The Busia District of Busia in Uganda has been an important centre for gold mining and production since 1930. Gold mining is mainly characterised by small-scale mining and the workers mine the gold manually. Raw gold, like other minerals, is a limited resource and stocks are continuously dwindling due to mining.  The miners live from hand to mouth and cannot provide for their existence in old age. Over the past seven years, the Earthbeat Foundation has been studying the methods of gold mining and small-scale mining in the gold mines of Busia. It was found that the majority of the gold mine workers are engaged in small-scale mining to enable them to switch to alternative employment. Nevertheless, challenges remain as small-scale mining requires a high capital investment. Recently, the Earthbeat Foundation has launched a pilot project to provide permaculture and beekeeping training to mine workers. It is already becoming apparent that the mine workers are showing increasing interest in alternative sources of income. By comparison, these offer a sustainable way of securing their livelihood and are not nearly harmful to their health.


Beekeeping is one of the oldest bases of life in the history of mankind. There is a worldwide fear that the existence of bees is increasingly associated with dangerous consequences for human life. It is well known that bees make an immense contribution to plant production through pollination, thereby significantly improving the ecosystem. It is becoming increasingly clear that bee products such as honey, propolis, wax and royal jelly are becoming scarce and, when available, are contaminated. As a result, the prices of bee products are becoming more and more expensive. With this knowledge, our project partner “The Hive” proposes to set up a Honey Hub to invest in beekeeping and thus contribute to environmental protection in an economic model that aims to promote the commercialisation of beekeeping and to enable financial returns from the production of honey.


Permaculture is a proven ecological design science that describes a lifestyle inspired by nature. Its goal is to promote, host and create economic opportunities in an inspiring and environmentally conscious way. It is a philosophy and development strategy that combines climate, plants, animals, building design, soil, water and energy management into coherent sustainable social systems. Permaculture applies techniques and principles of ecology, cooperative economy, appropriate technology, sustainable agriculture and the wisdom of the indigenous people to create a sustainable human environment at home, at work, at play and in our communities. As such, the promise of permaculture goes far beyond food production to explore new potentials and horizons for a sustainable life on earth.