Immerse yourself in learning the application of permaculture concepts and practices in the tropics with Permaculture Research Institute’s upcoming Permaculture Design Certificate course, running August 13 to 24 at Kenaboi, Negri Sembilan, Malaysia.
On the edge of the Malaysian Titiwangsa mountain range just 90km south of Kuala Lumpur, this 8-acre property offers a classic example of a tropical farm and forest – with almost 12 hours of daily sunlight and an annual rainfall of approximately 2000mm.
“One of our apprentices who finished last year’s program has set up their own permaculture master plan site in Malaysia, just three degrees from the equator,” said Geoff Lawton, primary facilitator of the course. “I’m about to go over there and co-teach with the owner, Wan Muhammed, their first Permaculture Design Certificate course.”
Lawton is a permaculture consultant, designer, and teacher who earned a diploma in permaculture under movement founder Bill Mollison in 1983. Since that time, Lawton has passed on his expertise in permaculture to more than 15,000 students around the world.
Lawton will be teaching alongside Wan Muhammad Ridhwan bin Wan Muhammad Hanizan, a career engineer who studied permaculture as an intern at Zaytuna Farm. Now, Ridhwan is busy establishing Chalin Food Forest while bringing his experience with tropical climate zones to permaculture demonstration sites in Vanuatu and Malaysia.
“This is an extension of our mission. Here (in Australia), things are well-established, but there, it’s just the beginning,” Lawton said. “This is a very interesting place to go and study and learn permaculture where people are just setting up – but with our experience, with the things we’ve learned passed on.”
For ten days, participants in the course will study sustainable living systems for a range of landscapes and climates – with a specific focus on hot, arid regions. The course will cover the application of permaculture principles to food production, home design, construction, energy conservation and generation, and even explores alternative economic structures and legal strategies to support permaculture solutions.
“We teach permaculture design certificate courses, specialist courses, and apprenticeship programs of practical permaculture to train people to become project managers and to help people to set up master plan sites like this in lots of different climates and lots of different landscapes – and on different land sizes, from urban to small acreage to large acreage,” Lawton said.
The site is also home to PRI’s humid tropics demonstration site, which will help equip students with unique, climate-specific knowledge. Participants will learn to accurately assess the project potential of tropical sites, make special considerations during the planning and design process, and develop strategies for successful permaculture project implementation.
“Come and join me, come to Malaysia, come to the tropics – come and enjoy a really interesting situation and learn from reality,” Lawton said. “This is how we can change the world, one permaculture master plan site at a time. It’s going to be a great learning journey.”