Integrate rather than Segregate – Permaculture Principle #8

Sounds nice, right. No segregation, everything integrated so that everyone is happy and working together, right?
But does it really work that way? Full cooperation and no competition, even in the natural world sounds nice but it doesn’t exist that way?
There is cooperation and competition, sometimes even violent competition especially in nature.

So how do we embrace this principle while maintaining the balance of nature? “Our cultural bias toward focus on the complexity of details tends to ignore the complexity of relationships. We tend to opt for segregation of elements as a default design strategy for reducing relationship complexity.”

It’s concerning that we look at relationships as either predatory or competitive, or both and ignore co-operative and symbiotic relationships, in nature and culture.

“Mutualism relationships”
“Where living organisms have differing needs and in the process of meeting those needs they provide benefits to each other; the relationship is mutual or co-operative. The examples from nature are innumerable.”

“The emphasis on building more mutual and co-operative relationships while reducing the impact of predatory and competitive relationships is a key Permaculture strategy for more effective integration within and between systems. Companion planting of vegetables and herbs, originally based on observations of mutualistic effects by biodynamic researchers, has popularised the idea that plants do not necessarily compete and may have beneficial
effects on one another.”

“Simply deciding that competition and conflict are bad will not help us in this task. To the contrary, we need a balanced view of the contribution of all relationship dynamics to natural and human systems” – Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability-David Holgren

What do you think?

Pan Gaia Permaculture PDC now underway. It’s not to late to join and view the past sessions.
Http:// permaculture-design-certification/

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