Section 2 of the IPC Membership Contract
- The Relationship Between the Land, the Foundation & Community Participants
- Participant Responsibilities
- Panamanian Residency and Citizenship
The Relationship of Land, the Foundation & Community Participants
The International Permaculture Community is an association of individual Participants and their dependents. This Association, also known as the Tribe or the community, has been given the permission to steward land from the Community Earth Land Trust Foundation. Each adult Participant that becomes a Steward will be registered in the books of the Foundation as being a member of the Association (The IPC).
As per stipulations in the Community Earth Land Trust Foundation each Participant is automatically made a member of the Land Trust however not all the Board of Directors have to be Participants of the IPC. This way, the leaseholder (the IPC Tribe) have a direct say in the on going decisions and responsibilities of the Trust, as do any previous benefactors (persons), reducing the expenses of the Foundation while also securing the development and stability of the community in perpetuity. While the land remains owned in Trust through the Foundation.
It is the Community Earth Land Trust that decides on the larger zoning of the land by percentage. These zones are usually but not limited too Preserved Natural Habitat, Agricultural, Food Forests & Village zones. It is done by percentage to allow the Trust to bide by its own charter while at the same time allowing the Tribe to develop a more detailed plan that suits them as stewards of the land. The Trust is also responsible for laying out an ecological charter.
The Tribe is responsible in keeping to the ecological charter and paying any land taxes that pertain to the land and buildings.
Stewardship, rather than ownership, will be the base of which agreements are made to occupy, work, maintain and use the lands. See our Stewardship Model for details.
A 90% majority is needed to change any of the internal laws of the Trust as well as any change to the zoning and ecological charter except in the case of insolvency which can only move forward with consensus.
Except and unless otherwise on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for other reasons, once a Participant leaves the community for good, they are also duly removed as a Director of the Foundation. Participants who leave, may be entitled to a refund of their Land Steward Fee - see Steward Land Fee Information for details.
In exchange for full membership and so long as the membership contract and the ecologic charter are respected, Participants are guaranteed a personal space on the land to steward, a say in all the matters of community including the cooperative ventures and access to the benefits that the land and the community and its ventures can offer. The Contract gets into the details of Participant responsibilities and the general functioning of the community.
Each role and/or task that Participants play carry their own responsibilities. There is a detailed spreadsheet entitled the 'The Participants Responsibility Breakdown', not available on-line, which is a work in progress. This spreadsheet is a tool for Participants on the land to use as the information is in a format that is more concise and condensed than in this Contract and can be readily updated as our needs and circumstances change. The spreadsheet and this Contract must not contradict one another. If there is any doubt of authenticity or regulation, this Contract over rules the spreadsheet.A summary of the general privileges and responsibilities of being a Community Earth Participant follows;
Each Participant will:
- Choose an available piece of land they can steward as their home / personal space of 900 square meters (30x30m) or (9687.5 square feet);
- Have the right to assist meetings of any of the cooperatives within the community;
- Have the right to vote on any issue that pertains to them within the community;
- Take on the responsibilities of being a member of the Community Earth Land Trust without renumeration;
- Take on the responsibility of completing the minimum Shared Work Load (Shawolo) hours per month;
- Have the right to share in the harvest and goods produced by the community and monies (paid out monthly) made by the collective works of the community, minus expenses, through the 'Share the Wealth Dividends';
- Have the right to divest of their participation from the community and reclaim their stewarded land fee once a new participant has paid their membership fees in full and been approved by the Tribe.
- Have the right to participate in all the enriching community activities at cost (at the cheapest rate).
Panamanian Residency and Citizenship
Although the Tribe can help guide you through the process, it is the responsibility of each Participant and visitor to ensure their legal stay in Panama.
For all foreigners who do not need Visas, a quick jaunt across the border to Costa Rica would ensure your legal stay within the country for 6 months. As a group we can organize such trips quarterly.
There are many ways to get a legitimate residency and citizenship and this will differ depending on your skills, experience and/or your income or savings. Please refer to http://visaspanama.com/english/index.html for Panamanian visa and residency information. As a community we may be able to help those enter and stay who cannot qualify on their own.