Dry composting toilets are a solution in Bali

Emas Hitam is a small NGO operating on the Indonesian island of Bali in the village of Petula. They received a Permafund grant of $1,000 in February 2017 to construct two dry composting toilets on their community garden site called Ancut Garden.

Emas Hitam volunteers

In Balinese, ’Ancut’ means the ‘border’ which represents the permaculture principle of ‘Use Edge and Value the Marginal’. The 40 families in the village of Petula use the site for their ceremonial and nutritional needs and it’s also hoped to provide an evacuation point in the event of the Mt Agung volcano erupting again.
One of the downsides of the popularity of Bali being a tourist destination is that it has created a water crisis. Stored groundwater is being sucked dry by the ever-increasing resort industry making water a finite resource for everyday use by the Balinese people.

Community area and composting toilet systems under construction

Dry composting toilets become one of the solutions to this problem through water minimisation. The added benefit of this process is the ‘humanure’ that is created is returned to the soil to produce food.

Signage has been placed inside the toilets with educational facts about soil, compost and water conservation for the many visitors expected.

Household scale system

Construction material of the two composting toilets consisted mainly of natural materials such as palm fronds woven around bamboo frames for the walls and river stones for the floor and drainage.

The first toilet built used a small bucket as a collection point to demonstrate a household scale while for the second toilet, a wheelie bin was used for larger numbers of people attending the site.

Wheelie bin dry composting toilet in cubicle built using local resources

Emas Hitam will continue to provide community outreach and educational programs with the two composting toilets providing valuable structures to demonstrate some solutions for the challenges that Bali faces.
Help support projects such as this by making a donation to Permafund. Donations of $2.00 and over are tax deductible in Australia and are much appreciated.
For more information please contact permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au.

Permafund 2018 grant round recipients

The team from Permaculture Australia’s Permaculture International Public Fund (well known as Permafund), is extremely grateful for the generous donations from individuals, key supporters and fundraisers that have enabled the 2018 round of micro-grants.
With donations of AU$13,000 to distribute, Permafund received applications from projects in India, Kenya, Nepal and Australia.
From 16 applications the Permafund assessment team has selected six organisations who have each received an AU$2,000 micro-grant as seed funding for their various projects.
IRDS (Integrated Rural Development), Salem District, Tamil Nadu, India.
Enabling 50 tribal farmers in 3 villages to cultivate indigenous millets, and vegetables through intercrops using permaculture and indigenous farm practices so that the soil fertility and soil moisture will be  improved and micro-organisms increased.
Kiini Sustainable Initiative Kenya
Establishment and management of a Permaculture integrated land use design model in the Nyeri farm school. Education about greywater recycling, water harvesting and composting will be included.
Nepal Permaculture Group, Kathmandu
Rooftop gardening systems and 10 permaculture farms will be developed with three major aims: food production, research and demonstration using ecological technologies related to permaculture and climate resilient farming practices.
Educating children about permaculture gardening at Tabasamu Orphanage Children’s home and Biddi primary school. The grant will support the purchase of teaching materials, gardening tools and equipment, seeds and fencing.
Permaculture for Sustainable Communities – Kenya
The project will focus on establishing permaculture as a fully-fledged occupation in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Turkana County in the north-western region of Kenya, by providing essential materials to all supported households to fully implement permaculture to produce food, work and income.
(WORD) Women’s Organisation for Development, Tamil Nadu
Promotion of Indigenous millets cultivation through the creation of seeds banks for 15 villages and involving 75 farmers.
A micro-grant of AU $1,000 was approved to assist Ethos Foundation raise funds to support women and children in East Africa to establish permaculture garden systems under the guidance of touring permaculture educator Morag Gamble and family.
Each organisation will provide Permafund with project updates, photos and a completion report to share with donors, key supporters, Permaculture Australia members and the community.

What is Permafund?

Permaculture Australia’s Permaculture International Public Fund (i.e Permafund) is a unique, beneficial mechanism with huge potential for doing good in the worldwide permaculture community though the distribution of funds donated by the Permafund community and its supporters.
It is an organisation with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status in Australia so is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. You can only claim a tax deduction for donations or gifts to organisations that have a DGR status.  Tax deductions for donations or tithes  are claimed by the donor person, or business, that makes the gift.
Donations of $2.00 or more are tax deductible and are shared with grateful grant recipients who put the funds to work in a wide variety of creative and effective projects.
For more information please contact permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au.

