Five ecovillages around the world

Nov 07, 15 Five ecovillages around the world

lebaj_gea_create_sustenibility copySATURDAY . CREATE SUSTAINABILITY




Choosing to create a new way of life, closer to nature, lighter on the earth, it’s a big commitment. I feel encouraged to continue the work when I hear about other ecovillages and communities around the world, as we often do through the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN). Solidarity in sustainability, worldwide.

signFor instance, our beloved sister community in Senegal, Guédé Chantier, has been featured in the article “Five ecovillages around the world” in the Guardian. The article offers a nice summary about the activities and characteristics of this village of 7,000 residents, one of 14,000 traditional rural villages that are supported by the Senegalese government in transitioning to becoming self-sufficient with renewable energy. Other ecovillages featured in the article are:

Islas del Rosario, Colombia
The Source, Jamaica
Hakoritna Farm, Palestine
Sekem, Egypt

OusmanHere is an excerpt from the article featuring statements from Dr. Ousmane Aly Pame, mayor of Guédé Chantier and President of GEN Africa:

“By 2002, the soil was seriously degraded and the villagers decided to take action. ‘The whole village got together for three days to reflect on the agriculture, the economy, the education, because we felt we were going through a crisis.’

Pame had been on an ecovillage design course in Auroville, India, and told the village chief and the whole community what he had learned; the decision was made to transition to an ecovillage, and Pame was later elected mayor.

Now Guede alternates between rice and other crops (tomatoes, onions, corn, okra) and has set up community orchards. The village has also established a centre of genetic resources to provide seeds for local species, which are distributed for free to farmers. They also get lessons on composting, seed production and organic farming. The village’s “eco-guardians” organise regular public clean-ups and theatre is used to educate people about the dangers of litter and chemical inputs in the field.

The village is also moving to renewable energy, mainly biogas. ‘We have lots of animals so we can use cow manure to power the biogas,’ says Pame…”

Click here to read the full article.