Global Ecovillage Network: Connected
Communities Working Towards Sustainability - A Practical Example
Eco-village, Gaia Villages, Westport (IRL)
Eco-Villages are in essence a modern attempt by humankind to live in
harmony with nature and with each other. They represent a "leading
edge" in the movement towards developing sustainable human settlements
and provide a testing ground for new ideas, techniques and technologies
which can then be integrated into the mainstream. The need for developing
sustainable human settlements relates directly to the commitment by the
world leaders at the Earth Summit in Rio (1992) to programs that will move
humanity to sustainability in the 21st century (Agenda 21).
To achieve the goals of sustainable human settlements, there is a need
for pilot communities, and for an exchange of information between them
and the mainstream. The Global Eco-village Network (GEN) is in the process
of expanding. Three regional offices are located in Australia (Crystal
Waters), USA (The Farm) and Germany (Lebensgarten). The offices are based
in communities which have been part of the seed group that initially consisted
of: The Findhorn Foundation, Scotland; Lebensgarten, Germany; Ecoville
Nevo and Rysovo, Russia; Gyûrûfû, Hungary; Crystal Waters,
Australia; The Farm, USA; The Manitou Foundation, USA; The Ladakh project,
India; and the Danish Eco-village Association. These projects represent
eco-villages at different stages of development, the oldest established
more than 25 years ago and the most recent being under establishment.
Common to all of the projects is their focus on education and a desire
for the integration of ecology, spirituality, community, and business development.
Each of the projects functions as an eco-village training centre for their
area. The range of skills that are on offer is very extensive, covering
all aspects of sustainable community living.
The following programme areas are specifically being developed by the
- Establishment and development of eco-villages. - Eco-village Training
- International Networking enabling eco-villages rapidly to increase their
knowledge through the sharing of information.
The Internet is being used to further this work in new and innovative
ways. For more info see http://www.gaia.org/