the ecosystem: a complex mix of simple processes

It seems that biodiversity is the engine that drives our ecosystem and that the primary fuel it uses is sunshine. National economies depend on sunshine: timber, meat, milk, cereals, honey, natural medicines, bush tucker, the list goes on...


Biodiversity includes a diversity of species, a diversity of age and genetics within each group of a species, the way in which groups of species are distributed, the mass, volume or numbers involved, inter-species relations and much, much more.


The job of agriculture is to tap solar energy using green leaves and then package it in the form of a primary product (plant or animal). This process is affectionately known as "sunlight harvesting". It is a complex process to create new wealth, but when we do it right the job is simple. Land management is therefore all about energy-capture and energy-budgeting. It is working with nature towards the return of a healthy, productive “solar economy”.

upper level management

As humans we are the custodians of the planet. Being at the top end of the energy-pyramid, we hold the key to managing the ecosystem: We influence all biological activity on the planet.

middle level management

Large animals. By the way in which these animals behave, they can dramatically impact biodiversity in either an enhancing or in a destructive manner.

lower level management

Plants control what happens under the ground by the way in which they release energy they capture on a daily basis. They also do a whole lot more.

the workers (micro-organisms)

The little 'beasties' above and below the ground and in the water. The information age tells us there should be over 600 million organisms representing over 15'000 different species in one gram of healthy soil alone. No land manager will know what they all do. However we do not need science degrees to know that if they are not there, they cannot do their job. (This is of course a simplification, but it may help get the picture across.)

the "nuts & bolts"

Healthy soil ...

                                      ... healthy profits

  • Stockmanship: managing and influencing herbivore-behaviour (point of influence)
  • Grassfarming: drawing down atmospheric carbon / increasing photosynthetic activity (= key!)
  • Soilbuilding: rebuilding and filling “carbon-accounts” in/on our soils (area of maximum impact)
  • Rainfallmanagement:* rehydration of soils, replenishing of ground-water and aquifers, and other beneficial flow-on effects…
  • Climate: how we experience the interaction of the simple, but complex processes listed above
  • Climate Stability: A result we aim for by rebuilding the buffering capacity of biology within the ecosystem processes.  

*Note: Rainfallmanagement is a result of stockmanship, grassfarming and soilbuilding!

more information

Is This Snake-Oil? - Article by Chris Henggeler, Kachana Pastoral Company