IPEN & Education News

iLAND Centre Network

The pilot iLAND Network is taking shape with so far 3 aspiring LAND Centre projects having applied in Europe (in Latvia, Bulgaria and Ukraine), 4 across Africa, 1 in Armenia and 1 in Laos. We expect more to apply, to reach our target number of 12 projects in the pilot network, which we will provide more support to and which will help us refine the iLAND systems. We hope to have iLAND project profiles on the iLAND webpages by the end of October. From there we expect the network to expand significantly in Europe and around the world. For more information see: https://www.ipenpermaculture.org/ipen-priorities/iland-demonstration-centres/

Education Resources

A number of additional Case Studies of inspirational projects both in Europe and elsewhere are now available via IPEN’s Resources webpages, that can help provide guidance and inspiration to permaculture projects and organisations in Europe. A number of useful teaching and curriculum guides are also available, including the still highly valuable resources produced by the European Permaculture Teachers (EPT) partnership project – use the filter tool to search the topics at: https://www.ipenpermaculture.org/education-resources/

52 Climate Actions – https://www.52climateactions.com/

The webpages for the 52 Climate Actions project have now been launched.  IPEN and other EuPN members were involved throughout and IPEN drafted an outline for community-led Climate Action Training which is available through the website. With various EuPN members, we are aiming to host a number of online events that will share examples of permaculture-led climate action training and engagement activities, including a recent successful pilot that has been run in South Australia.

Ecolise BLAST Project

The 2-year BLAST project is underway to develop, strengthen and support a growing Europe-wide community of practise for community-led transformative blended learning for sustainability and climate action, with several members of the EuPN involved. This will help widen access to tools and a platform for blended learning, that can be used widely by permaculturists across Europe.

EuPN ReLeaP Project

It is hoped that the ReLeaP partnership project, taken forward by the Resources for Action Working Group, and involving 9 EuPN members, will be able to be confirmed by the end of the year. If Erasmus+ funding is approved this will deliver a 2 year ‘Regenerative Leadership Programme’ starting in January 2020 to support the pioneers and leaders in permaculture networks, organisations, projects and teaching across Europe, with the aim that at least 50% of the participants will be under 30 years old. The project will involve a series of physical and online events, and produce a number of good practice guides and resources to stimulate and support the permaculture movement across Europe.

LAND Centres in Europe

The Danish LAND logo

LAND Centres are steadily emerging across Europe, as well as seeds being sown for their later emergence. IPEN, which is acting as an EuPN Education Work Group, is keen to assist this as one of our six priorities is:

  • Supporting the development of permaculture demonstration and education projects and the iLAND Network to connect them and share lessons, education resources and good practice;
LAND centre “Træstubben” in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Felix Becker

We also want to help national associations establish their own national LAND Centres systems. We see LAND Centres as important for building the educational infrastructure within countries, including having a potential role in teacher training and development, development of education resources in the relevant language and as hubs for local, regional and national networking and collaboration.

IPEN has recently launched its new website, and within that there are a set of iLAND pages which we really encourage you to look at. These set out the criteria for LAND centres, provide useful resources on good practice from established learning and demonstration projects, and an initial application system. We already have a number of initial applications in from Europe and around the world, and will shortly start to engage with them to form an iLAND pilot network of 10-12 centres which we will work with more closely, whilst the wider iLAND network grows and learns from the pilot network.

If the EUPN Erasmus+ ReLeaP application to establish a ‘regenerative leadership programme’ is successful there will be resources and outputs from that programme to support the development of LAND Centres in Europe, although even without it, it is clear that LAND Centres are here to stay, are growing steadily, and will play an important part in the development of the permaculture movement in EuPN member countries, and across Europe as a whole, which will help inspire a wider spread around the world.

We encourage national associations and academies to sign up to IPEN’s newsletter so that we can keep you informed of iLAND Network developments and related permaculture education issues.

“Koroinen” LAND centre in Turku/Åbo, Finland. Participants of a Nordplus funded LAND training and assessment tour in 2017 are striving through the rain amongst lush vegetables. Photo: Cathrine Dolleris

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.