How Do Permaculture Communities Protect Themselves

Johanna has a question here. In the 14.7 Bioregional
Organization video, I note there is no enforcement
or police on this map and I assume that is intentional. How are the principles, policies, and rules of a bioregion enforced if there are those who
would behave differently or act in a manner that is
wasteful, harmful, or hurtful? While I think meeting basic
needs will reduce crime, it is unrealistic to assume
crime will be eliminated, especially as the worst
crime seem to be committed by those who are wealthy
or indeed the wealthiest, not those who are most desperate. It is not someone starving who mobilizes industrial Ag practices, promotes deforestation,
creates the most pollution, or exploits the most people. How does this permaculture
model of governance actually deal with flawed human nature and the balance of freewill
brackets and human rights versus harm to others and the earth? Well, poor people will exploit
forests and the environment if they’re desperate. You can see that around some
of the huge refugee camps where people have left the country under the threat of their life and they’re just, there
are shorter resources and they have to exploit. But I can see what you’re saying. So the decision makers that we
normally influence are local and local government is
the politicians we vote in who make the basic local bylaws. If we influence local government, now we’ll influence state government and state government
influences national government as a complete voting block. So when you set up a
local community group, a local permaculture group, and you get a great diversity
of people turning up and they’re a very multicultural group and they’re not a normal
assembly of people, they’re just permaculture people
who all think the same way. They say the permaculture nation is, we’re really a nation of people, more than a tribe of people. So when we represent ourselves
to the local government, we’re a not-for-profit
community group incorporated and we need to be listened to because if you get over 100 people turning up every month to a meeting representing a large
diversity of the voting block, a local politician sees 20 to 50 people for everybody sitting in a room. So they will arrive and
they’ll want to know what it is we stand for,
what it is we believe should happen in the local area. There are many ways we can influence that. So very passively, we can
show the local government what it is we stand for, what it is we want to happen locally. Do we want to be able
to have compost toilets, rid bad gray water, food in
the streets or fruit tree parks or food forest parks, community gardens, sensible sort of waste
streams, local economics, local currencies, all these
things, renewable energy, all these things that
make life more sustainable because they have a good energy audit. So representing permaculture as the truly ethical
design science that it is. As you do this, it starts
to make a difference. It really does. So it may be a little bit seditious that we don’t need the authority. I mean we don’t need to be
the authority ourselves, but we can influence the decision makers that create the rules,
that those rules and laws has to be enforced if
people don’t abide by them. So 25 years ago, I started a
not-for-profit community group, and that group is still
very successful today and we’ve created many more. But I’ve been distracted into
more and more consultancy, more and more teaching, setting up demonstration
sites on the ground like this. I turned it to a farm
where I have students on lunch break behind
me and also aid work. But now we’ve registered a
not-for-profit gift recipient, tax deductible gift recipient
charity, and that just happened. The Permaculture Research Institute as a not-for-profit company
limited by guarantee is now finished. The end of our financial
year is the 30th of June. The financial year in Australia
starts on the 1st of July, so we now have a new system. You can look that website
up, and we will be running a
lot more international work. But at a local level, we’re
setting up a startup kit for local community
groups so people can see exactly what you do to start a group, how you formalize that group
to the local government area. Now, ideally the local government area would be a bioregion or
assemblies of multiple bioregions with the bioregion
boundaries, but they’re not. We’re working with what we’ve got. That’s fine. These are decision makers
that we can influence. We can give you a start up kit that takes you from where
you start the process, who you team up with and how you establish right through to a successful group that influences local government. So that’s one thing. We’re also setting up
how you can establish a permaculture aid project
so that it is formal, it’s got authority to
receive donations officially. It’s a professional way to
establish an aid project to receive money as donations because there’s not
enough of that going on. There’s not enough local community groups. So two different startup kits. So this will help people move quicker. Now, there’s 547 local
government areas in Australia. There’s over 19,000 in North America and anywhere there’s a normal
democratic government system, which is most places in the world. You will have local government
areas that we can work with and established and have that influence. And as more of us in community cooperate, instead of being in competition, we go into cooperation as
communities working together for a sustainable future that actually has a
very good energy audit. The quicker we move towards tipping point and a majority of us work together and the minority has to
be policed or controlled who are not following the
sensible way to behave.


  1. Good that you pointed that out about poor people Geoff. The questioner is quite correct about our flawed state. Too many people hold a naive, Utopian view about people, that does not take into account self centred narcissism.

  2. In defense of the questioner, both refugees and extreme poverty are almost always caused by the greed of the rich and powerful, and the policies they've gotten enacted, or prevented from being enacted.

    So, while desperate individuals are responsible for cutting down trees or other destructive activities, the root cause of their desperation lays exactly where she stated.

  3. We all would be much richer in life, if we had more localized argrigaian societies… I start my micro permaculture farm, next year.. I'm following your channel, you have some great ideas..

  4. The things I most like about permaculture is that it is voluntary and harmless to others. You can just opt into it on your own land and live-and-let-live. It doesn't force other people to change to suit your ideals, or so I thought. Gaining power to force conformity, trying to reduce competition… yuck.

  5. Do agree that preserving permaculture is important. Would have edited out the political agenda aspects of this question by this woman. It could blind one to any real adverse forces that are coming from a different viewpoint. Think your answer was spot on.

  6. Geoff, I wish I could import you to my sad town. There's a park with so much potential to transform my community via permaculture food forestation!

  7. If anyone is interested in a model for the police that actually benefits the people as promised, check out the following video on Democratic Confederalism in Rojava. This directly democratic social model ELECTS the police, and empowers the local people to FIRE a police official if they do not follow the social contract they agreed with. They are also working to train every single citizen in self-defense and community governance, so that eventually the police can be eliminated. You don't have to agree with the politics displayed here (Direct Democracy), just saying there are other models out there for directing society.

  8. Haha, I love the sleepy face the wrinkles of your shirt with the two chest pockets as eyes form! Great work as usual, keep it up!

  9. Interesting as always Geoff.
    Hope you don't mind me pointing out that the video description is for your previous Salinity video.
    Kind regards Leigh.

  10. The more there are people getting onto a whole food diet, getting outdoors, interacting with nature and community, feeling empowered in their lives, the fewer there will be feeling disconnected and needing medication and regulation. There will always be some, that's balance, bet there will be fewer.

  11. Awesome.. i want to do this so much with a group to make a permaculture group. I want to set up a professional nonprofit group, or be part of one.

  12. I'm learning to start trees from seeds and cuttings. When I get extra, I have two places other than my property to put them, the local community centre and a large piece of land that I removed a dead forest from. We'll have three food forests!

  13. Government is corrupt through and through. We are living in the early stages of agenda 2021/30 and the 'sustainable development' aspect of that plan is getting everyone off private rural land and into dense, highly populated city areas. I believe a SA senator is proposing land tax increases in the several hundred percent range which will force plenty of people off as their only real asset is their land and not a giant bank balance.

  14. Great question. Another good ? to ask is just WHERE is this protective force ALREADY?
    I'm in and grown up in USA, but in my aspirations to move back to India (where my parents came to USA from), excited about recent developments in awareness in south India with great sadhguru and campaign ("rally for rivers" and "cauvery calling") to protect water sheds with mass reforestation work, as !it seems like the government authorities have also recognized the goodness of such efforts.

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