Browse All Tribes or choose a Tribe below:
By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions
Already a PT member? Log In
Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google
By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions
Already a PT member? Log In
Don't have an account? Sign Up
To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.
07 42 777 88 79 Property researcher & collaborative sourcing assistant - consultancy & mentorship at times, by request First Finders (residential & commercial land & property: UK, & abroad) Wessex Property Management Services (facilitation & advisory service for property owners) Golden Gate Gardens (specialist garden and landscape design service)
Hi Brian, I am not sure I can answer the question of the 'perceived need' - but the people I am partnering are open to any ideas / technologies that would still be feasible in terms of pricing and the local reality, with the two or three off plan developments that they have in mind and where the land is already bought. However I will have to present possibilities that would make sense there and make introductions etc, and there is the same problem as anywhere else with finding the funding - although a good amount can be found in the country itself or neighbouring countries or countries like South Korea who has totally cottoned on to the potentials of kurdistan and are not letting any grass grow over the windows of opportunity, there is still lots of scope for joint ventures or loans, etc.Does that mean that regionally there is a perceived need at this moment, I am not sure - the first 40 billion barrels of oil extracted from the Kurdish soil in these governorates (I am not talking about Kirkuk or the rest of Iraq, I am talking about the new reserves found at the north of this) are been exported through the pipelines in May, and the man in the street might be putting their hopes more on this than on other things, however they also are aware that a lot of this is going to the multinational companies, and that they will need to share the oil revenues with the whole of Iraq (and vice versa!), and the question is how much will all this benefit the local people.But when it comes to buying their own home from a developer who has foreseen this and made it stack up, then people will cotton on quickly. The Americans have already build a few gated communities in the capital and they are sought after - the same for some other gated communities. However, other people wish to develop in a way that is more community friendly, and the boom of individual luxury homes tells you that the man in the street perceives the country as safe (in stark contrast when I went to Kurdistan end 1991 and naively asked a few peshmergas or sentinels on top of a mountain, why they needed to be seven to guard this whilst they let their women and children do all the work in the valley - and one man answered me 'What would you do if you had to re-build your house about three times in ten years, as the army keeps destroying it, I prefer to wait now until I am sure that it won't be in vain!! " (Oh the lessons we learn in life, I was rightly humbled !)There are irrigation projects in some areas of Iraqi Kurdistan going on. There are also big water reservoirs which allow for about 16 electricity supply out of 24 hours for the moment (they have I think the same problem as Istanbul where the rate of teh growth of the city is so fast, that in the nineties there were odd power cuts every day in Istanbul according to friends with whom I stayed at that time. There are also a lot of the intellegentia, under whom a large number of engineers and architects, etc, who are returning from a worldwide Kurdish diaspora, and obiously Iraq had been very rich and prosperous and a number of people well educated thirty years ago, before and even into the Saddam era . - which lead me to believe that there are individual projects and individual interests into green energy. One of my in-laws constructed a swimming pool in what he calls his mountain 'ranch' that is sourced from a spring (which was pumped I think), that then sources the orchards on the lower level - very simple method but very very effective, but he had the capital to do this to start with.But the 'villages' that are build are sometimes conspiciuous by a lack of green energy, where it would IMHO be so easy to factor that in. However, in view that 90% of all Iraqi Kurdish villlages (habitats, infrastructure and any form of orchards, spring or animals) were completely destroyed by Saddam in the late eighties- early nineties in his anfal program, and that they have had 10 years of a double economic embargo (from the world on Bagdad, and from Bagdad on them) up until 2003 and that they still managed in the past 18 years to rebuild 65% of these villages, expand their cities five fold and build five new universities, hospitals, etc etc... this might be understandable. Also, people got government grants to build their own home back up, which enabled so much been rebuild, but where within the context, there was no time or money to look furtehr than building the necessary accommodation.What makes me optimisitic and believe that it is the right time to promote new technologies, is that the Kurdish regional government has in the past two years realised that not only do they need to increase their transparency, but they need to get a change in their own people's attitudes with regard to a number of things, and they are doing a lot of things to succeed this, no longer concentrating only on the very rich only, if that might have been perceived as been the case before. For instance, there is a push to change the attitude of wanting instant access to all the shiny packed foods, etc. (understandable when your area is kept behind but you have the education to understand what is out there and what is on offer), to promote investment and joint ventures in their agiculture (with 3 crops in one year, surely worth doing!!) and to promote or conserve the largely organically produced food products in the region. There is also a push to promote the entrepreneurial and independent spirit by all size kind of business, to invest in education and research (now there are 7 universities instead of 2 in 1991 - students get large grants to study), to build up the infrastrucutre for tourism (one small mountain town had 150,000 tourists in one town for the last three summer months from the south of Iraq alone) - the latter allowing the cross fertilisation of ideas between people, and the local economy in more remote mountain villages, and to promote their cultural heritage. (By the way the information I am giving here, is what I understand to be the case from reading up regularly on things in Kurdistan, what I am hearing through my partner and friends, and what I have seen