Sunday, 24 May 2009 07:08
I'm just back from a vacation in Bali, while I was there I spent some time talking to people running interesting projects, and as usual its interesting to see the perspective of people working in a totally different environment.
One interesting thread was the use of bamboo - several projects are working to show that Bamboo can be a high-end material, not just something used by those who can't afford wood.
I visited the "Heart of School" building at the Green School - 2000 sq meters, and 20 meters high, designed by "PT Bambu", watch the time-lapse of its construction.
I visited Indo Bamboo who are also working on making bamboo into a high-end material.
Conversations with local (balinese and ex-pat) permaculture and development professionals varied significantly from their western counterparts. In particular the emphasis on local materials was key, given that local wages are about US$2-5 per day, Imported materials incur a duty of 50-100% which in many ways it reminds me of working with Brazil 20 years ago, where a duty supposedly imposed to foster local development created real hold-ups for anyone wanting to use computers. It makes components of a project which would already be expensive into unaffordable.
I was particularly impressed by some work to use low-head hydro, which would be particularly appropriate in Bali.
Some key requirements that need to be met include: low-cost water storage and filtration; fuel-efficient stoves and micro-credit.
Recent articles from Mitra's blog