The Right Livelihood Award Foundation Mourns the Loss of the ‘Father of Permaculture’ Bill Mollison

News 27.09.2016

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation is deeply saddened by the loss of Bruce Charles “Bill” Mollison, who passed away in his native Tasmania on 24 September, aged 88.

He received the Right Livelihood Award in 1981 “for developing and promoting the theory and practice of permaculture”.

In his book Permaculture One, co-written with David Holmgren in 1974, he advocated “working with, rather than against nature” when producing food, and favoured growing species suited for local conditions.

In 1978, Bill Mollison founded The Permaculture Institute, dedicated to teaching the practical design of sustainable soil, water, plant, and legal and economic systems to students worldwide.

His activities in the field of education have inspired permanent institutes worldwide, spreading his message well beyond Tasmanian shores. At the core of his approach was providing practical training to local people in different countries. As a result of his active commitment, many countries now have adopted permaculture as a sustainable land-use ethic.

Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, said:

The entire Right Livelihood Award family mourns the loss of a great visionary and an enthusiastic practitioner that was Bill Mollison. The seeds of his approach have been sown all around the world, including in our own Foundation house permaculture garden here in Stockholm. Bill Mollison leaves a truly global legacy of designing a sustainable life-support system for human needs on this planet—one which we will no doubt need ever more in the future.

In his moving tribute to Bill Mollison, Graham Bell, the author of The Permaculture Way and The Permaculture Garden, wrote: “A few people are born who are world class heroes to those who know them and unknown to the great majority, until one day their inescapable influence floats to the surface and is generally recognised for the cream it is. In hindsight such leaders go on to become household names. Such a man was Bill Mollison: backwoodsman, academic, storyteller, lady’s man and to many just ‘Uncle Bill’, but doing all these things par excellence. In consequence he has left a worldwide movement of remarkable resilience. He has left much useful information and not a few words of guidance and encouragement for those who will miss him most.”

The Right Livelihood Award Foundation extends its deepest sympathy to Bill Mollison’s family, as well as his friends and colleagues from The Permaculture Institute and around the world.

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