Better Living Through Well Being Presented by TMIS
Global Earth Repair Conference to Be Held May 3-5 in Port Townsend, Washington Port Hadlock, Washington
The Global Earth Repair Conference will bring together an international coalition of 100+ presenters and 500+ attendees May 3-5, 2019 at the Fort Worden Conference Center in Port Townsend, WA. It will be an international symposium focused on the grassroots level of regenerative agriculture and ecosystem restoration. "Together we'll explore the cutting edge of bio remediation, envision a thriving planet for our descendants seven generations from now, and strategize the many steps it will take to get there," says Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski of the Friends of the Trees Society, organizer of the event.
One of the goals is an event where voices can be heard that aren't heard at the big climate negotiations such as grassroots movements, small-holder farmers, indigenous people, local conservation groups and nature intelligences.
A first-of-its-kind event, the Global Earth Repair Conference will bring over 500 people from around the world to unite for three exhilarating days of learning, celebration, and collective action. The Conference will focus on the grassroots level of restoring the vitality of our world. More than 70 presenters will weave together their expertise in various fields, including restoration ecology, agroforestry, permaculture, carbon sequestration, and myco-remediation. Together we'll envision a thriving planet for our descendants seven generations from now, and strategize the many steps it will take to get there.
The Global Earth Repair Conference is for people who have devoted their lives to Earth repair or who wish to. Restoration efforts in the world are already substantial and there is a lot of experience and knowledge to draw on. It will be an exchange of information between earth repair practitioners. The conference addresses both the technical and social aspects of planetary regeneration. There will be international participation via internet.
Earth Repair Charter
The Earth Repair Charter is a well-thought out and comprehensive list of actions to achieve global earth repair. It is the brain-child of Franklin Scarf, founder of the Earth Repair Foundation in Australia. Michael Pilarski attended one of the ERF’s conferences in Australia in 1991 and began using the term earth repair at that time.
Tracks/topics Include: Broad-based, Popular Movements, Funding Earth Repair, Earth Repair in the Global South, Indigenous People’s Earth Repair, Youth & Earth Repair, Earth Restoration Camps, Ecosystem Restoration, Reforestation and Afforestation, Soil Regeneration, Ecological Agriculture, Remineralization, Biochar, Myco-remediation, Erosion Control, Bioengineering, Grassland Regeneration and Grazing, Reversing Desertification, Water Harvesting, Native Plant Biodiversity, River Stream Riparian Repair, Coral Reef Restoration, Marine Restoration, Mangrove Restoration, Ethnoecology, Agroforestry, Permaculture, and more will evolve.
Most of the presenters and attendees of the conference will have interest in multiple tracks. We expect most of these tracks to be strengthened and more to be added. Some tracks may wane or be combined. In the long run we expect to make good use of panels, round-table discussions and working groups to include the expertise of the many participants who are not official “presenters.” We are all students, we are all teachers. What do you have to contribute? We are looking for ways we can synthesize the contributions from all of these tracks.
We are in the process of inviting indigenous people, especially traditional elders. Both local First Nations and from other parts of the world. Wisdom keepers attending so far include: Juan Gabriel Apaza Lonasco is a respected wisdom-keeper of the Q’ero Nation of Peru. Ilarion (Kuuyux) Merculieff, Alaskan Unangan traditional and environmental leader and President of the Global Center for Indigenous Leadership and Lifeways. Mona Polacca, Arizona, one of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers is participating and is our liaison with the other grandmothers on the Council. Dan Nanamkin, Nez Perce and Okanogan and a front line warrior at Standing Rock. Chief Jessie Nightwalker and his mother Carrie Schuster Nightwalker of the Palouse tribe There will be an Indigenous caucus.
Similar to the above track but more focused on how indigenous people interacted with their environment. We are looking for more presenters on this large topic. Bill Harp has worked extensively with Panama tribal people and will speak on Subsistence Technology, Ecology, Ethnobotany and Cosmology - Indigenous Knowledge from the Panamanian Tropical Rain Forest.
Bio-remediation, Myco-remediation and the Role of Fungi In Earth Repair
Leila Darwish. Author of Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes will be bringing her large expertise in bioremediation. How can plants, bacteria, fungi and other life-forms clean up pollution in water, on shorelines and on land. What are all the other roles of fungi in global earth repair? Fungi are big players in the overall scheme of things. Raskal Turbeville of Myco Uprrhizal, Tenino, WA is leading the fungi charge. We are looking for other collaborators on these topics.
