Embun Pagi was the host site for the first ever permaculture course run in Malaysia. The site is run by Sabina Arokiam who is a Malay of Indian Tamil descent. Doug met her at the fall 2008 Ecovillage and Permaculture course at Lost Valley Educational Center in Oregon, USA. The idea of a course happening in Malysia was born there and corresponed with the trip to India. Thus the team elected to take this course on as well.
15 students ranging from the age of 17 to 65 attended the course. It was another diverse course with people from Burma, Singapore, Canada and Malaysians from all three major ethnic groups- Indian, Chinese, and Malays. Despite all these differences the group gelled very well and the community atmosphere was wonderful.
It was the first formal 2 week PDC that TreeYo facilitated together. The course went really smoothly and judging by the quality of the design project presentations people really got it. We also accomplished several great hands on projects for the site itself. Those included plant propagation and planting out, swale building, and chinampa and banana circle construction.
This historic course has generated much discussion around future courses and even a permaculture institute being set up. TreeYo may have a reunion tour later this year as there is a void in the amount of skilled permaculturists in this region. It is our aim to train up as many Asians as we can so that they can spread this mission to a huge portion of the worlds population. A translation to Mandarin of An Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison is a much needed step in this mission. We are pursuing this endeavor currently and aiming to setup a Permaculture Institute of Malaysia.