Permaculture in Haiti: A Framework for Ecological Reconstruction

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Bio: Jean Arnaud, was part of the founding team of U-MASS Permaculture. After the Haiti Earthquake of 2012, Jean traveled back to his native homeland of Haiti, where he has been actively engaged in sustainability education, reforestation, and ecological sanitation. Currently, Jean is working in Haiti on an initiative to promote public-private partnerships for food sovereignty and environmental restoration through permaculture.

About the Talk: Jean will discuss his experiences working in Haiti over the past 2+ years. He will explain lessons learned and next steps in the vision to make his homeland a truly sustainable and thriving nation.

Contact: PermacultureSeries(at) for questions about the event and/or the Winter Permaculture Design Certificate Series at Sirius EcoVillage!

Fall 2013 – Events and Opportunities



Geoff Lawton is an internationally renowned permaculture designer, teacher and consultant who has worked in over 35 different countries. He has taught the design science of permaculture for government agencies, UN agencies, aid organisations, major development companies and private individuals.

He has also consulted for the US army corp of engineers on decommission army ammunition manufacturing plant as a re-design to an eco industrial park. Geoff has also directed and built Housing projects for the Kurds in Iraq after the war and rebuilt a whole village with 53 straw bale houses.

He also led the most widely known permaculture project in the world, “Greening the Desert” Watch the video below and come see his talk at UMass on September 3 – A ONE-TIME ONLY EVENT!


We hope to meet/see some of you on September 3pm, Campus Center Rm 165-169 at the event and check out our new and exciting permaculture classes and jobs/internship opportunities!

Greening the desert – Check it out here!

Onwards toward a Sustainable Campus and World!

-The UMass Permaculture Initiative


Cuban Permaculturist Roberto Perez in Amherst (Sunday 8/18, 6pm, Food For Thought Books!)

We (Amherst!) have the absolute pleasure of being 1 of 11 cities to host Roberto Perez on his U.S. national speaking tour! The reason for his tour is to raise awareness about the 11th International Permaculture Convergence which takes place in Havana, Cuba in November. All money raised will go toward scholarships. focusing on individuals from economically-poor but skill-rich countries.

More info. below!

Learning from the Most Sustainable Place on Earth with Cuban Sustainability Educator and Permaculturist, Roberto Perez  

Sunday, August 18, 6:00-7:30 pm 2013
Food for Thought Books, Amherst MA

Benefit Donation $10 -$20
A benefit for the Eleventh International Permaculture Convergence Scholarships

roberto flyer amherst ma copy         Numerous Pioneer Valley sustainability groups have come together to co-host a special event with Roberto Perez, Cuban environmental educator featured in the award winning documentary, “The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.” Roberto is currently in the U.S. promoting the 11th International Permaculture Convergence (IPC11) to be held in Cuba in November of 2013.

The Living Planet Report from the World Wildlife Fund in 2007 identified Cuba as the only sustainable country in the world.  The study involved two key parameters for measuring sustainable development, a commitment to “1) improving the quality of human life while 2) living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems”.  Cuba was the ONLY country on earth to achieve satisfactory benchmarks in both criteria for sustainable development.

Formerly importing most of its food, Cuba’s agriculture is now 95% organic, with the city of Havana producing over 60% of its own fruits and vegetables within the city’s urban spaces.  At the same time, Cuba has been engaging in a massive reforestation campaign, and has invested massively in alternative energy production, with a focus on solar and biofuels.

A small island nation with 11,000,000 people, struggling with poverty, devastating tropical storms, and the U.S. Embargo, how did Cuba achieve these goals and distinction?  What can we learn from Cuba’s struggles and successes?

Born in Havana in 1970, Roberto Perez is the Environmental Education & Biodiversity Conservation Program Director of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, the oldest environmental organization in Cuba.  A graduate of the University of Havana with a degree in Biological Sciences, he later did post graduate specialization in Community Based Natural Resources Management at the University of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Roberto has been part of the Cuban Permaculture movement since its introduction in the country in 1993 after the so called “Special Period”, caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union when Cuba lost access to oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and virtually all trading partners that the small island nation depended on to survive, facing economic collapse overnight.  Roberto has traveled extensively presenting Cuba’s approach to sustainable living in the face of declining petroleum and other non-renewable resources.

As part of the Cuban Organizing Group for the upcoming International Permaculture Convergence in November, Roberto is touring the U.S. in support of scholarship money to cover conference costs for attendees from sometimes cash poor, but skill rich countries around the world.

Traditionally International Permaculture Convergences take place every 2 years and switch between continents & hemispheres.  Past host sites have been Australia, USA, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Nepal, Croatia, Brazil, Africa & most recently Jordan in the Middle East.