Reducing Contaminants in the Biosphere
Christian Stahlberg will present on Solutions to Human Civilization’s Wastes. Richard Honour, Save Our Soil (SOS) and The Precautionary Group (TPG), both of which are environmental activist organizations dedicated to the Abolition of Land-Disposed Toxic Sewage Sludge to preserve our air, food, soil and water, and to protect human and environmental health. Heather Trim will lead a presentation or panel about the extent of the plastic pollution problem in the Salish Sea and our oceans and solutions that we are undertaking in Washington State.
Holistic Management and Grazing
Sometimes called the Alan Savory method. Far more than grazing HM is one of the most holistic design systems going, especially the economic analysis. Precious Phiri, recently finished a full time nine-year career with Savory hub in Zimbabwe, Her work currently focuses on training rural communities and collaborating with networks in Africa to reduce poverty, rebuild soils, and restore food and water security for people, livestock and wildlife. Beth Robinette of Lazy R Ranch, Columbia Basin, is a skilled, 2nd generation HM practitioner and a friend of Precious Phiri. Doniga Markegard, of Markegard Family Grass-Fed in northern California, uses HM to raise a diversity of livestock (tbc). We anticipate offering a one-day intensive on Holistic Management on May 6, Monday after the conference.
Dam Removal and River Restoration
The Elwha river dams removal and river restoration will be highlighted at the conference. We anticipate there will be a field trip to the Elwha on May 2, the day before the conference. We will show some of the various Elwha films at the conference and are inviting people involved. There will also be a focus on breaching the lower four Snake River dams. This would enable a restoration of the Columbia river Chinook salmon run and of the Salish Sea’s orca southern resident pod (which feed on salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River). The orcas have been seen up to 100 miles upstream. Joining the conference will be Chief Jessie Nightwalker of the Palouse tribe and his mother Carrie Schuster Nightwalker, who have been helping lead the fight for the breaching of the Snake River dams so their tribe’s traditional lands which were flooded by the dams can be restored and the salmon returned. Other speakers on the Snake River dams are Debra Ellers; Steven Hawley author of Recovering a Lost River and the film Dammed to Extinction; and Elizabeth Dunn will represent damsense.org which is focused on breaching the lower Snake River dams. The Klamath dams and the Enloe dam on the Similkameen River in the North Cascades may be featured. What other dams have outlived their usefulness?
Orca Killer Whales
There will be a working group on the Salish Sea’s orca southern resident pod. This issue is tied into the Snake River dam removal and salmon restoration issue. Participants will include Debra Ellers and people who helped draft People’s Recommendation 74 which was born out of the orca task force’s failure to make a meaningful recommendation on dam breaching, with 74 referring to the number of orcas remaining.
Salish Sea Restoration
Paul Cereghino currently works as a restoration ecologist for NOAA, in Olympia, manages the Salish Sea Restoration Wiki, and is experimenting with community-based watershed restoration through the Ecosystem Guild. Heather Trim is Zero Waste Washington’s Executive Director with programs to reduce upstream sources of waste, get toxic chemicals out of products, and reduce plastic pollution. Heather was at People for Puget Sound for over ten years where she focused on protections for the marine environment.
Stream and River Restoration
The Elwha River experience will be featured. We are looking for more presenters on this track.
Water Retention in the Landscape
Zachary Weiss, protégé of Sepp Holzer, the water wizard from Austria, will give a workshop on Decolonizing Water and creating decentralized water retention landscapes. We are hoping to bring over Walter Jehne from Australia to share his knowledge on water and reducing forest fires by rehydration and fungal fuel conversion into stable soil carbon. He is a former CSIRO Climate Scientist and Microbiologist, founder of Healthy Soils Australia, and explains the role of water in climate change and climate mitigation. Brian Kerkvliett will speak on swales and ponds. We are looking for more presenters on keyline, water harvesting and erosion control.
Building Mass Movements for Earth Repair
Ronnie Cummins of Regeneration International will be sharing his ideas for mass movements in the United States and Mexico. Ronnie is the Director for the Organic Consumers Association which has a membership of 200,000. Perspectives from Smallholder Farmers in “The Global South” John D. Liu thinks our best chance at earth repair is the traditional farmers in Africa, Asia, Oceania, South and Central America. There are inspiring examples of wide-scale grassroots adoption of regenerative practices. In a sense you could say they can act more quickly. Sometimes referred to as subsistence farmers, peasant farmers and includes swidden farmers and many agroforestry traditional farmers. Who is going to represent them at the conference? Precious Phiri works with thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa. Juan Gabriel Apaza Lonasco, Q’ero Nation of Peru, is from a traditional farming community in the highland Andes. An invitation just went out to Rajendra Singh, the Water Man of India and to Via Campesina and we will be inviting others. There are certainly a lot of displaced peasant farmers from south of the border working in agriculture in the Northwest. Who to invite? Of our current list of presenters I know that between us we will have worked in many countries in all parts of the world. Many participants will bring a global outlook which is sympathetic to the small farmer. We don’t know what form this track will take yet but at least some panels, round-table discussions and presentations. Perhaps a caucus. How can their viewpoints be represented at the conference and to the world?
