Ecogvillages are "Human-scale full-featured settlement in which human activities are harmlessly integrated into the natural world in a way that is supportive of healthy human development, and can be successfully continued into the indefinite future” - Robert Gilman
Ecovillages are intentional communities whose goal is to become more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable.
Johnathon Dawson, former president of the Global Ecovillage Network, describes five ecovillage principles in his 2006 book Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability:
- They are not government-sponsored projects, but grassroots initiatives;
- Their residents value and practice community living;
- Their residents are not overly dependent on government, corporate or other centralized sources for water, food, shelter, power and other basic necessities. Rather, they attempt to provide these resources themselves;
- Their residents have a strong sense of shared values, often characterized in spiritual terms;
- They often serve as research and demonstration sites, offering educational experiences for others.
WPA cooperate in the improvement of the Ndanifor Eco-lodge and Permaculture Learning Center, located at Ndanifor Permaculture Ecovillage in Bawum, Bafut (Cameroon), facilitating the volunteer exchange from Cameroon to Europe and viceversa.
The Center is managed by Better World Cameroon, an organization for social transition toward a sustainable Africa founded in 1996 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Some of the aims of the Ecovillage include:
- to ensure food security and sovereignty;
- to empower communities with Permaculture skills to grow organic crops;
- utilize already existing ginger production;
- ensure economic viability through intercropping traditional staple crops (corn, beans, etc.) and high value food (moringa, ginger, turmeric, lemon grass, etc.).
On the occasion of the GEN+20 Summit held in Findhorn Ecovillage, Scotland from July 5-11th, 2015 the Bafut Ecovillage won the Gaia Trust Award as the most inspiring Ecovillage project in Africa.