A Gift from Timor-Leste

The Tropical Permaculture Handbook by the Permatil (Permaculture Timor-Leste) NGO in East Timor has been completed after years of dedicated work by a team of authors, editors and content contributors, led by Ego Lemos and Lachlan McKenzie, working together with East Timorese illustrators.
Other partners involved in the production are xpand Foundation (an Australian social enterprise working predominantly in Timor-Leste) providing governance advice and project management, Disruptive Media (providing design and strategic communications for the NFP/NGO sector) who provide all the graphic design, marketing and media content and Kargan Media who designed, built and manage the website.
Permaculture Australia also assisted, through the Permafund committee, by supporting a variety of funding contributions. Many other individuals and organisations have made contributions in various ways to keep the project ticking over.
Ego Lemos and Lachlan McKenzie presented the Guidebook project at APC 14 in Canberra, where it received generous support. In the above photo left to right: Lachlan McKenzie, John Champagne, Ego Lemos, David Holmgren and Costa Georgiadis discussing the Guidebook at APC14.
On the 1st of October 2018 the English online edition was launched. This has raised substantial interest and been well received with orders from over 80 countries in only one month. In India, where Ego and Lachlan presented last year at the IPC 13, it has been most popular, and can hopefully be an important contribution to their fast-growing permaculture and agro-ecology movements.
Next Steps
The Tropical Permaculture Guidebook International Edition has been updated and written in English. This provides broad access to the guidebook, however for most tropical countries English isn’t the national or working language. This is especially true in rural areas.
The next step is to translate and re-create the guidebook in many languages. Currently fundraising and translating has started for the Tetum language version, for the guidebook’s ‘home’ country, Timor-Leste. Next are Spanish, Portuguese and French – prominent regional languages in the tropical countries, and there are many national and even sub-national languages as well.
An English edition of the Tropical Permaculture Guidebook will be printed and distributed when 100 orders have been received. The printed edition can be ordered on the website. It will be available first in Australia, with other countries and regions to follow.
About the guidebook
The Tropical Permaculture Guidebook builds on the success of their original Guidebook published in 2008. It focused on East Timor whereas the new, greatly expanded edition applies to tropical regions globally. “The core ethos and vision of the original book is retained and enhanced in this new edition, providing practical knowledge to anyone who reads it, especially in poor, low literacy and disadvantaged communities.”
The Tropical Permaculture Guidebook is a comprehensive resource of permaculture design, food sovereignty and environmental regeneration strategies. “Designed as a training, program and project base as well as a practical reference guide which can be used by a wide range of organisations, it will improve the results of all  permaculture/non-permaculture projects and is a complete tool for farmers and communities.”
The Guidebook has been divided into three volumes: Permaculture & People, House and Garden and Regenerative Agriculture. The three sections are available for download individually or the Guidebook can be downloaded as a complete volume.
The Guidebook is provided online on the basis of “access for all” and is available at no cost for people and organisations that cannot afford to pay while those who are able are asked to ‘pay what you can’.  All money raised will go toward further developing this project.
We encourage you to explore the Tropical Permaculture Guidebook and support this worthwhile project.

Applications for the 2018 Permafund grant round are now closed.

Permafund grant round 2018 guidelines

Permafund grants are available for amounts up to AUD $2,000 to community based organisations in Australia or overseas to support their work restoring and improving the environment and building sustainable communities.
Grant applications over AUD $2,000 will be considered on the basis of their cost-effectiveness in comparison to smaller-scale projects. Reporting requirements might be stricter for larger projects.

To submit your application

Download grant related documents

About Permafund

Permaculture International Public Fund (Permafund) is the tax deductible donation arm of Permaculture International Ltd.
Permafund is the charitable arm of Permaculture Australia. Its charter is to promote and support projects around the world that have a strong permaculture element.
Donations $2 and above are tax deductible in Australia.
Permafund is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission — ABN 13 196 056 495.
These registered organisations must have a principal purpose of either:

  • the protection and enhancement of the natural environment or of a significant aspect of the natural environment; or
  • the provision of information or education, or the carrying on of research, about the natural environment or a significant aspect of the natural environment.


Please read grant guidelines that are listed below carefully before completing the application form 

1. Amount thresholds and due by dates

Permafund grants are available for amounts up to AUD $2,000 to community based organisations in Australia or overseas to support their work restoring and improving the environment and building sustainable communities.
Grant applications over AUD $2,000 will be considered on the basis of their cost-effectiveness in comparison to smaller-scale projects. Reporting requirements might be stricter for larger projects.
Applications can be submitted up to midnight on Monday 1st October 2018 and successful applicants will be notified before December 10th 2018.

2. Who can apply

Applications can only be received from community-based organisations with elected office bearers. Applications can be in Australia or overseas. Any groups unsure of their eligibility should contact the Grant coordinator (details below).

3. Purpose

Grants are for activities which demonstrate the principles of Permaculture and support the building of sustainable communities. Projects must meet the objectives of the Australian Government’s Registrar of Environmental Organisations:
“The protection and enhancement of the natural environment, or of a significant aspect of the natural environment; or the provision of information or education, or the carrying on of research, about the natural environment or a significant aspect of the natural environment.”
Make sure your project will, in the end, protect or improve the natural environment.

