This project is about efficiently using permaculture to restore a sustainable bio-cultural landscape in Mts Iglit-Baco National Park, Mindoro, Philippines
In cooperation with D’Abboville Foundation, Philippine Permaculture Association is exploring ways how to apply a permaculture lens while bridging indigenous people’s well-being and a dwindling tamaraw (endemic buffalo) population in the natural park. The focus is on practicing ecosystem restoration approaches on a granted 6 ha grassland and finding ways to feed park rangers without bringing in processed foods from the outside.
Here, we use permaculture design to connect existing components and enhance their relationship in order to create better responses. It is a gentle, yet quick approach to allow nature to bounce back. In the grassland, we’ve created bio-diverse islands, swales, firebreaks and we surrounded existing pioneer species with other trees to grow together in a strong bond. In succession, we also created small water impounding with overflow water from an existing water tank so no resources will be discarded. Biomass from the nearby ranger station is scattered around the trees to hasten the growth of microbes and mycelium in the soil.
Within the premises of the ranger station, we use a permaculture systems approach to create productive and intensive gardens that will feed the rangers and supplement some of their needs with locally made soap and food processing from crops grown on-site that allow for storage during lean times. Renewable energy components like solar and hydropower are supplying the energy needed to run the ranger station.
During the initial restoration approach, the Tao-build are observers and critique the processes we undertake as it evolves. The purpose is to share without imposing new ways of doing things. The project is setting into motion a long-term dialogue between people and responses from the natural world.
Bert Peeters. Philippines Permaculture Association, Philippines.
Born in Belgium, Bert has been in the Philippines since 1989. He worked in the education sector and has been hosting groups, individuals, professionals, and volunteers in the Philippines on a regular basis ever since. Later he started designing products to improve living conditions for people in rural areas. He developed and set up development projects with Tribal communities in several places of the Philippines for over more than 15 years. He studied and developed synergy models between nature and design. System thinking is Bert’s motivation in cooperating with people in order to elevate design to a sustainable development level. The Permaculture framework is his favorite design method and approach for combining available natural sources and simple technologies into relevant and sustainable design solutions. At present, he is training people to develop skills and to take (in a positive way) charge of the changes happening in their environment. Bert has been the coordinator for a volunteer network and an international solidarity network. Later he became the program coordinator for a foreign-supported development program.
In 2000, he started the permaculture development site of Cabiokid foundation in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, and he also founded the Philippine Permaculture Association. At present, he is part of a team that works towards a well-rooted permaculture fabric and membership base in the Philippines.