Topic Description

This wiki article lists regenerative methods people are using to reduce the severity of climate-related disasters. It also links to specific projects that can be replicated or referenced in local actions.

These resources are compiled through Bloom’s recurring community call on the topic. To read a detailed recap of each call or watch the video recording, visit:

February 2020: (featuring Kyle Leach from Sierra Streams Institute in California, Sister Pat Bergen from the Mirabeau Water Garden in New Orleans, and participants from Burners Without Borders and Emerald Ecovillage)

Techniques

Traditional Ecological Knowledge – First Nations’ ecological practices include knowledge of how to manage wildfire cycles and craft abundant ecosystems for life and healthy water.

Lo—TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson – “First ever compendium of indigenous technologies provides a powerful toolkit for climate-resilient design.”

RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future by Australian permaculturalist David Holmgren

Flood Prevention and Adapation

Mirabeau Water Garden in New Orleans – a replicable urban wetland to absorb storm surges and prevent flooding.
Press Article
Project PDF

In New Zealand, it is compulsory for all new builds to have flood retention built into them. For the past 20 years, all infrastructure has been built to withstand climate change, upon scientific recommendation. For example, all new storm water pipes have also been built to withstand floods

Elemental Ecosystems – water retention landscapes
Podcast Episode on the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture podcast: “Climate change is a symptom of water cycle disturbance and we can fix it

Re-Alliance – regenerative design in humanitarian response and development
Video on regenerative approaches to first response and emergencies – dated January 22, 2020

Fire Prevention and Adapation

Global Cooling Earth – reforestation, hydrology, and soil health for micro and macroclimate cooling

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. This book reexamines colonial accounts of Aboriginal people in Australia, and cites evidence of pre-colonial agriculture, engineering and building construction by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

A message from David Holmgren following Australian bush fires:

A strategic focus on the urban/bushland interface and rural residential areas where bushfires create the greatest economic and social havoc demands a much broader suit of land management practices than increasing already problematic fuel reduction burning:

He recommends:

  • A return to indigenous cultural burning practices where canopy and soil organic matter are left intact
  • Greater use of grazing animals combined with farming systems that use native pasture species, fire-retardant shelterbelts and silvopasture systems to build soil water- and nutrient-holding capacity
  • Managing fuels with chippers, slashers and groomers as well as livestock trampling.
  • A greater focus on fuel reduction through decomposition; research is needed on the role of microbes in speeding decomposition, and the effects of lost soil calcium.
  • Rehydration of landscapes, using Natural Sequence Farming and Keyline techniques, especially along water courses receiving urban storm water.
  • Protecting and managing dense areas of fire-retardant ‘novel ecosystems’ near towns and urban fringes, including non-native species such as willow.
  • The ecologically sensitive thinning of forests utilising the resultant biomass can also reduce our fossil fuel dependence through:
    – Carbon neutral Combined Heat and Power systems to generate dispatchable power at multiple scales, especially local scale.
    – As biochar – a soil amendment providing long term carbon sequestration and improving soil water- and nutrient-holding capacity and microbial activity.

Most of these strategies are more labour-intensive than industrial-scale clearing or fuel-reduction burning so are less appealing to government decision makers but have potential to reform and reenergise community-based activity with government support.

Further Reading from David Holmgren

Bushfire Resilient Land and Climate Care (2020)
Bushfire Resilient Communities and Landscapes (2009)

Bigger Picture Climate Restoration Techniques

Soil carbon sequestration – industrial agriculture has released carbon into the atmosphere not just from fossil fuels, but from depleting topsoil and deep root systems. Healthy soil systems have the ability to draw down and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and are a recommended way to reverse global warming.

  • Kiss the Ground – helping farmers transition to regenerative agriculture to build soil health to draw down carbon from the atmosphere and increase food nutrition quality
  • Local Carbon Network – home composting network using biochar from local waste wood processing
  • Fungi play a large role in soil carbon sequestration

Mangrove restoration – Mangroves are a type of tree. Their ecosystems help buffer coastal areas from storms, and they are an efficient carbon sink for pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. They also present sustainable economic opportunities for local communities who might otherwise adopt more extractive forms of agriculture and trade.