John D. Liu: A Visionary Advocate for Ecosystem Restoration


In the realm of environmental activism and ecosystem restoration, one name stands out as a beacon of hope and inspiration: John Dennis Liu.

Described as an intelligent, humble, and well-presented individual, Liu has dedicated his life to researching and documenting the critical issues of degraded landscapes and climate change, with a special focus on the restoration of ecosystems globally.

Ecosystem Restoration Influence

Liu’s impact on the environmental landscape is profound, most notably through the establishment of the Ecosystem Restoration Communities movement.

The successful launch of the first project in southern Spain serves as a testament to his vision becoming a tangible reality.

These camps have become a symbol of collective action in restoring our planet’s vital ecosystems.

Personal Journey: A Transformational Encounter

For many, including myself, the introduction to John D. Liu’s transformative work came through the documentary “Hope in a Changing Climate.”

Once I became friends with John, he gave me the opportunity to translate ‘Hope in a Changing Climate’ into Italian, and to this day, it is used in my courses aimed at agronomists.

While conducting in-depth research, the documentary unfolded a captivating narrative detailing the initiatives undertaken to restore the Loess Plateau in China.

Witnessing the positive impact on the environment sparked a newfound hope and belief in the possibility of reversing the damage caused by human activities.

Subsequently, I personally reached out to Liu and successfully persuaded him to visit Italy.

A few months later, we hosted a permaculture design course featuring my friend Rhamis Kent, who was the Director of the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, an organization led by Geoff Lawton.

Moreover, this event marked a significant milestone in my journey, as I became an accredited Permaculture Research Institute of Australia teacher, contributing to the dissemination of permaculture principles and practices.

John D. Liu first visited my home in Calabria, where I organized various conferences and meetings.

The highlight of his visit was the extensive time we spent at my Urban Permaculture Laboratory, where Liu provided his insightful video testimony.

Exploring the roots of sustainable change with John D. Liu in Calabria. Witness the journey through permaculture, ecological restoration, and shared insights at the heart of our urban oasis.

During this period, we collaborated closely, and his presence significantly enriched the discourse on sustainable practices in permaculture.

From the left: Giuseppe Tallarico, Rhamis Kent and John D. Liu presenting at a Permaculture Design Certificate Course in Tuscany

After the stop in Calabria, we moved to Tuscany for the course, sparking the idea of creating a movement starting from a project in Spain.

This gave birth to Ecosystem Restoration Camps (now Communities).

I was actively involved in the initial phase, alongside Rhamis Kent.

Unfortunately, due to subsequent commitments, I couldn’t continue my involvement, while Rhamis still holds leadership roles in the organization.

John’s journey was sponsored by organizations close to me, acknowledged by John in the following video, which served as the launch of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps.

We stayed in touch with John for quite some time.

He even gave several online lectures during my permaculture courses.

Even today, I continue to follow his work with keen interest.

Contributions Beyond Ecosystem Restoration

Before spearheading the Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement, John D. Liu amassed an impressive background.

Following 15 years as a Television Producer and Cameraman for major networks like CBS News, RAI, and ZDF, Liu shifted his focus to ecology in the mid-1990s.

He founded the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP) and played a crucial role in establishing several other organisations involved at various level in Ecosystem restoration globally.

Currently serving as the Ecosystem Ambassador for the Commonland Foundation and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Liu continues to contribute significantly to environmental causes.

Ecosystem Restoration Films: A Cinematic Legacy

Liu’s influence extends beyond written documentation.

His films, including “Lessons of the Loess Plateau,” “Green Gold,” and “Hope in a Changing Climate,” have become powerful tools for raising awareness.

These films, along with numerous articles, are accessible through Liu’s Academia page and platforms like YouTube, offering a comprehensive insight into the potential for collective action.

Green Gold Initiatives in Jordan

One of Liu’s notable documentaries, “Green Gold,” showcases landscape restoration initiatives in Jordan.

The film highlights the application of Permaculture approaches, spearheaded by renowned permaculturists Geoff Lawton.

Additionally, my contributions to consultations for projects in association with the Government of Jordan further underline the collaborative efforts inspired by Liu’s work.

Through the application of Permaculture principles, these initiatives aim to restore and revitalize degraded landscapes, fostering sustainable practices in harmony with nature.

Ecosystem Restoration Camps: A Vision Realized

The inception of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps concept can be traced back to a Permaculture Design Course organized by the World Permaculture Association in May 2016, where John D. Liu was invited as a speaker.

What started as an idea during this course has evolved into a burgeoning movement of individuals providing support, whether financially or through physical participation on the ground.

The camps represent a grassroots initiative, with everyday people contributing their knowledge, tools, and experiences to restore degraded landscapes.

Embracing Collective Action

In conclusion, John D. Liu’s remarkable journey serves as a source of inspiration for environmental enthusiasts and advocates of ecosystem restoration.

His documented work and cinematic legacy open our eyes to the immense potential for positive change that lies within our collective actions.

I encourage everyone to explore Liu’s films and engage in the Ecosystem Restoration Communities movement, either through financial support or direct participation. T

ogether, we can be catalysts for a greener, sustainable tomorrow for every species on our planet.

Join the Movement and learn about our Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Online

Together, let’s shape a future harmonized with nature.

Giuseppe Tallarico

Discover how Giuseppe Tallarico, an agronomist dissatisfied with office life, transformed his passion for nature into a regenerative revolution. Leaving behind a career in the corporate sector, Giuseppe followed his heart towards permaculture. His transformation from a professional in quality and environmental fields to an innovator in regenerative agriculture has been an inspiring journey. Through founding the Urban Permaculture Laboratory and teaching, Giuseppe has created a lasting impact in the community and the world of permaculture. Join Giuseppe in his courses, consultancy work, and innovative projects to explore how you too can make a difference. Discover his blog articles, evoking images, sounds, and emotions, immersing you in the world of regenerative agriculture. Unlock Sustainable Solutions with Giuseppe Tallarico - Explore Here!