Wikipedia defines permaculture as “an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies.” It is in this sense a special biomimicry ― a human designed ecological system based in a model of natural synergy, where harmony is maintained between the production of food, stewardship of the natural habitat, and the cultivation of the earth.

Permaculture is both an ecological and a pragmatic social human ethic. It is ecological in so far as its aim is the preservation of our natural environment through the cultivation of care and respect for the delicate balance of nature.  At the same time, it is a pragmatic ethic because it encourages and generates cooperative relationships between people, as well as between people and the natural ecosystems where they live. The term originally stood for permanent agriculture but has come to mean permanent culture. Some permaculture activities include rainwater harvesting, the creation of local gardens with perennial plants, and not growing cash crops that do not nurture the life of the community.

Permaculture is a nonviolent solution to the crisis of human food and resource scarcity that threatens the extinction of many species. As more conflicts come about worldwide because of poverty and resource scarcity, permaculture offers a nonviolent solution.Insofar as it can bring independence from globalization, permaculture is a way to support swaraj (self-rule) through swadeshi (localism).


Holmgren, David, Permaculture, Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, Holmgren Design Services, 2002.

Holmgren Design

Hopkins, Rob, The Transition Handbook, Chelsea Green Publishers, 2008

Transition Network