Allan Savory

Why restoring soils & societies requires Integral Design

In this interview with Allan Savory, it's made quite clear that this is not just about bunching and moving ruminants, but if we want to tackle this complex and huge issues successfully, we need to design, and to take into account all quadrants into that design: a great integral permaculture design teacher!

Allan Savory Presenting at Harvard Law School

On civilizations, tool-using and social change.

Conversation With Allan Savory

Following Allan Savory's lecture at the Fletcher School, Allan Savory, William Moomaw, August 'Gus' Jaccaci, and others discuss future options about Holistic Planned Grazing and mitigation of global warming. Sponsored by Planet-TECH Associates' CEO Seth Itzkan.

Pirate Television: Eating Our Way To A Healthy Planet with Allan Savory

Also see the
page for more on this

Allan Savory - Reversing Global Warming while Meeting Human Needs

How to implement this?

Occam's Grazer: An In-depth Introduction to Holistic Management

Occam's Grazer provides an introduction to Holistic Management and holistic grazing as well as many powerful insights, philosophies, and useful ideas from people who are using the framework and practices every day. This video is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about taking a holistic approach to grazing in their ranch business, how it works, and the potential benefits. It was designed to be a resource for ranchers, potential ranchers, environmentalists, and educators, but is also being well received by the general public.

Scientific Method Discussion

FB group Oct. 2014 - by Allan Savory

People who question the science of holistic management, or refer to it as a management system, simply are not understanding what it means to manage holistically – from household or farm to governance. 

 Management systems only work where everything is largely predictable – accounting system, inventory control system. No business or farm can be run with any system. 
 Armies and businesses do not use any system to fight a battle , or manage a business for good reason because they long ago learned it did not work. Period. 

 Management needs to be based on a constant decision-making process. Where all management (and policy) has always involved achieving objectives, goals, missions or visions, when managing holistically people do the same. 

 In conventional management the context, reason or circumstance, for all objectives, goals, etc. is always the need, desire, profit or the problem being addressed. 
 This as we see throughout history leads to unintended consequences. This is because the context for actions was too simple for the social, cultural, economic and environmental implications in any management situation. That is why many civilizations failed even though they had nothing but organic agriculture. 

When the context for management objectives is reduced to need, desire, profit or addressing a problem as almost all management and policy has always been, it is essentially reductionist management. 

 But management needs to be holistic, so when managing holistically people define a holistic context as the context for all actions, and they use all currently known science. 
 They also use a set of ten filtering questions to ensure their objectives are in that context, and if any action is an entirely new one affecting the environment, they automatically assume that it is wrong and establish a feedback monitoring loop to make management proactive (conventional management is adaptive or reactive). 

The controversy over the past sixty years has not been about managing holistically as much as it has been from people believing that global desertification can be reversed using only technology, fire or resting the environment (they accept no other tools to manage our environment at large). 
 This is simply not possible as I have explained thousands of times. 

 It can only be done if we remove livestock from factory/industrial conventional management and run them properly on the land. So the argument has always been due to their rejection of my adding livestock to our human toolbox. It is about tools not managing holistically. 

 As I have explained clearly in the TED Ebook grazing revolution, there are only three things livestock are used to do in managing them on the land, and no amount of science will ever disprove them. Just as no amount of science will disprove that water flows downhill. 

Those three things are: 

1. Their hooves break or chip sealed soil surfaces.

2. Their gut and digestion cycle vegetation faster than if they were not there.

3. Their hooves cause compaction that can be used to gain a better seed/soil contact.

These three things we can use livestock as a tool to do and thus reverse desertification. 
This cannot ever be done, on the scale and frequency required, by any technology even imaginable. And neither fire nor resting the land can do it. 
 That is why ONLY livestock properly managed can address desertification and it’s role in poverty, social breakdown, violence and climate change. 

What we can do, and are doing, is to measure results when we use all known science and the holistic framework for decision-making and holistic planned grazing to manage livestock properly on the land. 

 And this can be, if anyone desires, compared to conventional management in which livestock are simply handled with some rotational, mob or other grazing system that does not deal with the full complexity. 

 Frankly a waste of time and money because we have centuries of seeing the results of such conventional management leading to global desertification and climate change. Fortunately a mass of new online training material has just become available through SI – so farmers and ranchers can now train themselves to manage holistically using all available science as we do.

See also the International PermaCulture Day page 

Related pages

There's a dialogue related to this page in the Integral Permaculture FB group (click icon to go there)

You can comment on this topic in this dialogue in the Integral Permaculture FB group

Grazing: part of the solution, not the problem

a new e-book 


gives more details from 

Allan Savory's famous TED talk

The Savory Institute

The Savory Institute promotes large-scale 
restoration of the world's grasslands through 
holistic management


The Savory Newsroom contains up-to-date, relevant and comprehensive online files of press releases, articles, frequently asked questions, and media resources regarding the restoration of the world's grasslands through the implementation of holistic management.