With this project the Chaikuni Institute is working to revitalize ancestral practices in rural Amazonian areas, combining permaculture design and traditional knowledge to train committed local farmers, bolster food sovereignty, biodiversity, and mitigate climate change.
We work with plots of land used to cultivate food forests and medicinal plants known as ‘chacras integrales’; the traditional manifestation of Ayni, a South American indigenous concept translating as reciprocity and communal support.
Today the Peruvian Amazon takes on more devastating environmental and social impact than ever before, degraded by illegal and unsustainable mining, logging and petroleum-extraction activities. Therefore, it is crucial to implement community-led conservation and management techniques with communities that have moved away from traditional agricultural practices towards industrial methods of slash-and-burn and/or monocultures, meaning devastating social and environmental impacts for the Amazon.
We are coordinating a world-class tropical Permaculture Design Course (PDC) designed for the participation and education of a group of highly-motivated rural Amazonian farmers. With the PDC certification, farmers and communities will begin to implement these techniques and principals based on successional poly-cropping methods with the ongoing support of our team. We aim to mitigate the impact of harmful practices and support a new approach to land management and regenerate degraded forest areas.
The philosophy of Ayni – working together and unity through thoughtful actions in community – is the motivating inspiration behind this program. Together, communities will engage in an intercultural learning environment while revitalizing ancient practices. By promoting local, regenerative permaculture projects through the development of ‘chacras integrals’, we can transform many communities’ lives and inspire a new approach to small-scale farming by communities, for communities.