30min-60minFilmsGeoff LawtonJohn D Liu

Permaculture: Green Gold

John D Liu tells how “it’s possible to rehabilitate large-scale ecosystems”. In 1995 he filmed the Loess Plateau in China where “local people transformed an area almost the size of The Netherlands from a …desert into a large green oasis” and since then has been involved in “greening deserts” around the world. The film begins with world problems but if you get past this the solutions are imaginative and inspirational: from re-introducing “thought to be extinct” species in Jordan to reforestation and rehydration in Ethiopia. Featuring Geoff Lawton.

Charlotte Ashwanden

Charlotte Ashwanden (nee Haworth). Born in London, I am very interested in peace and community and have a degree in Peace Studies. I got my Permaculture Design Certificate in 2011, from Treeyo at Permaship in Bulgaria, and my Permaculture Teaching Certificate in 2018 at Aranya in India. For me, permaculture is about so much more than garden design; I am mainly interested in applying ‘human permaculture’ as a complement to peace practices. In particular, I like to look at how human permaculture can be applied through psychology, communication and education techniques. In 2015 I got married in a pagan ceremony in a field to David Ashwanden and changed my surname to Ashwanden. With my husband, I’ve travelled a lot in Europe and Asia and encountered many permaculture and community projects. I have lived in various situations, from squatted land to intentional communities, as well as more ‘normal’ places, in the UK, Spain, Italy, Thailand and Vietnam. A professional dancer, I do fire and hula dance and sometimes run dance meditation workshops. Currently, I live in the Andalucian mountains.


  1. Truly an inspirational video that looks at issues from a global, and local, scale.

    I enjoy the tweaks that have been done to the original-additional input from Jeff and even an additional glimpse of Jordan.

    I wish we could get feedback from Jordan’s First Lady and what she has done in the meantime to help promote this vision.

    I wish this video was mandatory viewing in all middle schools!

  2. In Springfield, Missouri. I would like to take part in Greening the Desert projects. Need to know how I could survive this financially.

  3. These films were my first introduction to Permaculture, closely followed by Geoff Lawton and many, many more since then. All have inspired me and created a strong believer, follower, and devoted advocate. Thank you all!

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