Ecosystem Restoration Camps and Communities
John D. Liu, one of the conference’s keynote speakers, is the founder of Ecosystem Restoration Camps. There will be at least one workshop and one roundtable or panel on this. Michael Pilarski and Paul Cereghino both have things to contribute. Yuri Kazantsev from Russia and Marcy & Nicholas Riggle, Vedrica Community, Idaho will report on earth-based community movements in Russia and other parts of the world.
Permaculture has a lot to offer the world in terms of earth restoration. Permaculture is interdisciplinary and connected to every other track. Conference presenters who are well-known permaculture practitioners and teachers include: Andrew Millison, Dan Halsey, Brian Kerkvliett, Gloria Flora, Zach Weiss, Jerome Osentowski, Michael Pilarski, Jan Spencer, Jenny Pell, Mark Lakeman and Rhonda Baird. Other presenters who are proponents of permaculture include John D. Liu, Ronnie Cummins and others.
Agroforestry has many facets and is a key strategy for perennial crops, carbon farming and food production without erosion. We don’t have anyone leading this track as of yet. Most permaculturists know a lot about this subject. We would like to see representatives from Syntropic Agriculture attend as well as Analog Forestry and other agroforestry systems. Jerome Osentowski will speak on Indoor and Outdoor Forest Gardening. Michael Pilarski could speak on his medicinal agroforestry systems in Washington and Montana.
This is a large track and will end up having various sub-tracks. Presenters so far include: Dan Kittredge, Bionutrient Association, David Yarrow, Carbon-Smart Nutriculture, Ezra Sullivan, Biodynamic Agriculture. Most of the permaculturists have something to say on this topic. We expect a lot of regenerative farmers to attend and contribute.
There will be a number of presentations, a panel and firing of various biochar kilns. Contributors to this track include: David Yarrow, Mike Maki, Francesco Tortorici, Norman and Peggy Baker. Dr. Thomas J. Goreau knows lots if he has time to contribute to this track. Soil Remineralization Joanna Campe of Remineralize the Earth, will speak on “History and Overview of the Global Remineralization Movement and Future Directions” and “Mounting a Campaign to Remineralize Forests on a Vast Scale”. Gary Kline, of Blossom Consulting, Olympia WA is a soil consultant and a prolific writer on the topic.
Oyster and Shellfish Restoration
This may is a sub-track of the Salish Sea track. This may work best as a round table discussion. Water quality is critical and watershed restoration (and less use of chemicals in the environment) is tied into this. Dr. Thomas J. Goreau has some information to contribute.
Ocean Restoration and Coral Reef Restoration
Dr. Thomas j. Goreau one of our keynote speakers, is co-author of the 2012 book “Innovative Methods of Marine Ecosystem Restoration” and is one of the world’s leading experts in coral reef restoration.
Mangrove Swamp Restoration
Alfredo Quarto, Program director and Co-founder of Mangrove Action Project, is a veteran campaigner with over 40 years of experience in organizing and writing on the environment and human rights issues.
Earth Repair after Hurricanes
Lucecita Cruz is a food justice advocate from Puerto Rico and New York. Who has been working in Puerto Rico to help further the agroecological movement by helping farmers affected by hurricane Maria rebuild. Jenny Pell, permaculture consultant, was in Puerto Rico for a month after the hurricane assessing what permaculture had to offer the situation.
Earth Repair in War Torn Areas
We have people coming who work with a reforestation, restoration and fruit tree project in Afghanistan. Rhonda Baird, Editor of the Permaculture Design magazine recently started working with a project in Syria. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Palestinian-American in Bethlehem and Director of the Natural History Museum of Palestine, will be joining this panel or working group via Skype.
Communicating with Nature
Communicating and co-creating with the intelligences in nature to improve earth repair successes. We don’t have anyone leading this track as of yet. Mahala Frye of Poulsbo, WA and Camilla Blossom of Earth School, will both be presenting on this topic. There will be a panel and/or roundtable discussion. This will also be touched upon by our indigenous presenters.
