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All over the world there are people doing permaculture research in a mind boggling array of different fields. There are also legions of people using permaculture to improve their own quality of life and that of those around them. In every corner of the globe people are organising and getting together to help bring permaculture to the fore and get policy makers to start listening.


Kenya permaculture project

There are challenges however, and there is a great potential for improving coordination and information flow with regards to what research is being carried out, where and by whom. By facilitating the exchange of knowledge, nurturing the development of networks and providing support and encouragement an international research network will help to nurture the seeds of research creativity around the world. Widening the knowledge base of permaculture research also has great potential to make permaculture a more attractive option to a wide range of people from NGO's and policy makers to farmers and members of the general public. Due to these potential benefits the Permaculture Association launched the international permaculture research project.

Phase 1: International Research Surveys

The first phase of the project was the International Research Surveys, completed during 2012 and 2013. Four surveys were completed:

Survey 1 – Who is Doing What?

International Research Survey 1: Full Report  

Survey 2 – What Research is Wanted?

International Research Survey 2: Full Report  


Survey 3 - How do Researchers Learn and Communicate?

International Research Survey 3: Full Report

Survey 4 – Mapping the Routes to Discovery  

International research Survey 4: Full Report


Phase 2: The Permaculture International Research Network

The Permaculture International Research Network (PIRN) is the second phase of the project.  The major launch and celebration took place at the International Permaculture Conference, 8th-9th September 2015, in London. We now (Feb 2018) have 900 members in 80 countries, continue with the e-bulletins and The Permaculture Research Digest, and are working to connect members with similar interests, share research findings and opportunities and develop collaborative international research projects. In April 2017 we launched the ambitious Information for Action on Climate Change Project, which came about as a direct result of collaboration within PIRN.

The  Permaculture International Research Network facilitates:

  • knowledge exchange
  • peer-group support
  • access to journals and books
  • easily available literature reviews and databases
  • a place to access other people's research
  • a place to share research findings.

If you share our vision, become an active member of PIRN by clicking the link at the top of this page.















This project has been generously funded by Lush Cosmetics through the  Sustainable Lush Fund.

We offer membership of PIRN as a free resource, but welcome donations to support this and future research projects.

Relevant documents: