How to Save the World One Ecosystem at a Time

John D. Liu
Monday, 5th October 2015

If there is one message that we, at Permaculture magazine, would like to share with the world is that we can regenerate whole regions of the earth with handtools and human endeavour if we collectively choose to do so. We humans have an understanding of how to do this and it has already been done over many thousands of hectares in Zimbabwe, the Sahel region in Africa and in China on the Loess Plateau. We can reverse the damage we have done to our planet and it is the voice of the people that will create this change. Let's raise our voices and tell this story everywhere where we can bring our influence to bear.

This is a presentation from John D. Liu with additional film clips that explains how this has been done and why these methods have been tested out in many places. This is what John calls the 'Great Work of our Time' and it will recreate biodiversity, economic development linked with ecological function, and lock up carbon in the soil.

This is the solution. Please tell people about it. Share this video. Share the possibility of a chnage on understanding - in consciousness - and do not lose hope.


John D. Liu explains the human behaviours over thousands of years that have created ecosystem destruction – catastrophic loss of top soil, collapse of the hydrological cycle, loss of vegetation and desertification.

He then explains how within a few years this wholescale destruction can be reversed by "making a hat on the hilltops, a belt around the mountainsides as well as shoes at the base." The top of the hills are replanted with trees. The belt is the hillside terraces that create far higher yields. The shoes are the dams at the base of the hills to capture the rainwater in the landscape.

"The landcsape seems to relfect the consciousness that human beings have. If you understand how the systems function and you align human behaviour with these natural evolutionary trends. But if you put the human desires ahead of the ecological trends then you are probably going to degrade the system."

Once we understand how ecosystems function we can restore agricultural productivity. This improves the local economy and allows the hillsides that are not cultivated to revegetate. We are then able to reregulate the hydrological cycle, the weather and the climate. It is possible to rehabilitate largescale damaged ecosystems and lock up carbon in our landscapes.

NIOO Seminar by Chinese-American filmmaker John D. Liu. Title: 'The Healing of the Earth'. The seminar took place on 26 January 2015 in the Colloquium Room at NIOO-KNAW in Wageningen.

More from John D. Liu

Watch Green Gold - how can we restore large-scale damaged ecosystem

Watch Fixing the World's Problems One Ecosystem at a Time with John Liu

Watch Restoring Ecosystems, Preventing Flooding, and Building Soil with John Liu

John is a regular contributor to .

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