Annapurna Pluriversity for Biocultural Regeneration: Creating a Collaborative

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Annapurna Pluriversity for Biocultural Regeneration: Creating a Collaborative By

Pramod Parajuli, Ph.D. Doctoral Program in Sustainability Education

Prescott College

Miami Dade College, Miami Florida, October 31, 2012

There are planetary boundaries, nine are identified • Ozone Depletion • There are human needs • Climate Change, CO2 emission levels greenhouse gas • Biodiversity loss • Phosphorous cycle • Nitrogen cycle • Ocean acidification

for survival and thriving for 7 billion humans within this biosphere

• OXFAM has identified 11 basic indicators of safe space for humanity while we are also facing limits to fresh water and land use

Why is temperature rising? • Top 10% of Humanity is increasing the average temperature on Earth

• 20 % of the temperature increase is due to deforestation and and degradation of • 80% due to fossil fuels land. including how machinery and chemicals are used in industrial agriculture

The tragedy of (the) ‘carbon’

• Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have greatly increased the quantity of carbon dioxide found in the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. • Atmospheric levels have increased by over 30%, from about 275 parts per million (ppm) in the early 1700s to just over 390 PPM today. • Scientists estimate that future atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide could reach an amount between 450 to 600 PPM by the year 2100. • The major sources of this gas due to human activities include fossil fuel combustion and the modification of soil structure and natural plant cover found in grassland, woodland, wetland and forested ecosystems.

Impacts on the biogeochemical cycles from industrial sectors Industrial Sector

Activities and Influences

Local Effects

Cycles Impacted


Fishing, irrigation, meat production, crop production

Deforestation, nitrification, overfishing, biodiversity loss,

C; N; H; H2O; P


Coal mining and burning, petroleum mining and combustion

Mountain top removal, surface water contamination; accidental spills, public health concerns; atmospheric warming

C; O; S; H2O;


Factories, production of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, accidental releases into environment

Water, air and land contamination; public health concerns; air quality deterioration

O; N; S; H2O;


Logging; soil removal; geological reshaping

Erosion; sinkholes; groundwater contamination; biodiversity loss; impact on native/indigenous peoples

C; O; P; H2O


Traffic congestion; air pollution; road building; urban sprawl; concretization; habitat fragmentation

Nitrous oxide releases; carbon dioxide releases; particulate releases; smog; increased stormwater runoff

C; H; N; O; S; H2O

Despite all this, there are planetary opportunities • How could we reorient ourselves to operate within the planetary boundaries?

• But we need to create new priorities. What should be those?

• How could we take that shift and transition towards that?

• Indications are clear that solutions will be found NOT separately but in the intersection of the natural and the human social systems. We call them the “biospheric” and the “ethnospheric” realms. We add the “learningspheric” to create a new synthesis in between the biospheric and the ethnospheric realms.

• How could those transitions be socially just and equitable, ecologically sustainable and bioculturally diverse?

Learning sustainability (I prefer abundance) in the age of Ecology is‌

“to re-orient human species to become beneficial members of an abundant biosphere.� -Pramod Parajuli

The Emerging Pluriverse • A pluriverse and deeply conversational global classrooms are now possible to dream and design. • Is not the time ripe to bring to fruition such a pluriverse world through conversations, collaboratives, inter-andintra generational learning and mutual learning?

Design Gurus are seeking and proposing Nature-based solutions and designs!

Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute Paul Hawken, Bioneers ( Janine Benyus, Biomimicry

Paulo Soleri, Gaviotas, Colombia William McDounough, Cradle to Cradle Gunter Pauli, Zero Emission Research and Innovation Bill Mollison and David Holmgren,

Principles for Natural Economy? Could Ecological Literacy teach us do it? •

Waste = Food

Economy runs on current solar income.

Productivity requires, requires in return, enormously diverse biological pathways.

Seek not only

William McDonough, the Architect We can integrate built environments with ecosystems that inspire… • Zero-Impact

• Carbon Neutral • Closed-Loop He wants to design: design - buildings that are like trees• Smart Growth - cities that are like forests - automobiles that live and run like buffaloes, that poop their micronutrient into the soil.

I have proposed a Partnership Model for Sustainability

Biocultural Regeneration is central in our work in South Asia, Andes or the Amazonas. Indigenous peoples, peasants and women are at the forefront in India

Could Food and Gardens be a gateways to deeper and delicious new priorities? • It is not only about what we eat but: • Food coming from WHERE we eat? • How we prepare and eat it? • What food we eat in what seasons? • With whom and with what sociality do we eat?

What can soil do? What may food and agriculture do? • Amazonian Dark Earths

• Regenerative Agriculture

• Farm to Cafeteria, schools, Colleges, hospitals

• Agroecology

• Ecological Agriculture

• Soil to Supper

• Edible Schools Yards

• Teachers in the Learning Gardens

• Learning Gardens

• Parents in the learning Gardens

• Food and Garden Based Education

• Rooftop Gardens

Is soil a good carbon sink? From Slash and burn to slash and char

• Soil holds more than three times as much carbon as the amount found in above-ground vegetation or in the atmosphere. • If the bank of carbon held in the world’s soils were to drop by just 0.3 percent, the release would equal a year’s worth of fossil fuel emissions. • Burnt organic matter, biochar, can account for up to 40 percent of carbon in some grasslands and in boreal forests. • While still holding considerable promise, recent research shows that biochar decomposes faster than remaining bulk organic matter — with 25 percent lost every century. • Because it provides suitable habitat for soil microbes, biochar remains a viable part of the mechanism to decompose organic matter, capture carbon dioxide, produce energy, and sink carbon into the soil.

Between Learning to garden and Gardening to learn • In the Amazon everybody seems still connected to the Chacra and knows about how to garden

Building on that agroecological tradition, today, we are working with schools in the Peruvian High Amazon to develop gardens where children can learn all subjects in and from the garden.

Vision for the future Learning Gardens as site for Experiential, ecological, adventure and leadership education •Build school gardens as interdisciplinary living classrooms •Make every school lunchroom a classroom •Farm field trips, connect farms and gardens with watersheds and foodsheds •Build direct relationship between schools and farms modeled on Community Supported Agriculture system

Soil to Supper: Can Food be a Gateway to Life and Learning?


says Wendell Berry

is an Agricultural Act. I extrapolate this as: Agriculture… is an Ecological Act Ecology… is an Pedagogical Act