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Ecology Restoration of Haiti through Permaculture

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Nitisha Shrestha

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Ecology Restoration of Haiti through Permaculture

Ecology Restoration of Haiti through Permaculture Haiti and Dominican Republic Border
The main goal of the project is to create a self sufficient functional ecosystem (improved resiliency and self-reliance during declining oil, resource struggles, environmental degradation, and global economic instability).

Some of the advantages of the functional ecosystem are
Long-term cost savings through energy, soil, water, and resource conserving landscape design
Improve agriculture practices
Prevent runoff and erosion
Retain water in the system
Promote biodiversity and effective animal management systems
Involve local communities and create awareness
Provide work opportunities to the local communities (potentially decrease internal migration to
larger cities such as Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien) Objective What is the solution ? Deforested mountains near Jacmel, in southern Haiti Sustainable land use design based on ecological and biological principles
Core ethics: care for the earth, care for people and fair share.
Creates a stable productive system that incorporates human needs, processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles. Permaculture Ethics of Permaculture "Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Bill Mollison (from the permaculture.net website) Ethics and Design of Permaculture Vital steps to create a self sustainable ecosystem 1. Change the topography of landscape according to contour Terrace farming Raised beds Swales - Passive water harvesting ditch(artificial or natural) on contour with small contour mound on the lowest side mulch and micro organism water soaks into the land nitrogen fixing trees trees provide shade and prevent evaporation put nitrogen into the soil long term overstory Greening the Desert project in Jordan 2. Add organic matter- bringing soil to life Mulch
i) layer of organic materials placed on the top of the soil as a protective cover
ii) helps to suppress weed germination, retain moisture, insulate the soil and reduce erosion
iii) contributes nutrients the soil by gradually breaking down over time

i)incorporate composting sites
ii)composting toilets SOIL composting toilet
Port-au-Prince, Haiti SOIL composting toilet: a simple wooden structure and toilet seat built around a 15 gallon collection drum. Temperatures are documented throughout the compost process to ensure that sufficient heat has been generated to kill all pathogens and organic matter has sufficiently broken down to be used for agricultural uses. Leaves and branches chopped into mulch. 3. Water efficient system Rainwater harvesting- creating swales, reservoirs, watersheds and wetlands; rooftop harvesting
Grey water system-wastewater can be recycled on-site for uses such as landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands.
Drip irrigation-saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters. Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting in Zimbabwe 4.Create guilds Drip irrigation Swales Design a polyculture system with
perennial plants
pioneer plants
living mulch
cover crops
deep rooted plants
diverse plants with symbiotic relationships A guild is selection of multifunctional plants and animals gathered around a central plant. that work well together. Some plants may be grown for food production, some to attract beneficial insects, and others to repel harmful insects. When grouped together these plants form a guild (example food forest).
i) runs and maintains itself (interdependence)
ii)creates a habitat for local wildlife, pest control and pollination Use domesticated animals to add manure and naturally tilt the soil
Chicken tractors
Rabbits tractors
Incorporate several bushes, trees, and plants that attract insects such as pollinators, predatory insects, and other beneficial insects. The high amount of organic matter will attract soil organisms. 5.Incorporate beneficial animals Chicken tractor Change topography (using contours) Utilize rain water harvesting and soil conservation strategy at high points so the gravity can be used to bring irrigation and nutrient flow to poor-quality growing lands. Add organic matter Rain water harvesting Hazelwood Food Forest The forest garden- Beneficial guild Incorporate plants and animals with symbiotic relationship which enhances the survival of one or both species. Results
self sustainable ecosystem
perennial root system and humus rich soil
water supply replenished
water retains in the system
microbial communities living and growing in the micro climate
less sunlight damage
prevents soil erosion
formation of agroecosystems
create awareness in the communities
sustains wetlands and marshes Ecology restoration through permaculture Due to lack of arable land in Haiti, risky land use occurs on the slopes of mountains. Farmers in this region do not use the practice of terracing. In one hectare of land, the practice of terracing can prevent the erosion of up to two hundred and fifty tons of topsoil each year Haiti's situation 98 percent of Haiti is now deforested
The decrease of branches and trees have forced the Haitians to use roots, twigs and stumps as fuel
Due to erosion, sediments flow downhill during tropical rain erosion (during severe weather 15,000 acres of topsoil are washed away each year)
Deforestation has led to desertification which causes lack of inaccessible water agriculture Deforestation in Cap Haitien 63% of the land surface in Haiti has a slope of over 20% but 58% of the area is subject to some form of agriculture. Annual soil losses are calculated at 36.6 million of tons. 6% of the land area is impacted by irreversible erosion (no soil left) Soil erosion has affected aquifers, or underground water sources (Aquifers depend on the absorption of rainwater, but without topsoil and trees, sufficient amounts of water cannot be absorbed)
Mangroves, sea grass beds and coral reefs in Haiti are degraded due to over exploitation of resources, land based pollution and sedimentation, habitat encroachment and destruction How is permaculture different from other landscape design processes? An example of permaculture- Greening the Desert with Geoff Lawton Part 1 Part 2 Permaculture techniques have worked in bringing the soil back to life in the Middle East (Jordan Valley) , Ethiopia, India and China. Even in harsh conditions permaculture has been successful because it is a whole system approach that focuses on long-term needs of the land and the people living on it.
It integrates water systems, energy production, food cultivation, plants, educational facilities, farm animals and ecological restoration in a system to work together.
Nature does not produce waste in the system (close loop). The waste from one species is of high importance to the other species in the ecosystem. Permaculture is based on these relationships. The more one understands about the system, the less work needs to be performed (Law of conservation of energy).
"The more you understand, the more you can put nature to work for you, the less you need." Acres USA
Permaculture is not just limited to agricultural practices. The design and ethics of permaculture integrates community planning and development such as buildings , houses, green houses and roads into the existing landscape that are ecologically sustainable and conserves resources. One of the main reasons behind Haiti's condition is unsustainable agricultural practices on the steep slopes and deforestation. Practical application of permaculture Solar water and heating Modified hoop house to act as a tractor Chickens tilt by scratching the soil for insects. They also incorporate their waste into the soil (serving as a natural fertilizer). These tractors are moved in two-three days depending on the size of the tractor and plot of the land
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