Natural Sequence Farming founder and land hydrology enthusiast, Peter Andrews OAM, offers insight and opportunity for humanity in healing the damage done to our ancient landscape.
"If the Australian landscape was better understood, we could save the world from environmental disaster" ~ Peter Andrews OAM
Mr Andrews aims to provide the missing link of knowledge in how our society can restore and repair our dying continent.
Mr Andrews’ believes in four fundamental processes for repair: sunlight, gravity, natural rehydration, and filtration via plants.
“I have never before in the media or official consideration and planning, heard, debated or mentioned of these four points in the context of climate change,’ Mr Andrews said.
“Australia is a laboratory for the world because of the impact of introduced animals, people, plants and agriculture and also an example of failure.”
“The current paradigm is floods are to be drained, rather than seen as landscape rehydration events. On a continent where rainfall is irregular and water is precious, we are still draining our land and landscapes.”
"The environment contains many unknown processes, including what microbes do in the soil and how water moves nutrients and living compounds around the landscape. There are however, numerous natural processes evident across Australia that have historically enabled this land to flourish automatically. For good decisions to be made on climate management strategies, it is necessary for decisions to be consistent with these ancient processes and the basic science underlying them."
Peter's Message: The fundamental processes
All life on land is packaged sunlight.
Using the energy of sunlight, plants sequester carbon daily. Plants also manage water, using / negating the heat from the sun. Both of these roles are important in managing our climate, but it is this second role that plants play in moderating radiant heat extremes (and therefore moderating climate) that is often overlooked.
All life's compounds and the fertility that generates life moves downward due to gravity.
They move from high ground to low ground; they move to the depths of soil and they keep moving out to sea if nothing stops them. In the ancient Australian landscape, multiple processes existed to filter and prevent nutrients from washing away, to bring nutrients out of the deeper soil, and to restore nutrients to high ground. The nutrient cycle is critical to the continuation of life. It is important that we recognise these processes. A nutrient transport system if you will; exists to take nutrients back to the high ground and out of the deeper soil so that plants can make use of them, and the functioning of these processes have been drastically reduced.
Our rehydration system has been replaced with drainage systems.
To understand this, we must look to the ancient Australian landscape, in which plants evolved a way to keep the landscape hydrated through the (daily) small water cycle. Through the small water cycle or perpetuated broader cycles, the landscape was rehydrated despite unpredictable rainfall patterns. Human activity has removed the plants and the plant based biological landforms, altering the landscape in a way that we have created a drainage system. The current paradigm is floods are to be drained, rather than seen as landscape rehydration events. On a continent where rainfall is irregular and water is precious, we are still draining our land and landscapes.
The drainage system (point 3) has eliminated most of the filtering systems (refer to point 2) so that the recycling of daily plant production (point 1) is not possible.
We are now trading on finite reserves. To address climate, we must enable plants to perform their key role in climate moderation and to do this we must simultaneously repair the nutrient cycle and replace the drainage system with a rehydration system driven by plants.