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Terms of Use of the Worldwide Permaculture Network

The Terms of Use for the Worldwide Permaculture Network


Table of Contents

1 Purpose

The purpose of the Worldwide Permaculture Network is:

  1. to support both individual people as well as groups and organizations in their efforts to help society make a swift and peaceful transition to lifestyles that are convivial, enjoyable, resource-conscious and non-polluting.
  2. to promote the take up of permaculture and the implementation of its developing design science by mainstream society.

2 Ethics

Projects and people who sign up for this network agree to respect the core ethical framework of Permaculture, consisting of the principles of:

  1. People Care: Working within our sphere of influence towards improving the life and environment of individuals and increasing their resiliency, through education, support and practical assistance to provide essential necessities such as shelter, food, water, security and positive, harmonious interpersonal interactions. Care for people starts with taking personal responsibility for ourselves and increasing our own self-reliance, but expands to include our families, neighbors and local and wider communities.
  2. Earth Care: Working in cooperation with nature's driving forces towards productive ecosystems that derive stability from functional diversity as well as towards the restoration of damaged and degraded ecosystems.
  3. The Redistribution of Surplus: Defining and evolving an individual concept of 'enough for my needs' and using resources surplus to these needs to further the above principles.

3 Methods

The Worldwide Permaculture Network assists People and Projects by:

  1. providing a searchable database of people, projects, services, and expertise - and one that ensures quality control through peer review by the Worldwide Permaculture Network members themselves.
  2. providing ways for people to spontaneously organize, discuss, and collaborate to carry out projects.
  3. linking projects in need of support with people who would like to contribute, whether by encouragement, advice, actual work, financial contributions, or any or all of these.

4 Listed Projects and People

Projects and People that want to be listed in the database must be in alignment with the ethical core of Permaculture and demonstrably make a noticeable contribution towards people care and/or earth care and are certainly working towards contributing to both as they develop. The Worldwide Permaculture Network will necessarily err on the side of nurturing - meaning it's less important where a project is at today than it is where it's going. Regular updates should provide evidence of this development.

4.1 What is a Project?

A 'Project' is generally land-based - with physical elements (buildings, land, biomass, etc.). Exceptions are projects which are political, legal and financial/economic. Courses, events, websites, studies, research programs, magazines, videos, adverts of any kind, etc., are not Projects.

A key way to determine if your 'project' is eligible for entry on this site is to ask yourself if your 'project' has an end date. If it has an end date, and is not ongoing, it is not a project according to the WPN definition of a project.

Most people will have only one project profile, and various activities/challenges/advancements and miscellaneous news in regards to that project will be shown through ‘Updates’ below its profile. As an example, implementing the installation of a swale on a property is not a project – rather, the property itself is a project, and news on the swale implementation would go under the project profile as an update. In similar fashion, a bird bath, a mandala garden or a herb spiral are not projects. Rather, the residential property these items are to be sited on is the project. The creation of trivial project profiles will likely result in deletion (via a board of moderators).

One of the main criteria for inclusion of a project in the Worldwide Permaculture Network, aside from aligning with the core ethics of permaculture, is to provide regular updates for the project.

4.2 Objectives of Projects

Permaculture is about diverting human effort towards rehabilitative purposes that repair damaged ecologies as well as damaged societies. In order to give a broad idea, a small selection of specific issues that are addressed by some of the projects listed in the database, as well as by members active in the network, is listed below:

People Care

Pressing contemporary problems include:

  • Giving people more economic freedom by reducing their degree of dependency on a functioning money economy (i.e. the amount of money they need to earn in order to survive) - an economy that increasingly appears to be based on questionable principles and is becoming ever more unreliable.
  • Providing help for people who have become victims of bullying/mobbing as a consequence of adhering to professional integrity.
  • Helping people on their individual developmental paths to improve their judgment and decision making so that they become less susceptible to indoctrination and propaganda.
  • Helping people to re-develop a sense of self-worth beyond what comes with material possessions.
  • Helping people to set up effective participatory structures for group decision making.
  • Counteracting the erosion of vital services such as education by supplementing them with resource efficient lightweight alternative offers.
  • Providing people with access to information they can employ to reduce their degree of dependency on external inputs of energy, money, labour, water, and other resources.
  • Helping people to set up legal structures such as charitable organizations that facilitate work for the public good.

Earth Care

Pressing contemporary problems include:

  • Bringing degraded and biologically unproductive land back into a self-stabilizing, healthy, diverse, biological state.
  • Reversing the destruction of soils and the depletion of such essential resources as e.g. clean water or phosphate.
  • Stabilizing the populations of species that provide vital functions in the web of life.
  • Providing people with the information they need to properly assess and improve the condition of biological systems.

4.3 The Necessity of Project Updates

In line with the Purpose listed above, Project administrators who never, or very rarely provide updates on their project(s) may have their project(s) removed from the system, as the purpose of the system is to encourage knowledge and resource sharing and inspiration, and without project updates this cannot occur within the Worldwide Permaculture Network community.

4.4 Profile Completion

  • Only one person can 'inhabit' each profile - couples should sign up separately, as individuals.
  • Real first and last names must be used. Aside from encouraging ethical, adult behaviour, this is also important for some of the Worldwide Permaculture Network's features, like students adding qualifications, as teachers must verify those qualification.
  • Reasonable attempts must be made to ensure one's project and/or people profiles are completed accurately and aesthetically. Profiles created but left without profile descriptions may be deleted.
  • Profiles apparently created only to gain the ability to comment within the Worldwide Permaculture Network may be deleted.

