Himalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC)
From April 2011 HPC has started Nepal's first "Transition Project"
entitled "Building Household and Community Resilience". HPC
developed its strategy to carry out a 2-phase program over 4 years, aiming
to build environmental, social and economic resiliency into communities in 2 districts through participatory approaches and use of low input, high output appropriate technologies. The first year (phase 1) of this program, was the “preparatory survey and design and capacity building stage” of the overall project. This is being followed by phase 2, where created capacity and lessons learned during phase 1 are being used to scale up the program into a wider area, combined with networking to share experiences with other organisations and local government.
The program purpose of phase 1 is to build up the capacity of HPC and its aligned groups to enable them to build resilience into the traditional and modernising domestic and farming practices of village communities. The program realises that past focus on “poverty alleviation” through building sustainable livelihoods pale into insignificance in face of the global threats of climate change and peak oil. These combine to negate many of the positive effects of poverty alleviation initiatives achieved over the past decades via falling farm productivity (as a result of adverse weather conditions), and increasing costs of production (as a result of increased costs of any product or service dependent on fossil fuel, i.e. fertiliser, medicines, clothing, transport, etc.). These negative effects combine and contribute to impacting health of individuals in the community. Women’s health is especially harmed, as the burden to maintain household productivity falls chiefly on them. Likewise, children are more likely to be kept away from school in an effort to help with farm work at home.
Such imminent problems require proactive solutions such as the Transition Towns initiatives started in UK and rapidly spreading worldwide. HPC will use its own indigenous experience and resources as well as lessons from global sources to work with local groups helping to prevent and alleviate these problems, while building and increasing resilience into communities.
Objectives of this phase of the program therefore are to:
• Increase awareness of local and global issues of the environment, including social and economic issues. This will be done with adults at home as well as children at school
• Provide proactive demonstrations of and education in techniques and approaches that can build resilience into households and communities specifically in the areas of agriculture, health, energy and natural resource management
• Build the capacity and infrastructure of HPC to be able to manage its programs and scale-up its successful activities to a wider area, including establishing pro-active networks within and between active village groups, NGOs and local government.