Land tenure and community governance is an aspect of permaculture which is vitally important, but generally remains unseen. For this reason it is often referred to as part of 'invisible structures'. We need to ensure that the physical systems we create are able to be maintained and developed long into the future.
Approaches to eradicating poverty and sustainable use of the environment depend in large on how people, communities and others gain access to land, fisheries and forest. How people gain access to land is defined and regulated by societies through systems of tenure, which determine who can use which resources for how long, and under what conditions. Systems may be based on written laws and policies as well as traditional unwritten customs and practices. Tenure systems face increasing stress as the world's populations grow; creating challenges to addressing food security, environmental degradation and climate change. Permaculture seeks to address the challenges ahead by creating physical systems that can be maintained and developed for many years to come. Focus areas include: group work (e.g. transition initiates, meeting methods and techniques,facilitation, conflict resolution and consensus making), legal structures (e.g. cooperatives and development trusts), housing (e.g. housing trusts, co-housing and eco-villages) and land holding & land access (e.g. land trusts, Usufruct and land share schemes).