IPEN News: The EUPN Education Working Group

by Steve Charter

IPEN has launched its iLAND intiative to help spread and support the growth of LAND Centres – learning and demonstration centre projects – across Europe and globally. IPEN is inviting applications from permaculture demonstration projects that have active education programmes to apply for iLAND status, subject to meeting a set of criteria which have been adapted a little from the UK LAND project, which inspired iLAND. IPEN plans to support up to 12 centres more actively as pilot members of the iLAND network, with a spread of pilot projects around the globe. IPEN also wants to support national organisations and networks in establishing their own LAND centre systems, if they are ready to do so. For more information see IPEN’s iLAND pages.

IPEN Case Studies are being steadily produced on good practice projects from around the world, with 8 Case Studies produced so far and a goal of having around 20 produced by mid-2019. The case studies sit within IPEN’s Education Resources page which includes a number of examples of Curriculum Guides, Teachers Guides and other useful education resources.  

IPEN expects to have a new improved website up within the first quarter of 2019, to include additional functionality, and more ways to support the development, growth and maturing of permaculture education across Europe. To receive direct updates on IPEN’s activities go to their Sign Up page as there’s only so much we can include here in the EUPN News! 

First LAND-center in Finland accredited

A center run by the Elävän Kulttuurin Koroinen-association (Koroinen of Living Culture) in Turku celebrated its accreditation as the first LAND-center in Finland in November 2018. The LAND-network (Learning, Activity, Network and Demonstration) is an international network of sites showcasing best practices in permaculture and offering courses and skill-sharing opportunities. The accreditation celebration was followed by the annual kekri-celebration of Koroinen (Kekri is the traditional harvest time festival in Finland).

Koroinen has long been a forerunner of Finnish permaculture. The site was run by the Degree Programme in Sustainable Development at Turku University of Applied Sciences. After the Sustainable Development programme was ended in 2012, the site has been run by the Elävän Kulttuurin Koroinen-association, with the aim of promoting sustainable and traditional crafts, skills and lifestyle.

The Koroinen area is an important historical site, protected for it’s archaeological value. It’s been lived in at least since the Iron age and has been a major economic and religious hub in Finland.
“We offer activities available to everybody around the year: practical courses, monthly permaculture study circles, big weekend events and lectures. We’ve been visiting LAND-centers in the Nordic countries. Based on the study tour, we made a thorough plan for all the activities here,” says Lotta Laaksonen, who was involved in the project. “The planning is now complete our work as a LAND-center can begin.”
“I hope the example set by Koroinen can inspire other actors in Finland to become LAND-centers. We hope the network spreads and makes permaculture more well known in Finland”, says Marja Nuora, who acts as LAND-coordinator of the Finnish Permaculture Association.
The LAND-network in Finland is governed by the Finnish Permaculture Association. “The best way to understand permaculture, is to see how it functions in practice. The LAND-centers motivate people in a down-to-earth way” says Tanja Korvenmaa, the Chair of the Finnish Permaculture Association.

Active LAND group from Koroinen

Map of Permaculture Projects

Czech permaculture by Marie Venerová

An ongoing managing of the Network of Permaculture Projects, assessing whether applying permaculture sites can be placed on a  ” map of demonstration permaculture sites” and by appointment visited by the public, is another activity of the association members and volunteers who have a PDC. There are 2 categories of projects.

 – The Demonstration sites, which are more complex and interconnect their elements.

 – The Projects featuring permaculture elements. 

There are 35 sites on the map and you can find it here (please scroll to the bottom of the website) :  https://www.permakulturacs.cz/#mapanchor!}.

Visegrad and Beyond Network of Permaculture Centers

We have launched a common network of permaculture education and demonstration centers for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine, with 100+ sites included so far. Visit our web-site to browse centers by levels, categories and specializations, follow news on Facebook (see event list here) and subscribe to the monthly bulletin with the network opportunities. Use and contribute towards our seedbank and advises on seed preservation, organizing courses and hosting volunteers.