Opportunities with Sustainable Philippines-Aquaponics School in Panglao, Philippines.

I first met Rob Simpson in San Francisco ten years ago, he is one of the most wonderful people I have lived with in a community and collaborated with. I was first impressed with his work when I learned about his pioneering innovative technique in sustainability when he told me about his tree transplanting project which enabled a full grown tree to be dug up and transplanted to a new location instead of cutting it down, this means he was responsible for saving and transplanting lots of trees in California that would have otherwise been chopped down to make way for construction or  building developments. Nowadays, Rob is living in the Philippines working on an amazing aquaponics project to help the local farming community. He has opened up a public aquaponics garden and hands on teaching center, and is inviting anyone interested to come and participate, study or teach.

Rob discusses his project called ”Sustainable Philippines” which promotes sustainability by sharing options under which humans and nature can co-exist together in a harmonious relationship-

”Imagine a building that produces all the food requirements for the people in a building, that is producing everyday fresh food.

I put the buildings above fish ponds and stocked the ponds with thousands of edible fish. Next, I will put a greenhouse on the roof to grow vegetables. I use the water from the fish to irrigate the plants in a closed loop aquaponics system.

The symbiotic relationship allows the plants to use the fertilizer from the fish excrement and return the clean water to the fish. Therefore, I use 95% less water than ground irrigation. The greenhouse and plants also shade the building, keeping it cooler in this tropical paradise of Panglao, in the Philippines. The system is designed to be so efficient that it means I am using the same space 3 times. Once for the fish underneath, then for people in their accomodation, then for the plants on the roof.


I have built mostly from recycled and  locally sourced materials. The buildings are based upon recycled shipping containers. They are highly insulated and shaded from the sun. My goal is to use zero outside energy. We use solar power for both water and electricity. All lighting is energy efficient LED’s. The waste water piping was built so that grey water from the sinks and showers goes to the garden and black water will go to a biodigester to make energy.

All rain water is poised to be retained and used for beneficial purposes. With my design I am demonstrating that, even in 100 square meters/ 1000 square feet, People can house and feed their families with little impact on the environment. If you can eat from your house, it can help you survive and thrive, even in times of crisis. This project is intended to host a sustainability teaching institute to share technologies and methods from around the world. We can increase our ability to live and eat on this planet without damaging it. This project needs more minds, hearts and hands. Please come and teach/learn/help and collaborate. Thank you

You can contact Rob Simpson here

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