The community around Tara Rokpa is working towards consciously embracing the fourth wing of Dr. Akong Rinpoche's work in Africa - The Environment.
It is, for us, not just about nature, but it encompasses all aspects of how, and where we as humans have an impact on our Biosphere.
We are guided in this also by the ‘108 things to do’ from the Karmapa’s Environment Conference, in March 2009.
So we are working on an overarching whole systems design for Tara Rokpa, which includes:
- One Planet Living guidelines, that have been workshoped and form the basis for our long term vision and goals.
- A policy of Zero Waste, in which we have taken the guidelines of the international Zero Waste movement to minimise waste production and recycling.
This has applications in the day-to-day living to the selection of office materials, building materials etc.
- A Permaculture design for the properties owned by TRC. This guides our working with all the elements:
- Water -To preserve this scarce resource we are including rain water harvesting, Storm water control, reduction of water use, recycling and re-use of 'waste' water;
- Earth - the zoning of the areas according to their use, the establishment of sustainable food production systems, the use of earth as building materials, erosion control;
- Fire - the introduction of renewable energy sources, mainly from the sun, such as the solar powered pump in operation at Tara's retreat house;
- Air - the preservation of vital greenbelts for wild life, recreation, oxygen production and of creating space for us to learn from the intricate workings of our biosphere;
Our building development programme deserves a special mention. Wherever possible we design and build with local resources, both from a material point of view as well as with local labour. We have fine examples of adobe, slate (the local stone) and strawbale buildings.