4.5 There is No Inherent 'Right to Be Listed'

Users of the Worldwide Permaculture Network accept that their People and/or Project profiles and/or updates and/or comments may be hidden and/or deleted at any time by the network's administration. Membership within the Worldwide Permaculture Network is a privilege granted by the Worldwide Permaculture Network admin. The administration have no legal obligation to provide access, services or features to anyone.

5 Accuracy of Information

5.1 We Make No Representation of Site Accuracy

Any content displayed in profile descriptions, updates, comments, etc., belong to the originators, hence the Worldwide Permaculture Network makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning the accuracy or suitability of the information contained on this web site or its fitness for a particular purpose, nor do we endorse the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other material or database displayed, uploaded or distributed within the Worldwide Permaculture Network site or made available though links from within it. In no event shall the Worldwide Permaculture Network, its employees or agents be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from the use of this web site.

5.2 Peer Review

The Worldwide Permaculture Network is designed to help facilitate community support and nurturing through comments of encouragement and/or advice. It is through updates and comments and objective interaction that the community will nurture the growth of permaculture's powerful potential for change. At times it may also be necessary to clarify suspicions of misuse or representations within the system, and reporting tools have been included to facilitate this. Please use these tools dispassionately, objectively and considerately.

5.3 Honesty and Integrity

The Worldwide Permaculture Network demands honesty and integrity with respect to members' conduct within the Worldwide Permaculture Network. It is essential that users input accurate descriptions of their own abilities and experiences and that all project descriptions are likewise correct. Data like actual names, qualifications, the email addresses input for course or student verification, etc., must all be honestly entered. Clear indications of dishonesty within the system is grounds for instant removal.

6 Use of Data

It is understood that in an information-intensive world, the handling of personal data may involve quite sensitive issues. The Worldwide Permaculture Network adheres to these principles when handling data:

  • The Worldwide Permaculture Network system displays no email addresses of its members. Email address harvesting is strictly forbidden, and appropriate measures have been implemented to prevent this from occurring. People can choose to display their email addresses within their project descriptions and/or updates, but as the Worldwide Permaculture Network has created an internal messaging system to enable internal communication that does not require such disclosure, this is unnecessary and entirely at the user's own risk. If a user displays their address they may begin to get spammed or otherwise harassed. The Worldwide Permaculture Network cannot take responsibility for this.
  • The Worldwide Permaculture Network will never share your email address with other parties.
  • Should a user wish to remove their profile and/or updates this will be actioned upon request to the 'System Mechanic' user within the system. (Simply search the People section for 'System Mechanic' and use the 'Contact this User' internal messaging system.)
  • While measures are taken to prevent data security breaches, should one nevertheless occur, the specific nature and extent of the problem will be communicated openly and swiftly to all potentially affected parties.
  • In alignment with the 'Purpose' listed at top of this Terms of Use list, and in particular its purpose to promote permaculture take-up worldwide, high quality project descriptions and project updates (including their accompanying images and/or video) may get additional exposure through being featured, with proper attribution, by the admin of the Worldwide Permaculture Network and/or displayed prominently on the www.permacultureglobal.org and www.permaculturenews.org websites. The user's images and/or video will not be used separately from the user's textual content without the user's explicit permission. If necessary, the user's text may be edited to correct spelling and/or grammatical mistakes and/or to improve readability. By using the Worldwide Permaculture Network system you are assenting to this promotional mechanism.

7 Rules of Conduct

The People Care ethic should be evidenced in all entries within the system, be they updates, comments, internal messages, etc. The venerable "Netiquette Guidelines" expound on appropriate details on how to relate and deal with the diverse range of people within the system. The Worldwide Permaculture Network has implemented reporting features for comments, updates, and profiles.

8 Management and Decision Making

Decisions about listing or de-listing People and Project profiles and/or their updates and/or comments are made by a panel of moderators, in accordance with the principles of the permaculture ethics. Moderators are chosen by the Worldwide Permaculture Network admin from amongst the network's users, based on their history of objectivity and compassion, as evidenced through their profile, updates, and comments. People may recommend moderators by passing the user's profile URL to the 'System Mechanic' via an internal message, along with introductory comments on their worthiness.

Moderators cannot delete People or Project profiles and updates. They can only hide them. Administration can then either reinstate them or delete them, after considering the moderator's report on the issue, and, where appropriate, communicating with the offending user for clarification or to request action to rectify the situation.

Moderators are themselves self-moderating, as all moderators have access to a moderator's panel, where all moderator actions and reporting comments can be seen transparently and commented on. If one particular moderator action is disputed by one or more of the moderator team, the Worldwide Permaculture Network admin can intervene to consider and potentially reverse the initial moderator action.

9 Evolution of Terms of Use

These Terms of Use may change without notice. The latest Terms of Use will always be available via a link in the footer section of the Worldwide Permaculture Network. Users will be notified of any significant changes to the Terms of Use via 'sticky' notices from the System Mechanic on their dashboard.

Suggestions for improvement of the Terms of Use can be sent via internal message comment to the 'System Mechanic' user within the system.