The event takes place on Sunday, August 18, 6:00pm-7:30pm at the downtown Food For Thought bookstore, 106 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA, 01002.  Donations of $10-$20, no reservations needed.
More Info, (978)314-1176,,

Sponsored by: UMass Permaculture, Sowing Solutions, Mobile Design Lab, Transition Amherst, Grow Food Amherst, Grow Food Northampton, Living Routes, UMass Dining, Stockbridge School of Agriculture & more!
Event Co-Sponsors: International Permaculture Support Group,Eco Cuba Network & Hopedance Media

More Info:

The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil Documentary

Short Video of Roberto Perez Explaining the Special Period in Cuba

The Eleventh International Permaculture Conference & Convergence (in English & Spanish)

Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity the oldest environmental organization in Cuba.

Grow the Campus Permaculture Movement – #PYCC2013 Conference!

Permaculture Your Campus Conference Flyer 2013

Dear Friends,

I’ve been witnessing an incredible surge of permaculture interest, classes, demonstration gardens, and research at colleges and universities over the past few years. It is very exciting to see this happening, all across the world!

A team of us from UMass Permaculture is creating a venue for all of the campus permaculture groups and individuals to come together, in one place. We’re calling it the Permaculture Your Campus Conference (2nd annual!) and it is happening this June 23-26 at UMass Amherst.

Keynote speakers include urban revitalization strategist Majora Carter and award-winning author, Eric Toensmeier, plus many other presentations from campus permaculture designers, students and faculty.

We hope that you’ll consider attending and/or passing this e-mail along to students, faculty, staff and permaculture designers who are working to make their local institutions or campuses more sustainable, using permaculture strategies, tools and techniques. Or anyone you think who might benefit from this conference!

More info. below, and see attachments. Thanks everyone, and onwards!

-Ryan Harb

  • Sample Facebook/Twitter post (to copy/paste!): Check out Campus Permaculture Conference @UMassAmherst June 23-26! Keynote speakers Majora Carter and Eric Toensmeier

About the Permaculture Your Campus Conference

The Permaculture Your Campus Conference is not your typical sustainability conference. We began two years ago because we saw an opportunity for campuses to play a unique and integral role in transitioning our culture into one that is truly sustainable. Globally we face some significant challenges, including climate change, peak oil, and social and economic instability, to name a few. It’s critical that we find solutions fast.

But we believe that we already have many of the solutions, and campuses can pioneer the global sustainability movement by using permaculture as their guiding framework. Over two million freshman students enter colleges every single year in the United States alone. What if those students learned the “basics of sustainability” during their college experience, and brought that new paradigm out into the world with them, into hundreds of different fields?

The mission of the 2013 Permaculture Your Campus Conference is to bring together students, faculty and staff from international colleges, universities, and businesses to learn why and how permaculture design is being used as the guiding framework for some of the most cutting-edge sustainability programs around the world.

At this conference, attendees will examine diverse models of institutional sustainability that were designed using the campus permaculture toolset. Participants are also able to gain hands-on permaculture experience and explore transformative strategies for creating a culture of sustainability at college campuses and other organizations.

Whether you’re a student or faculty or staff participating in campus sustainability, a dining services manager or in the physical plant, this conference will provide you with a new set of tools that will help you in your job, and will help your institution become a leader in the international sustainability and permaculture movements.

Full UMass Amherst Permaculture Webpage

For more information on the current UMass Permaculture Initiative please visit

Joins us at Siruis EcoVillage!

Come hear the story of how an ecological initiative in a small village in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe grew into a community model of sustainable living. Along the way they have become masters of conflict resolution. The project has been about health, conflict resolution, and social improvement—as well as food.


Julious Piti has more than 20 years experience in Permaculture, he is the co-founder of one of the most interesting Permaculture Projects in Zimbabwe (CELUCT in Chikukwa – Zimbabwe).

Mr Piti will speak about his Permaculture projects and how they have helped transform his local area. He will explain the “Three Circles of Knowledge”—how he works within the area where indigenous, spiritual and analytical knowledge overlap.

View Video Here:

About Chikukwa:
Chikukwa is a community nestled high up in the Chimanimani mountains. Because of its location—right on the border with Mozambique, in the gap between two stretches of mountains—Chikukwa was a route for Zimbabwean guerrillas based in Mozambique during the liberation struggle, and Rhodesian soldiers used to come and burn down people’s houses. After Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, the same paths were used by Mozambicans in their bitter civil war. Up until 1990, Chikukwans often slept in the bush to avoid attack by Renamo guerrillas. War—together with Chikukwa’s remote situation— limited development in this area.

With the support of the Chikukwa Ecological Land Trust (CELUCT), not only have they managed to stay food secure and peaceful during the last conflict ridden years in Zimbabwe, but they have also managed to retain strong and joyful community relations with plenty of heart-warming laughter, singing, dancing and celebration. At the heart of this lies a powerful commitment amongst community members to cooperate to create a strong and sustainable community through the use of permaculture, conflict resolution and the practice of mindfulness.

Initiative email:
Primary point of contact: Joanne Poyourow

For More Information Please Visit Sirius Community WordPress

Harvesting Everyday at UMass!

We harvest veggies and herbs from the permaculture gardens at UMass everyday!

Below are some enormous radishes from the Franklin Permaculture Garden on campus.


Below is some enormous kale from the Berkshire Permaculture Garden on Campus.


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