The Permaculture Guidebook from Timor-Leste
The Tropical Permaculture Guidebook International Edition has grown from the Permaculture Guidebook from Timor-Leste. Produced by Permatil, a well respected Timor-Leste NGO, it was first published in 2006 and republished in the Timorese language Tetum and English in 2008. It has since had three re-prints and has had an unexpectedly large impact.
The Department of Agriculture in Timor Leste has issued a copy to every extension officer, (approx. 450) and the Department of Education is using the guidebook as a reference to develop the social science and culture national curriculum.
International NGOs such as GIZ, Mercy Corps, World Vision, Concern International, Oxfam Australia and GB, Care International, Trocaire and Caritas have all utilised the guidebook for various programs including sustainable agriculture, livelihoods, climate resilience and health. UNTL (University National Timor Leste) uses the guidebook as a sourcebook for teaching their sustainable agriculture program.
The original guidebook was also translated and adapted for Indonesia by IDEP Foundation who re-published the guidebook as well as uploading it chapter-by-chapter in English and Indonesian. More than 200 000 chapters were downloaded in 2 years!
Since publication, the guidebook has also been copied and used in many different countries, including Sri Lanka, Samoa, Nepal, Australia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Uganda and Haiti.
There were no complete tropical permaculture books available at this scale and nowhere near enough literature available for creating sustainable households and communities as well as environmental restoration, especially for developing countries. After reviewing how the guidebook has been obtained and used over the last 8 years it has become clear that a new edition, revised and expanded, would fulfill a huge need for indigenous and non indigenous, urban, rural and remote communities in all tropical and sub-tropical regions.
We have seen the benefits resulting from the original guidebook in Timor-Leste and with this improved and updated edition we hope it can enable even greater positive impacts in Timor-Leste and replicate those benefits across all tropical regions.