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Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Philippines: Home to the Country's First Ecovillage

Now, here is a "cooperative" that seeks to address not only the economic and social, but also the environmental sustainability, in a living village model. It is called an Ecovillage. Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Philippines is home to the country's first Ecovillage.

Named Tuwa (joy) The Laughing Fish Eco-Homestead, this Ecovillage serves both as an Eco-Bed and Breakfast and at the same time as a Sustainability Center, currently showcasing off-grid living. It was created by and founded by two Ecovillage Design Education graduates. The facility, consisting of 1.3 hectares, features buildings, a rice field, a fruit orchard, swimming pond, kayaking lagoon, an art and design studio, a community kitchen, organic gardens and a sacred place for meditation and rituals.

Tuwa is also where the regional office of Global Ecovillage Network Oceania & Asia (GENOA) is headquartered, with Penelope Reyes, as president. GENOA has 12 member-countries which include Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Korea and Thailand.

The idea of an Ecovillage is touted as a potential major solution in trying to meet head-on the inconvenient truths of environmental degradation and looming socio-economic breakdown. It is good to note that a number of organizations are taking this to heart. Among these are HAPPY EARTH and GAIA Education.

As part of their contribution, they are conducting the 2nd Philippine Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) Course on August 28-September 25, 2010, a 4-week live-in course that can accommodate 20 participants both foreign and local. Vunue is Tuwa The Laughing Fish Eco-Homestead in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

A wholly different way of learning about the environment, EDE uses an integral perspective in analyzing the state of the planet; combines placed-based solutions and practical applications in addressing climate change adaptation challenges, where focus is given to weaving a fabric of community.

EDE employs group decision-making, communication and conflict resolution skills, which are used throughout the course. Emphasis is on developing Ecovillage design skills for start-up and retrofit in urban and rural neighborhoods.

The course is a holistic curriculum that empowers individuals and communities with knowledge and skills to reshape our world towards self-reliance and sustainability. It draws from the best Ecovillage community projects from all over the world- ecological lifestyles rooted in community living.

The course facilitators include Penelope Reyes, Diana Leafe Christian from the U.S.A.; John Vermeulen, from Europe; and Sixto Roxas from the Philippines. For course particulars, please contact John Vermeulen at mobile: +639189790601; e-mail: juanvermillion@gmail.com. For web registration: www.happyearth.info. (End)


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