Sunday, June 19, 2011

Permaculture in the Maldives to feature in French Documentary

Filming in the Tropics

In the beginning of May I was fortunate to have the opportunity to further promote Permaculture Design in the Maldives. French TV ESCALES are making a 52 minute documentary on sustainability on Six Senses Properties.

The main focus of the programme is the SLOW LIFE Season and all our sustainability policies. The SLOW LIFE Season is offered to guest where they pay to stay for 3 days and in return for participating a 3day sustainability programme they get an additional 3 days free....

The programme is run by Kate Wilson the resident Marine Biologist and me.
Guests spend half a day on each of three themes:

It is that big ???

So Green: The session begins with a presentation “Introduction to Permaculture” and a discussion on Soneva Fushi’s commitment to a Fossil Fuel Free future. A tour of the Eco Centro is then conducted where workshops on Permaculture design, soil identification, pH testing, soil improvement techniques, sheet mulching, fast compost making, plant guilds and water harvesting techniques are held.

Kate Wilson Marine Biologist
So Blue: Run by Kate covers a selection of key ecological indicators of coral reef health that will be recorded. Lead by the marine biologist, basic surveys are completed which
will contribute to much needed scientific research. Data will be submitted to the Marine Conservation Society’s Fish Watch Maldives program, a program funded by the Darwin Initiative, to provide the government with vital data on which to base management plans.

Community involvement

So Aware: involves the guests visiting and working with a nearby community teaching the students and wider community the principles of Permaculture through a hands on approach to developing their school garden.  The guests with the marine biologist will also inspire the students about the beach, reef and ocean ecosystems through hands on activities when the students complete the programme they become “Reef Rangers”

The gift of Permaculture

During the filming I was able to discuss how Permaculture was being used to support sustainable food production at Soneva Fushi and show first hand Permaculture systems and principles to help achieve the goal. At Eco Centro we have designed an "OutDoor Clasroom" demonstrating systems for water harvesting (swales and garden beds on contour, composted and mulched) tropical bed design (raised beds, pit mulched, banana, coconut and papaya circles) and hot composting to name a few.    

Eco Centro "Out Door Clasroom"


Best of all was when we filmed the making of a banana and papaya circle at Kihaadhoo School.

First Banana and Papaya circle

It smells good

Filming for the documentary was an experience of great pleasure. It took 3 days to cover all the information they required and gave me greater confidence in being able to explain Permaculture and solutions to climate change. The programme will have an audience of not only France but most of Europe and the UK shown for a 2 year period. Within that time people will be able to learn how Permaculture plays many roles in many lives. From helping a nation of people under the pressure of climate change, to education of high worth individuals who can also make a difference if they know how. 

Helping to spread the word "Permaculture"

Permaculture Design at Soneva Fushi and all Six Senses properties is incorporated into the design and running of these exclusive resorts to become more than just carbon neutral, to be non reliant on fossil fuels, to be sustainable and developing systems to support a country, the Maldives to be De Carbonized. Who said Permaculture was all about growing vegetables in the back yard????

Natural cooling system
not a vegetable in sight 

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