4. Our judging criteria

Grants are for activities which demonstrate the principles of Permaculture and support the building of sustainable communities. Preference will be given to applications that show:

  • the applicant is able to complete the work (viability)
  • an effective use of funds and other resources (value)
  • the project is responding to an identified need e.g. where people are in poverty (social justice)
  • the project can carry on after the grant money runs out (endurance)
  • there will be recording of the lessons learnt (education)
  • there will be clear results that can be measured (evaluation)
  • the possibility of ongoing communication with Permafund (relationship)

Examples of activities and groups that Permafund grants have supported in the past:
For soil conservation and improved land use for food security and sustainable development:

  • Planting 1,500 seedlings of paper trees – Ockenden, Cambodia
  • Biodynamic preparation education – Madurai, India
  • Solar water pump for rice cultivation – Odisha, India

For project-based training using locals to improve land and produce food using permaculture principles

  • Expert mentor for a team to make swales, edible forest, cowshed and irrigation – Umoja Orphanage, Kenya

For mentor support and professional development for community leaders

  • PDC and village plan for La Gonave Island, Haiti

4. Additional information we prefer you to submit with your application

  • Letters of support from other partner organisations, people, government officers (if we think we will fund your project you will have to provide these at some stage)
  • Contacts for referees – we like to speak with you and others about your organisation
  • Map of the project location
  • A recent annual report for the organisation or other materials from the organisation

5. Learning, sharing and reporting

Recipients are expected to report on their project outcome. This can include brief notes, photos, comments from people involved, copies of receipts, comments from other local organisations. The important things are: were the funds well used and what has been learnt from the work? It does not need to be a long formal report. The learning and sharing of learning is a major hope for Permafund’s work and where it is appropriate information from grant reports will be used on the PA website to support others considering similar projects.

6. Enquiries

Permafund supports water harvesting in Kenya

The construction of a water retention landscape combined with training was a project that attracted a Permafund micro-grant to Kitale, Kenya in 2017.
Through Permafund’s grant of AU $2,000, the Organic Technology Extension and Promotion of Initiative Centre (OTEPIC) trained members of their community in water management by excavating a system of ponds & swales using hand tools and planting out the surrounding zones.
As background, OTEPIC is a community based organisation born out of passion for sharing knowledge and innovative approaches to food security, water harvesting, energy saving and community building. OTEPIC assists women and youth groups in particular, in the Trans-Nzoia district of north-western Kenya and its surrounding areas.
The Centre provided community training throughout the project and many people attended. As climate change undermines the stability and resilience of food production systems in their region, the water retention landscape project has engaged people in learning improved land management practices.
The first training workshop was done in the Amani garden with 80 participants. 102 people attended the second workshop in the Biddi garden with 26 people from the Sabwani community attending the third workshop. People were so happy to take part in the workshop demonstrations.
The project was multi-faceted, firstly involving excavating a series of ponds and swales by hand in tracts of low land, which in the wet season was usually moist, marshy or swamp.
The community learnt how to design and excavate catchments to capture water in the landscape where it falls as rain, helping to restore the natural water cycle.
The new water retention landscape has helped slow the movement of water, spreading it so it sinks in, recharging the aquifer system and providing water for irrigation in the dry season.
Deep and shallow ponds have created different temperature zones providing healthy thermodynamics in the water. Shaded shore areas support this regenerated system providing a diversity of habitats for aquatic organisms and wild species.
Leguminous trees planted around the water retention landscape are helping reduce erosion and will fix nitrogen in the soil to enhance soil fertility for growing bananas, sweet potatoes, kales, beans and various vegetables. Fruit and nut trees will grow well on the banks of the ponds. The planting of native forest corridors will offer a protected path for wild animals to reach the lakes and ponds.
The Permafund team remains in contact with the OTEPIC organisation with mentoring and monitoring.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to Permafund here to support this and other environmental permaculture projects through micro-grant rounds
For more information email the Permafund team permafund@permacultureaustralia.org.au

Your donations to Permafund are making a difference

Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible in Australia.

  • every dollar helps Permafund make a difference with micro-grants for  permaculture-related projects by organisations in Australia and overseas
  • gifts to Permafund are changing lives and restoring environments around the world
  • even small grants can make a massive difference in many countries and help communities improve their circumstances and surroundings
  • your donations demonstrate the permaculture spirit of sharing and goodwill.

How can I donate?

A new feature on the Permaculture Australia website makes setting up a regular donation easy.
Permafund gratefully accepts:

  • one-off donations
  • recurring donations
  • tithes from businesses who donate a percentage profits
  • proceeds from an open farm or garden
  • corporate contributions
  • funds raised by events, workshops and courses, etc
  • bequests.

In 2017 micro-grants were distributed to six projects that fulfilled the principal purpose of Permafund:

  • to help preserve, restore and enhance natural environments and habitats through permaculture education and the application of permaculture design principles
  • to support community development projects in Australia and internationally
  • to support permaculture education and the distribution of education materials to benefit communities globally.

Permafund continues to support the Permatil project to produce and publish the new edition of the multi-volume Tropical Permaculture Guidebook and to evaluate the success of permaculture education in Timor Leste schools.
To donate, choose your payment option from the list below. The earth will thank you!

For more information about Permafund

How to make a donation via Paypal (annual or recurring payment), Direct Payment (bank transfer) or cheque…

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Step 6: Click on the final button — ‘DONATE NOW’ and you are all done.
Thanks for your generosity and implementing the third ethic of Permaculture —  ‘Sharing What’s Spare’.


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