Chapter 4.4 – Regenerating Agriculture to Sustain Civilization

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Chapter 4.4 – Regenerating Agriculture to Sustain Civilization

By Allan Savory, Savory Institute, Boulder, Colarado; and Tom Duncan, Home Ecology & Brooklet Farm Education, Brooklet, Australia


This section explores the history of agriculture and civilizations through the lens of Holistic Management, Permaculture, and the Keyline scale of permanence. Civilizations need to regenerate agricultural production with a variety of frameworks, methodologies, and tools, which are explored in journal articles discussed in this section.

Download the full chapter at ScienceDirect.

Further Information

About the Authors

Allan Savory

Allan Savory is a Zimbabwean ecologist, farmer, soldier, exile, environmentalist, international consultant, and president and co-founder of The Savory Institute. He originated holistic management, a systems thinking approach to managing resources. Once a staunch opponent of livestock, Savory would come to favor using properly managed livestock, bunched and moving to mimic nature, as a means to heal the environment, stating  livestock can reverse desertification. He believes grasslands hold the potential to sequester enough atmospheric carbon dioxide to reverse climate change. Praised by supporters as genius, prophet and visionary, his controversial ideas have sparked fierce opposition from academics, environmentalists, and vegans. Yet his radical approach is gaining ground, with new converts and investors, and total grassland under holistic management topping 40 million acres worldwide.

Savory received the 2003 Banksia International Award and won the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge. Prince Charles called him “a remarkable man” and Joel Salatin, dubbed by the New York Times as “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson,”wrote, “History will vindicate Allan Savory as one of the greatest ecologists of all time.”

Connect with Allan: @AllanRSavory and @SavoryInstitute. 

Spot Allan Savory on the Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace introductory video, shot at Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2013!

Watch Allan Savory’s TEDx presentation on reversing desertification using holistic grassland management.

Tom Duncan

Tom is a regenerative science professional working across the fields of regenerative farming, largescale land & water restoration, intensive urban food production systems, renewable energy, sustainable housing development, project investment and finance. He is the co-founder of ReGen Investment network, connecting fund managers and investors to regenerative agriculture, land restoration initiatives and projects. Tom is president and founder of Ecoplan Consulting, Home Ecology and AquaBiofilter.
Tom worked on large scale land and water restoration projects in China with AusAID, across 18.7 million square hectares. Regenerative agriculture and water management programs reached 40 million farmers with innovative educational and technical capacity building activities across community, Government and industry.
Tom is active in the regenerative agriculture field as a farmer, consultant, teacher and advisor. He assists regenerative projects by connecting resources including technical, training, investment and finance. He writes about regenerative agriculture, water management, resource conflict resolution, investment and market development across a variety of platforms.
He invented a biomimicry technology called AquaBiofilter, a floating wetlands and marine permaculture technology that restores water to its natural state, removing pollutants with biofiltration. Floating wetlands and islands are used by water managers in ecological aquaculture, marine permaculture, waste water and stormwater treatment. This new generation of biotechnology provides ecosystem services and valuable habitat for birds, fish, turtles and frogs – kickstarting ecosystem restoration – more can be seen at:

More about Tom.

Connect with Tom on Twitter: @TomsHomeEcology

More about Tom.

Spot Tom on the Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace introductory video, shot at Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2013!
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