May 15, 2010

This post is all about the process of creating and running the Sustainable community. A few people have asked some good questions and I will try to answer here.

About the location:

I have found two good areas in Indonesia. One in East and one in West Java. Both areas are about 3000 feet above sea level and an appropriate distance from any big cities. The decision of hight and location is influenced by two factors. One factor is the result of sea-levels rising and the population migrations  to higher grounds. Another factor is the overspill of unwanted elements from the disintegration of city infrastructures.

I have not found any place that is strategically as sound in any other place but one possible  site could be Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. My only concern with that location is possible rapid overspill in the near future.

We have to remember the overspill increases the level of security measures and I prefer to keep those as low as possible to reduce the feeling of living in a potential war-zone. Believe me you wanna avoid that and I am talking from experience.

About the size of land:

Our goal should be purchasing about 20 hectare. Each family can buy from 1 acre to 4 acres depending on the family size etc. Under optimal conditions a family of four can easily feed itself from 1 acre but with the climate changes we might not be so fortunate. A family can of course buy more land if the are expecting extended family to join later. My land-share will also function as community center and health clinic and I am volunteering my own permaculture, security and medical knowledge to the community. There can potentially be as little as 10 families or as much as 40.

About the process:

Creating the yayasan (organisation) is the first necessary step to ensure the legal status of our community. This yayasan will be registered as a permaculture ngo and can therefore provide the needed visa and permits for all members. To legitimize our ngo status we will conduct a number of permaculture courses on the land which will also create some revenues for the community. The courses will also provide manpower to some of the heavier task in establishing the infrastructure. The yayasan will run with an amir and ashura with a member from each household. I have no problem with having non-muslim members in the community as long as they don’t consist of more than 25% and don’t display any behaviour that has negative effect on the community.

To establish the Yayasan each household will pay RM500/USD155/Rp1,400.000. These funds will go to processing the papers for the yayasan and the initial inquiries of purchasing the land (transportation etc.). When the first 10 households have submitted their member fee I will start the process. A brother here in Malang who might join us happens to have a wife who is a notary public so the process should be smooth.

Second step would be purchasing land. Now I know some families are not ready financially to put the amount necessary into buying land for different reasons. My suggestion is we try to gather as many as possible who can contribute. Some might buy twice what they need and then sell the land to other members once those were able. Some might only have money for land but not for building house etc. and for those the options are several. They can have some family members continue their jobs to get the funds for development and others can start building etc. I will make a list of estimated costs on another post, inshaAllah tomorrow. I will be available to discuss the best solution with each individual who wish my advice, inshaAllah.

Once we have purchased the 20 hectar and some will have their whole family working on their site while others will use other solutions we will as mentioned have an input of course participants who will assist in the development as part of their coursework. The process of developing a site to a level of full sustainability can take fro 1 to 4 years depending on the commitment, climate and financial input (some things one can save on but then more work might have to be put into it).

Timeline:

I hope to get at least 10 households to sign up so we can start the paperwork soon. If we can get ready to purchase land within a few months we would be able to build some houses and plant some perenials etc. before next rainy season. We have a window of about 6 weeks to get the papers started, another 6 weeks to purchase land which will give us about 3 months to build the first houses. If we don’t get ready in time it means we either have to do the hardest work during the rain season (not adviceable) or wait another 9-10 months which will result in more urgency and stress.

The sooner we get things done the better chance of success and the price of land will also go up very fast when people start realising they have better survival chance by growing their own food.

Please contact me with comments and questions. Q&A will be created for everyones benefit.

Anyone who wants to keep their privacy regarding their involvement in this project can be ensured of my full confidentiality.

Only with Allah comes success!

I ask for everyone’s dua in preparing this project.