IPEN is keen to support countries and regions to develop their permaculture education systems – independently or in collaboration with other countries or regions.
This might include establishing:
- PDC curriculum guides, Diploma systems and teacher training systems;
- Developing core courses which suit the cultural, climatic and economic needs of the situation;
- Developing LAND Centres or other types of learning, demonstration and networking centre, such as PRI’s.
For example, in some countries, coming from an understanding of local needs and priorities, there is already more focus on applied permaculture or forest garden short courses, targeting small farmers, than there is on 2 week or 72+ hour Permaculture Design Certificate courses.
Another example is that Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland collaborate with a single Nordic Institute of Permaculture, which “is responsible for supporting the establishment of advanced permaculture knowledge and practice in the nordic countries and within nordic climates and contexts. This is done primarily though our diploma system.” For more information on this good model of international collaboration see Nordic Institute of Permaculture
Drawing on common patterns and a few emerging innovations in permaculture education, the diagram below indicates options for routes for people to progress on their permaculture learning pathway:
In Germany for example, a new Certificate in applied Permaculture design, that requires work on 2 detailed project designs, is being delivered to offer a simpler first step towards the 10 designs required for the Diploma, as a route that can be taken after completion of a PDC.
The very valuable European Permaculture Teachers Partnership project (a great model for teachers collaborating between countries across a continent or global region) and continuing discussions at 2 yearly European Permaculture Convergences led to the creation of The European Permaculture Network (EuPN) as a network of national permaculture associations, academies, institutes and networks. The EuPN ensures that a good level of interaction and collaboration goes on between the national permaculture education systems in Europe, so that good practice can be shared reasonably easily, with IPEN now acting as the education working group for the EUPN.
Of course, in much of the world these elements emerge organically, perhaps with the pioneer teachers in countries having completed a PDC abroad, or with teachers travelling from other countries to run new PDCs in a country. IPEN encourages countries to see their education systems like a forest garden, by understanding that the education systems will usually grow, mature and bear more and better quality fruit when various elements, relationships and resources are put in place and encouraged to grow healthily.