goal or desired outcome, specifically since self-sufficiency can conflict with goals to be a change agent for the wider culture and infrastructure. Its organization also usually depends upon some instructional capital or moral codes - a minimal civics sometimes characterized as eco-anarchism:

The term ecovillage should not be confused with micronation, a strictly legal, not infrastructural, concept.

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References

  1. Hill, R. and Dunbar, R. (2002). "Social Network Size in Humans." Human Nature, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 53-72. Retrieved on: April 9, 2008
  2. Gilman, Robert (Summer, 1991). "The Eco-village Challenge". In Context. Retrieved on: April 9, 2008.
  3. Holmgren, David. "The Essence of Permaculture." Retrieved on: April 9, 2008.

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