The Rights of Nature
Elizabeth Dunn works with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund which is focused on community rights and rights of nature. Kriss Kevorkian of Legal Rights for the Salish Sea, is working to get rights of nature for the Southern Resident Killer Whales, and the Salish Sea. A panel and/or working group may be appropriate.
Reducing Catastrophic Wildfires
We don’t have anyone leading this track as of yet. We have some people invited. This track would also consider the restoration uses of controlled burning. The water retention track and the restoration forestry track address this to some extent. Joanna Campe’s presentation touches on this issue as does Walter Jehne.
Earth Repair in Urban Areas
Mark Lakeman, Village Repair, Jan Spencer, Suburban Permaculture. Lucecita Cruz is a Queer Latinx farmer, organizer and food justice advocate from Puerto Rico that has familial and cultural roots in New York City. Edgar Xochitl is the Farm Manager at Hummingbird Farm a collective farm in the Excelsior, San Francisco.
Social Justice and Earth Repair
We don’t have anyone leading this track as of yet. Lots of people have things to share on this including Indigenous people, people of color and other marginalized people. Lucecita Cruz is a Queer Latinx farmer, organizer and food justice advocate from Puerto Rico that has familial and cultural roots in New York City. Edgar Xochitl works on cross-pollinating traditional ecological knowledge, queer politics, and indigenous philosophies to connect the dots between decolonial botany and queer liberation.
Ceremony, Art, Song and Music
Laurance Cole, Annie Clark, Aimee Ringle, Adrianna Santiago
Earth Repair for Pollinators
Eric Lee-Mäder, author, ecologist, and farmer, co-directs the Pollinator Conservation and Agricultural Biodiversity program at the Xerces Society (xerces.org). Since 2008, Eric has supported a team of insect ecologists conducting large-scale habitat restoration for pollinators and beneficial insects across more than 700,000 acres. Gary Paul Nabhan, co-author of the 1997 book “The Forgotten Pollinators” and one of the key people bringing native pollinators to the public’s attention, indicated he was going to attend our conference but this hasn’t been confirmed yet. There are many reasons why we hope Gary will participate but one of them is that he could contribute a perspective from the Middlle East. He wrote in early November “I’m in the Middle East till late November but will reserve these dates ASAP.”
Native Seed Collecting
Richard Haard recently retired from a 30 year career as chief seed collector and Plant Propagation Manager at Fourth Corner Nurseries, a native plant business he designed and implemented, which has become one of the largest suppliers of bare root native trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials in the Pacific Northwest. We are inviting other seed collectors and propagators.
Richard Haard is one of the Northwest’s most knowledgeable people on native plant propagation.
Horticultural Therapy and Related Programs
One of the conference goals is to highlight how earth repair work can help repair trauma and mental illness. There is a lot of research and successful results on how working with nature is beneficial to a wide range of disadvantaged people including convicts, veterans with PTSD, victims of abuse, addicts, mentally ill, autism and so forth. There is a lot of earth to repair and a lot of people to repair. It is a win/win situation to put them together. There will be a panel and/or round-table discussion on this topic.
The Economics of Earth Repair
How to fund earth repair. Full ecological cost accounting. Localizing economies. Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life, will lead a workshop on “Money: the good, the bad and the healthy”. We are looking for panelists on this issue.
It is critical to address this as a major component of global earth repair. Many people at the congress are knowledgeable about this, but we don’t have anyone focused on this yet. John D. Liu will have things to contribute if he has time amongst his other tracks.
Michael Pilarski is the editor of the 1994 book “Restoration Forestry: An International Guide to Sustainable Forestry Practices” which was the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the topic at the time. Mike Maki and other presenters also have expertise.
RI is an international organization of earth restoration visionaries. We are thrilled that three of their Board of Directors are speaking at the Global Earth Repair Conference. John D. Liu, Precious Phiri and Ronnie Cummins. Here is RI’s mission statement: “To promote, facilitate and accelerate the global transition to regenerative food, farming and land management for the purpose of restoring climate stability, ending world hunger and rebuilding deteriorated social, ecological and economic systems.”
More to come. This list does not include people who will be joining the conference via Skype or Zoom.
A conference of this scale requires significant funds to organize. The donations our team collects now will cover transportation / lodging costs for our keynote speakers, many of whom will be traveling from abroad. A scholarship fund will allow a number of students, youth, and First Nations / Native Americans to attend the conference for free. A further goal of the Conference is to create a portal for earth repair knowledge and networking. To that end, we’re investing in technology for webcasting, podcast production, and conference calls, enabling people around the world to participate.