PAN has recently affiliated with PINA, the Permaculture Institute of North America, to become the official northeastern hub representing our region. PINA is a professional association of regional hubs working across North America and Hawaiʻi to:
• Elevate the status and impact of Permaculture by influencing public policy and private development to improve the quality of life for all
• Bring permaculture solutions to bear on the challenges of social justice, land regeneration, and climate cooling
• Promote permaculture pathways to professional development
• Grant diplomas
• Preserve the integrity and quality of the Permaculture Design Course
• Facilitate networking among permaculturists
PINA is a continental-scale organization focused on building a coalition of permaculture designers, teachers, builders, activists and organizations all across North America. PDC graduates in North America are estimated at 50,000 people and PINA is an effort to connect us all across the continent in our new lives after the PDC in whatever professions we have evolved into. Not all PDC graduates wind up in land care, design or teaching professions. Many PDC graduates find themselves in other professional domains like community-focused projects, non-profit work, finance, construction, public education, political advocacy and so much more. You can read all about PINA’s goals and strategies at https://pina.in/about_pina/
PINA is trying to recognize symbols and representatives of quality work in the different domains of permaculture work. Pursuant to this effort, PINA offers further educational opportunities with their permaculture diploma program to help certify those who desire a professional credential in a permaculture specialty like design, construction, education and community organizing. (Read about it here https://pina.in/diplomas/)
Permaculture has a lot to offer the dominant society of North America in terms of design-based solutions to many seemingly intractable problems like ecosystem degradation and climate change. With our legion numbering somewhere around 50,000 people continent-wide, PINA is trying to organize a membership of individuals and collectives into something that can exert greater force on the important decisions being made in our society. With this membership of individuals, businesses and regional hubs; PINA has an intention to leverage its size and status as a “professional umbrella organization” to gain access to funding aimed at solving the climate crisis. One goal of this funding is to help with facilitating the construction of “on the ground” projects. PINA has so far held design contests two years in a row with cash prizes going toward the implementation of the contest winners’ projects.
Climate crisis monies seem to be flowing from many philanthropic organizations and PINA thinks of this coalition not as an end in an of itself, but rather as a strategy for amplifying the voice of the permaculture community and promoting/demonstrating the next iteration of solutions at a scale commensurate with the challenges we face as a society and species. Part of the value in affiliating our regional network with a continental one revolves around establishing the credibility of land management strategies associated with permaculture and elevating these strategies on a continental stage with case studies and funding. We know we have been busy at work making resilient ecosystems that produce yields for our human needs while increasing ecosystem health. We know we have been doing this all across our region with very little funding, and it’s time to make our vision and solutions known to a larger audience.
PAN, as a regional network-stewarding organization, has existed since 2005 and we have much to offer younger regional hubs through the vehicle of PINA (http://northeastpermaculture.org/p-i-n-e-history/). We can help younger organizations by sharing our patterns of success, and it is helpful to have an umbrella group like PINA to focus and facilitate those flows of information from where they are abundant to where they are scarce all throughout the continent.
PAN and PINA will co-host a caucus at this summer’s 2020 Northeast Permaculture Convergence (http://northeastpermaculture.org/buy-convergence-tickets/) July 24-26 to talk about our collective work and the value of building regional and continental coalitions. PINA will host a North American Leadership Summit in Loveland, CO August 20-23, 2020. We look forward to seeing you there!
-Jesse Labbe-Watson, Midcoast Permaculture Design. Former board member, PAN.