Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.
it’s a way of living, farming, and connecting to nature and our community that creates a closed loop of sustainability. In other words, it’s a harmonious assimilation of landscape and life forms that connects food, shelter, energy, waste systems, community, and design principles in such a way that each element feeds the next in a sort of symbiotic process.
It’s about working with, rather than against nature. It’s about allowing natural systems to function in their most natural way, and integrating other systems that will support its evolution. It’s about beneficial design – but beneficial in a way that is not just beneficial to humans, but beneficial to the larger ecosystem that it exists within.
Taking all that into consideration,we need to ask the very fundamental question.What are the root causes of all problems and challenges that hit conservation?Food insecurity,poverty,poor farming methods,overstocking etc are some of the reasons.Permaculture addresses the key problem among many indigenous communities in the world.
Poaching,hunting,massive forest encroachment eg.illegal lumbering are caused by people looking for food either directly or indirectly.Food insecurity has led in many instances,into people going to forests to harvest honey and end up starting wild fires that burn all vegetation that destroys food and habitat for wildlife as well as general ,biting disturbance of the eco-system.
Communities also get into forests to look for energy(firewood),building materials etc.Permaculture has a structured,specific way of dealing with all those problems through sustainable,economic,reasonable,caring approaches that ensure that there is no excess,uncontrolled pressure on the environment;while sealing all loopholes that splash discomfort,suffering among the people.
One of the biggest threats to life and conservation in general is the use of chemicals for farming.The chemicals used are very harmful to human health as well as affecting both terrestrial and aquatic life.Massive use of chemicals has led to continued extinction of 1000 s of insect species which each,has its contribution to biodiversity.Chemicals washed into rivers and water bodies also has led to death of fish,whales etc ,something which has far-reaching ramifications in the world .Through permaculture,communities learn how to make organic manure through animal/garden waste etc -something which is more healthy as it leads to soil fertility as well as land regeneration.Organic manure made as compost is the best way to for high yields(food security).
Pastoral communities like us the Maasai learn and practise alternative ways of securing green/renewable energy instead of relying on bushes and forests.On the same,also adapting permaculture knowledge -grow enough food and diversify their dietics. It is no longer tenable,practical to rely on livestock for food and a living only for survival as there are many dynamics eg..shrinking land coverage,unpredictable,harsh weather patterns .Thus,it is very crucial to reach such communities to help reduce overstocking,overgrazing not considering the human-wildlife conflicts that arise from livestock keeping when predator wildlife attack cattle.
It is very evident that the best way to address conservation challenges and make it a success in Sub-Sahara Africa and especially here in the Maasai community of Kenya ,is through PERMACULTURE.it is the torch and lantern of sustainable,holistic conservation.