Permaculture Projects

New foundation set to grow permaculture across the globe

A new not-for-profit foundation, Permatil Global, has been launched in Australia to further open up access to permaculture tools and knowledge worldwide.

The foundation will focus on helping everyone, everywhere tap into permaculture practice – a regenerative design system where people can abundantly provide for food, water, energy and shelter in a way that works with and preserves the greater environment.

It was the overwhelming demand for The Tropical Permaculture Guidebook – a comprehensive resource of permaculture design and strategies – that inspired the book’s development team to establish the new foundation.

‘Since the launch of the international edition of the guidebook in October 2018, it’s been accessed online in 174 countries, with more than 82,000 chapters downloaded worldwide,’ said Ego Lemos, a Director of Permatil Global.

Permatil Community
Photograph courtesy of Permatil

‘By setting up a dedicated foundation, we’ll now have more resources to oversee ongoing development of the guidebook, primarily for tropical regions and in the languages of the topics, and expand its reach across the globe.’

The benefits of permaculture are particularly relevant now as the current health crisis prompts many of us to take stock of how we live, Mr Lemos said.

‘Understanding how we can grow, harvest, eat, store, preserve and share our food has never been more important,’ he said.

‘The heart of permaculture is about helping families and communities become more resilient, sustainable and productive – not just to survive but to thrive.’

Ensuring access to permaculture knowledge for all will remain a key priority. ‘The guidebook is available on a ‘pay what you can’ basis,’ Mr Lemos said. ‘That means many people have accessed the book for free, helping put permaculture in the hands of more people.

‘Everyone can access the book no matter what their income – which is especially important in disadvantaged or subsistence communities.’

Permatil Permaculture Book
Photograph courtesy of Permatil

The new foundation will also explore other ways beyond the guidebook to boost permaculture, said Mr Lemos.

‘Permatil Global will provide a platform to take permaculture further and wider, with other initiatives that spread knowledge, build networks and accelerate positive change. As with the guidebook, we will focus on reducing literacy, language, gender and income barriers and building local skills and economies.

‘We’re excited about this next step as we continue working with people around the world to strengthen food sovereignty, facilitate environmental regeneration, mitigate climate change, and build resilient and sustainable communities everywhere.

Lachlan McKenzie

Lachlan McKenzie (Dip. Permaculture) has been immersed in permaculture since completing his PDC in 1994 in South Australia. After many years practicing, designing and up-skilling his perma-culture adventures took him to Timor-Leste in 2001 working for 5 years with Timorese NGO Per-matil (Permaculture Timor-Leste) and 1 year with IDEP Foundation in Bali and post-tsunami Aceh, Indonesia. From 2008 - 2015 in Darwin, Northern Australia, school gardens, community gardens and teaching permaculture courses were the focus, then for something different, the UK, France and Portugal for 2 years including volunteering with Permaculture Association Britain. A founding member of the International Permaculture Education Network (IPEN) project, co-author/co-manager for the Tropi-cal Permaculture Guidebook and co-founder of Permatil Global, Lachlan has returned to South Australia and his dry-land roots, teaching and practicing with a focus on permaculture for climate action.


    1. Thanks Elizabeth! We have many plans and ideas, at this stage the priority is to translate the tropical guidebook into the languages most used in the tropics – Spanish, French, Portuguese, Indonesian and national languages. We do have a longer term idea to create a dry-lands version, which would cover some temperate climates. There is a lot of good permaculture resources already for temperate climates, but perhaps not in the same highly-illustrated practical style as our guidebook.

  1. Paul Hawken and Co’s book, Drawdown, refused to include permaculture as one of their strategies because they didn’t see it as “currently viable on scale we can consider globally” (I asked them why it was missing in the draft.) Even though “some permaculture is well represented on our team […] Eric Toensmeier is a speaker, but more importantly is our Senior Fellow for Land Use. We also have Kevin Bayuk, an established permaculture expert, as our Senior Fellow for Financial Analysis,” they just couldn’t see their way to telling the whole freaking world about it in a bestseller. Missed opportunity, eh?

    I share this to say that I’ve been wondering ever since how we can scale permaculture up globally in a way that’s quite visible to “outsiders” like Hawken et al. I think your initiative is a very important step towards this!

    1. Hello, thanks so much for your comment. It is very encouraging for us to continue with our work! We understand that to achieve these global goals we can only do it with partnerships and collaborations, but that is a great thing in itself and hopefully as more groups work towards this scale we can create the visibility and, more importantly, the on-the-ground results.
      I agree that it’s disappointing that permaculture isn’t more recoginsed in the mainstream, but i also see that people in so many different fields utilise permaculture methodology in their practice even if it isn’t opened recognised. This is I guess both a strength or permaculture (to be able to influence and be integrated into most fields of practice) and a weakness (as it is thus not officially recognised and promoted), but I’m confident that the work of now milions of permaculture graduates around the world is influencing mainstream more than we guess. That’s the optimist in me anyway :) Lachlan

    1. Hi Kim, my permaculture adventures started in the dry-lands of South Australia and I personally am very much looking forward to creating a dry-lands/desert edition. It will tale time and funding though, and collaboration with other people/groups with dry-lands/desert expertise, but as with our past projects we will keep persisting till we get there!. Lachlan

    1. Hi Rakesh, yes that is in our plans to translate and publish in Hindi. It will take time but we look forward to working with Indian partners to achieve this goal. Lachlan and the Permatil Global team

  2. I’m very happy and blessés to discover this. Itbis with great pleasure and I wish to be more informed.
    This is for me a great opportunity according to my Permaculture adventure in the BUZI-BULENGA Ilands, near Goma town, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo with my project Kraal du Lac Kivu : Ecofamiliy Permaculture site in which I have a the Kivu Regenerative Academy, a component for teaching and sharing Permaculture and regenerative agriculture trainings et others issues.

    1. Great to read your comment Achille, good luck with your important work! Translating the Tropical Permaculture Guidebook into French is a priority for us, and Swahili is another language we are aiming for, hopefully these will help spread more permaculture in your community and through your work. This requires some time and money, we are in the planning phases at the moment and hope to get started in coming months.

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