Annapurna Farm Sustainability Knowledge Centre — Pachavita, Colombia

A Case Study from the GEDS Design Studio 2017. Created by Dévi Tillai, Irene García, Christina Barbosa & Nathalia Rodríguez

To complete the Gaia Education Design for Sustainability (GEDS) 10-month online programme, our students are invited to join a Design Studio and produce a case study. This is an opportunity to put their acquired knowledge into practice within a global design team composed of fellow students from different countries, to reflect on real world design projects and practice integrative whole systems design. Take a look at the kind of design projects created in previous years here.

Pave your way to becoming a Designer of Integrative Whole Systems by joining the Social Design dimension online. It begins on Monday October 23rd. So sign up now!

Top view of Annapurna Farm Sustainability Knowledge Centre. Picture taken in 2015, before starting the reforestation programs and laying the foundations of the house/office.

Annapurna Farm — Sustainability Knowledge Centre aims to become the nerve centre of sustainable living and economic activity in the bioregion of the Garagoa river hydrographical basin, located 140km North of Bogota in the Andes mountains of Colombia.

At Annapurna Farm, we would like to share with local schools, farmers, peasant associations and the community at large, practical knowledge about conservation, reforestation and sustainability, solidarity economy and food sovereignty — in the form of workshops and trainings specifically tailored
to the needs of the local people.

Ecological outputs

The Annapurna Farm — Sustainability Knowledge Centre, with its various physical premises — the buildings, the vegetable and herb gardens, the rain water harvesting systems, the composting units, the relict forest etc., represents the idea of a live classroom, demonstrating and teaching various sustainable best practices.

Ideal food forest suitable for the Bioregion

The programs offered at Annapurna Farm will train the local community (peasants and villagers) of the surroundings and the bioregion on:

  • Forest conservation, reforestation and productivity
  • Self-sufficient and optimal water management
  • Restorative food production techniques leading to food sovereignty
Water management system in the Annapurna Farm
  • Awareness on renewable energy technologies
  • Ancestral and affordable construction techniques: management, use and treatment of guadua (bamboo) for construction and seismic-resistant bahareque construction (earth building).

Overarching Objectives

Annapurna Farm aims to achieve the following goals over the next 3 to 5 years:

  1. Increase the food sovereignty of Pachavita and its rural areas around by 10% every year over the next 3 years
  2. Reshape the economy of Pachavita and its rural areas to make the transition from a subsistence economy to a thriving and diversified local economy over the next 3 years
  3. Over the next 3 years, increase the agro-biodiversity of Pachavita and its rural areas by 15%.


To offer capacity building programmes oriented to empower rural communities of the bioregion to enable them to lead their own transition to a more resilient, sovereign, and participative community through:

  • Training peasants and farmers on solidarity economy, social enterprise and diversification of the local economy with a focus on production of value added products
  • Disseminating practical knowledge about sustainable best practices on water conservation, regenerative agriculture, forest conservation and reforestation, soil building and rational use of natural resources
  • Creating awareness about the importance of preserving, growing and consuming native seed and agro-biodiversity in order to achieve food sovereignty.


In this endeavour, the following core values will guide the team at Annapurna Farm:

  • Constant & deep listening to people’s real needs
  • Compassion for all sentient beings
  • Non-judgement — collaborating with local communities without judging who they are or what they do
  • Foresight — always bearing in mind the long term consequences of our actions
  • Transparency


Annapurna Farm — Sustainability Knowledge Centre envisions a future in which all the peasants and small farmers across Colombia will be at the forefront of sustainable best practices, and play an active role in the diversification of their local economies while always acting as guardians of natural resources, local ecosystems and regional agro-biodiversity.

Read the full case study here.

Become a Designer of Integrative Whole Systems. Join the Social Design dimension Case. It begins on Monday October 23rd. Sign up now!