Chapter 2.5 – Flood and Drought Prevention and Disaster Mitigation: Combating Land Degradation with an Integrated Natural Systems Strategy
By Rhamis Kent, Permaculture Research Institute, Australia
This chapter discusses the efforts that can be made to enhance and maintain the highly valuable ecosystem services provided by functioning ecological landscapes, as well as their importance. These efforts have focused on knowledge sharing and capacity building, with the aim of long-term local stewardship. Local stewardship capacity, leadership, and skills are developed by building on existing institutions, by training locals who might then go on to train and support local efforts (thereby increasing local stewardship and effort ownership) in land design and management sciences, by expanding the diversity of livelihood strategies in line with stewardship principles, and by practicing learning and implementation. While increasing the local capacity for applying integrated land use design and management, the aforementioned regenerative interventions impart substantial beneficial impacts on food security, livelihood diversification, and regional adaptive capacity. This text discusses some examples of these interventions, the manner in which they might be applied practically, and their vital importance to the future.
Download the full chapter at ScienceDirect.
About the Author
Rhamis Kent is a consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, B.S.M.E. ’95) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design. He has previously worked for the renowned American inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen at DEKA Research & Development, with subsequent engineering work ranging from medical device research and development to aerospace oriented mechanical design. After taking an interest in the design science of Permaculture, he sought extended training with permaculture expert and educator Geoff Lawton at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia. This led to his involvement with design work connected to the development of Masdar City in UAE after Mr. Lawton and his consulting company (Permaculture Sustainable Consultancy Pty. Ltd.) were contracted by AECOM/EDAW to identify solutions which fit the challenging zero emissions/carbon neutral design constraint of the project.
Most recently, Rhamis collaborated with environmental filmmaker John D. Liu (www.eemp.org, http://www.whatifwechange.org/) in the making of a documentary for Dutch production company VPRO called “Green Gold” highlighting the topic of global ecosystem restoration work:
In July 2010, Rhamis lectured at Schumacher College (named after the influential economic thinker E.F. Schumacher) in Totnes, Devon UK about the application of permaculture in post-industrial Detroit.
Given the rapidly growing interest in sustainable development, Mr. Kent hopes to bring to the attention of the investment community an aspect of the emerging sustainable economy that has yet to be seriously considered for significant financial support – Earth Repair/Ecosystem Restoration Work (ERW) and regenerative design.
Rhamis completed his Permaculture Design Course, Permaculture Aid Worker, Permaculture Teacher Training, Permaculture Earthworks, and 10-week internship at Zaytuna Farm in 2009.