(projects i'm involved in)
Washington DC, USA; Oxford, UK; Paris, France; Nairobi, KE
Isiolo Town, KE
Bulambika Town, Bunyakiri, CD
(projects i'm following)
I am a humanitarian relief worker, researcher and writer with a background in geography and environmental studies.
For a number of years I worked for Oxfam in countries such as East Timor, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC and Ethiopia, implementing large-scale relief programmes to deliver water and sanitation, public health education, food security, sustainable livelihoods and civilian protection, principally in situations of armed conflict and large-scale population displacement.
I then spent a number of years focusing on research. In particular I examined the effects of drought, conflict and displacement on poor rural communities across the Greater Horn of Africa. My research focused on the experiences of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Acholiland, Northern Uganda; Isiolo, Central Kenya; Soool and Sanaag in Somaliland and South Kivu in DRC, and took a political ecological approach to analysing the vulnerability of rural communities to shocks and stresses relating to conflict and climate change. In 2013 I worked with Care International to develop a regional strategy for improved Drought Risk Management and resilience programming in the Horn of Africa.
More recently I have returned to managing humanitarian and development projects in the Horn of Africa, with a particular focus on designing and managing programmes to support community resilience using the principles of permaculture and agro-ecology. I am currently the Director of Programmes in Kenya for Trocaire, an Irish NGO that is committed to promoting agro-ecology as a key approach to combatting climate change, regenerating degraded landscapes and to building abundant livelihoods. As part of my work with Trocaire, I am currently planning programmes to promote agroecology through permaculture with over 5,000 dryland farmers in Eastern Kenya (Embu, Kitui and Tharaka Nithi) and with agro-pastoralists in Turkana County. I am very happy that we will be working closely with Nicholas Syano and Joseph Lentunyoi from the Permaculture Research Institute of Kenya in delivering these programmes over the next few years.
I first became interested in permaculture in the mid 1990s while I was living in Australia, but only began to get actively involved recently. I was drawn to permaculture as I have become increasingly frustrated with the inadequacies of orthodox international aid and development programmes, particularly given the unsustainable and exploitative practices that are commonly used by international aid agencies in the pursuit of 'development'.
Combined with a growing personal conviction that the ideals and practices of western civilization upon which 'development' is founded are not only unsustainable but destructive, I have decided to commit myself to integrating the ethics and principles of permaculture into my life and work as much as possible. In 2011 I did my PDC in Amman Jordan and benefited from the great knowledge and wisdom of Bill Mollison, Geoff and Nadia Lawton, Warren Brush and Brad Lancaster.
The first step of my permaculture journey was the formation of Resilience Now, an initiative which I started with Florence Gibert, a lawyer, humanitarian worker and permaculturist from France. Resilience Now aims to promote the application of permaculture principles and techniques to build resilient communities in particularly vulnerable landscapes, especially those experiencing humanitarian crises as a result of climatic changes, land degradation, uneven socio-economic development and conflict.
Focusing initially upon the integration of permaculture design principles and techniques into the areas of humanitarian response and disaster-risk reduction the initiative is working:
1) to gather and disseminate resources and guidelines for the use of permaculture principles and techniques in emergency environments and highly vulnerable communities;
2) to promote resilience thinking and the use of permaculture principles and techniques in the humanitarian sector through training, lobbying and advocacy, and the development of practical tools;
3) to develop and support the implementation of permaculture based projects for disaster-risk reduction and resilience building within vulnerable communities, particularly in Africa.
We launched the initiative at the Second World Conference on Humanitarian Studies in Boston in June 2011, where Florence gave a presentation on the benefits of permaculture for humanitarian relief operations and in September 2011 I led a discussion on the subject with Jean Renouf at the International Permaculture Convergence in Jordan.
Since then Resilience Now has implemented projects around the world, in France, Syria, Haiti, the USA, Costa Rica, Mali, and the Horn of Africa. The work of the organisation is now mainly focused on promoting sustainable practices to protect biodiversity in Burundi and Rwanda through a programme called "Solutions Worth Sharing" which Florence manages with funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. You can find out more about Resilience Now at the website http://resilience.ngo
While I am no longer involved directly with Resilience Now, I am developing my my own permaculture journey in Kenya by promoting permaculture with farmers and pastoralists in dryland areas in my work with Trocaire, supporting a friend to establish a 50 acre dryland farm on permaculture principles and hope one day to establish a drylands resilience learning centre, possibly in Turkana County. I am also in discussion with commmunities in Eastern DRC to bring permaculture to Kalehe District of South Kivu and to establish a permaculture demonstration site in Bunyakiri. You can find more information about these initiatives under the project title "Kudumu Resilience Centre"
|Pre IPC10 PDC Jordan
|Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
|Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
|Other Teachers: Nadia Abu Yahia Lawton, Warren Brush, Brad Lancaster, Bill Mollison
|Location: Amman, Jordan
|Date: Sep 2011
|Permaculture Teacher Training
|Type: Teacher Training
|Teacher: Jude Hobbs
|Location: OUR Ecovillage, Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia, Canada
|Date: Mar 2013
|Rainwater Harvesting Practitioner
|Verifying teacher: Joe Silins
|Other Teachers: Catlow Shipek, Brad Lancaster, Mark Ragel, James De Roussel
|Location: Watershed Management Group, Tucson, Arizona
|Date: Apr 2013
|0 PDC Graduates (list)
|0 PRI PDC Graduates (list)
|0 Other Course Graduates (list)
|have acknowledged being taught by Simon Addison
|0 have not yet been verified (list)
|Simon Addison has permaculture experience in: