My wife, who is a Registered Dietitian, and I, a Community Educator, have been living and working with agriculture here in Malawi, Africa for eight years now. We have some serious concerns about the effects that genetic engineering will have on countries like this. Detrimental effects often spring up quickly in places like Malawi that are not felt in industrialized countries until years later. It seems that the world may be missing the forest through the trees when it comes to genetic modification of plants and animals.
I wrote this essay as part of a module on 'Spiritual Activism' in my Masters degree with the Centre for Human Ecology (Edinburgh). Though my ideas are still evolving and this is, in a sense, work in progress, I thought that it might be of interest to others and worth sharing with the wider permaculture community.
In this article, I equate agriculture with food production. In a wider sense, many of the points made here apply to other products of agriculture, as well as forestry, fishing and range management.
A brief history of agriculture
Support for community-based food production in
Part of the abstract:
I think contemporary human intervention in our landscapes is unnatural compared to the effects of other native and wild species.
Some will argue instead that our intervention over history has enhanced the value of landscapes and, anyway, there are too many of us now for it to be any other way in the UK â€“ this is the natural effect of modern-day humans, the â€œproper place of human activity in ecologyâ€ (1).
Can this really be true?
There is these years ongoing a rather hefty debate concerning permaculturists air travelling.
During the 10 years I have been engaged with permaculture, I have heard a wide variety of opinions and reasonings concerning the matter. From â€“ â€œLetâ€™s use the opportunity now while we can; letâ€™s travel and meet and network in the short time itâ€™s still possibleâ€. To the opposite view that air travel should be strictly forbidden â€“ particularly for permaculturists who wish to walk their talk.