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Driven towards Efficiency Effectiveness & Excellence
Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation, we see the value in everyone. We want to be a catalyst for positive change, and since our beginnings in 2009 and Formed officially in 2012, we’ve been driven by the same ideas we initially founded our Non-Profit upon support, empowerment, and progress. Learn more about our mission, our vision, and how we go about making the changes we want to see, we have a hope that will drive you to visit us and share a learning experience.
PCF has a number of new and ongoing programs since 2015 within the communities surrounding the Aghanashini Estuary. These activities fit within our core mission to research, support and innovate in the topical areas of the community, natural ecosystem conservation and sustainable growth.
1. Seminars, Workshops and Courses
PCF initiated its first Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course in January 2015; during the two weeks of instruction, more than a dozen people received training in principles of Permaculture with elements of sustainable agriculture, ecological design and environmentally friendly planning. This included area farmers who attended for a short period as well as three students from across South India who received international certification in permaculture design.
PCF has planned another full two-week PDC course for November 2015 as well as workshops for local residents on composting, kitchen gardening, soap preparation, use of local organic materials and the like.
These training — focused on sustainable agriculture and ecological livelihoods — allow PCF to enhance social welfare while also working to preserve the local environment in the Aghanashini estuary region. After all, somewhere we must start.
2. Social Ecology Research
PCF has begun a program of research about the social ecology of the region. This project involves identifying the wide range of agricultural activities, fishing methods and ecological products on display in the area. These practices and natural resource outputs range from subsistence to commercial, and the research effort intends to unveil the length of the natural resource supply chain.
The research project will result in a spatially referenced, mapped database of exemplars of the above practices as well as an aquarian-agro-ecological calendar related to area livelihoods and natural resource dependencies.
This ongoing project will identify and support future PCF interventions and programs. It will also make sure our work is appropriately targeted for conservation and ecologically and socially just community development.
For the long-term, we are building partnerships with other NGOs and institutes to detailed social and ecological research about the people and natural resources of the estuary. We envision a large, household-level survey that identifies current residents’ dependency on local natural resources, development needs and welfare ambitions. We have begun exploratory research toward this end and expect that our final research project will make a concrete case for an alternative but productive ecologically sensitive enterprise, such as world-class eco-tourism and educational facilities.
3. Design for Sustainability
PCF is cataloguing vernacular architecture, water management practices and local construction materials in order to better implement sustainable architecture solutions and innovations in our region. We are in the process of constructing a geo-referenced, digital repository of coastal architecture styles.
We are also working to spread and revitalize sustainable, often traditional construction techniques by supporting community exemplars (in addition to our own property). We are actively working with a local farmer to design an eco-friendly, energy efficient, climate resilient house, and we are also preparing architectural drawings and schematics for use by local residents to construct bio-digesting efficient toilets.
These tangible interventions can conserve ecology by reducing unsustainable consumption of materials and processing waste into the nutrient water. These designs improve household welfare through better hygiene and improved agricultural products that are fed by ecologically conscious waste management systems.
4. Agricultural Demonstration
PCF is beginning the design and creation of a rice paddy exemplar that will highlight sustainable agricultural practices that can be integrated into current crop patterns. We are specifically doing this through nature-inspired methods, without synthetic chemical amendments to soil or drastic increases in water demand.
This demonstration project — situated in our own paddy field — is intended to bolster livelihoods and welfare by improving the current agricultural practices prevalent in the area: one or two low-yield commodity crops per year. PCF’s planned demo farm will produce fruit, vegetables, herbs, fodder and a rotating commercial crop (such as rice or groundnut), using permaculture principles for agro-ecology and environment preservation.
Our first step in this process is the design of an Organic Wealth Centre, a structure that will house the composting, recycling, water harvesting and plant nursery components of our sustainable agriculture system.
5. Advocacy of Development Alternatives
In conjunction with our other programs, PCF is in the early stages of researching and proposing ethical and sustainable development alternatives for the region; this is done in particular to challenge unethical development, such as a proposed industrial shipping port that would destroy the local ecology and the present pattern of excessive river sand mining operations, inclusion of Genetically Modified Organisms and cause of Agro-pollution.
We have engaged in critiquing in-depth the shoddy environmental impact assessment supporting the port proposal; at the same time, we have started an awareness campaign regarding the full impacts of the port — particularly on livelihoods and social welfare — so that households and communities can decide for themselves what is acceptable development.
We are also considering a deeper investigation of the drivers and effects of other unsustainable practices, such as sand mining, which is dominated by outside, often-illegitimate business owners.
6. Our Source of Support and Care
Fundraising within India to support programs for Indians, by Indians
For all our programs, we are actively seeking grant funding and donations. As Section 25 registered NGO, all our profits are applied toward foundation aims. Donations to our organization fall under the 80G provision for tax deductions. If you are interested in supporting our work as part of your charitable contributions, grant-making or CSR funding, please contact us.