ECHO Asia Notes AN Issue #30
- Soils of Mainland Southeast Asia
- Permaculture in Development
- Book Review: The Independent Farmstead
Articles in this Issue
Peter Elstner, Warm Heart Foundation, Chiang Mai, Thailand
This report describes and analyzes the soil distribution and characteristics of the main soil types in Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) that comprise the countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The word permaculture is mentioned with increasing frequency in speeches, books and magazine articles on sustainability and food security. What is permaculture? Is it a movement? A philosophy? Simply a set of design tools? In this article, I answer the above questions by looking at permaculture from a variety of angles. First, I briefl y describe permaculture’s history, underlying ethics, and key principles and common practices. Then I discuss common criticisms of permaculture and explain the underlying perspective that shapes its use in addressing a community’s food, water and shelter needs (i.e., the lens through which a permaculturalist views development). Finally, I share how permaculture has infl uenced my own life and work, both as a Christian and as an agriculture development worker.