"Permaculture is the creation of small paradises here on earth." (Bill Mollison)
Permaculture is the combination of the words permanent and agriculture. The word permaculture refers to "permanent agriculture". The term was first coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978. Three years later Bill Mollison was awarded the Right Livelihood Award "...for developing and promoting the theory and practice of permaculture". He was strongly inspired by natural ecosystems and also by the resource management carried out by indigenous people.
Permaculture farming practices strongly diverge from industrial agriculture which strives for maximisation of production and profits. The devastating ecological impacts are not taken into account. Farmers who run their farm according to permaculture principles develop sustainable systems modeled from natural ecoystems. The fundamental principle is an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable management of all resources.
The permaculture approach has found its way into the shaping and development of social structures, into landscape architecture, urban planning, architecture, and energy supply systems.
"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system." (Bill Mollison)