there. if there is a factual mistake somewhere, then that would be entirely my own.)Transgressing a bit - It's funny that they had to promote the entrepreneurship as the Kurdish mentality was always fiercely independent, but 20 to 30 year under Saddam had an effect on people, due to Saddam centralising everything, from the wage of the local teacher to enrolling local farmers in park maintenance in the cities when they had less work, and due to his reign of teroor, working out how every person in the community could be bought or blackmailed into giving information. When the Kurds went solo in 1991 in the no fly zone, Bagdad cut off all wages for the teachers, civil cervants, municipalities, etc... - can you imagine this happening here, and then a double embargo? just to show their resilience as a people and a region, and this is not only because I am married to one of them.Despite the headlines of Iraq, there has been political stability and it is safe for westerners to walk in the streets of Arbil or Sulaimaniyah (no soldier or civilian has been killed in the three northern governorates of the Iraqi Kurdish region, but it also has to be said that their security police has been very effective ion pre-empting any Al Qaeda attacks, their internal intelligence is likened with the Israeli security forces by some american journalists). There are Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, USA and many other nationalities teaching English there to university and other students. I know of a German woman who has opened a nursery in Dohuk and is living there in the last ten years. There is a sizeable western community, who are working with the Kurdistan Region Government and the planes to Erbil seem always full, with the number of investors and people who want to explore the opportunities increasing every time I go. The area is positively booming, I could not come out of my hotel without putting one foot after the other on a building site when I was in Erbil and Suleimaniyah a year ago . I think it is now the time through small scale projects to really get in there with these technologies. as the worst of the emergency housing crisis is over (in terms of whole extended familes not having anywhere to go to, this is no longer the case in the last three or four years I believe . I don't want to deny that there is still a huge need, but besides this there is also a young population that is modernising very rapidly, and in the cities most young couples all aspire to live in their own home rather than in the extended family, - as such the housing demand is not going to dry up very soon.Hving sketched the context, (did not know how to give you a proper answer otherwise) I am quite confident that this is the right time to enable green energies to get a foothold there and that there is a huge opportunity . I am quite confident that by giving my partners in Kurdistan the breakdown on how it would make sense and if the starting costs stack up, they will consider it in the small scale development they want to do. And from having observed it in other countries, once the benefits of this type of technology and green energy can be demonstrated in small scale developments in key areas in the country, then the media there will do the rest ( a bit like having your new development on london news hour on tv, that runs for five hours a day rather than half an hour), and there could be a snowball effect - especially because word of mouth in some ways appears to run much faster there than here, possibly because they spend so much time networking..there is also the opportunity of course to distribute some of these in joint ventures, but it would have to be something that has that first foot print there of being energy and cost effective.So which kind of technologies? When I said I wanted to learn about it more, is because it is really a matter of seeing what would be cost effective and really working there. Most of the region is mountaineous, a lot of rivers but also whole areas where there is no river nearby, the big cities except two are in the planes, and it is mostly sunny - think Turkey, Greece and Syria in terms of its geographic layout. Extremely fertile agricultural land in some planes in the mountains, but very dry in the planes, except just around the rivers.Because all new houses (residences or holiday homes) are heated with electricity only (no gas), as well as cooking, air conditioners, lighting, etc.. and because there are still electricity generators build to complement the electricity provided by the state (about 2/3 of what is needed, ie. 16 in 24 hours) I would be looking at this moment at electricty producing and electricity saving technologies - and cost effectiveness with electric heaters, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, possibly wind turbines (but unsure they make sense in the region I am thinking of), and solar panels. . possibly solar panels but the prices these are sold at puts people off buying them / I suppose there is also the question of trransport, but I understand that China has put up new developments that are totally green ecology, so there must be a way around that. Furthermore anything to make generators more efficient.Can I ask where your interest in this stems from? And can you steer me a bit further in this, I am reading the website <"https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generate-your-own-energy" - but that is more the theory I suppose, and it is a question of finding out what really work for what. I will take contact with them in the near future, but still have to finish work in my 'previous jobs' before I fully can concentrate on this. The village or little town in Somerset, was it not owned by the Charles? , that is a totally green experiment, might be a good thing to visit too at one time. In the meanwhile I am all ear as to what other people can tell me about products that they know.I heard that the electric infrared heaters do save an enormous amount of electricity, although they are expensive to install. Friends of mine gave me the next figure to compare: a one bedroom flat occuppied by two people, where the heating was on 24/7, and lots of cooking and showers, came down to £50 per month. i don't know how well insulated, what type of building, etc.. but that seemed very good to me. And there is a claim that this infra red heating is also beneficial for people's health, in terms of aches and pains, etc. .. Anyone more info about this?Anne
Brian, permaculture is fascinating - and linking in with the biological gardening I did when I was in my twenties, but in a much more wholesome way - I am definitely a fan!. One of the first videos on you tube immediately showed me concrete solutions for problems over there, i.e. the trench (had other name, but forgotten the name for it) to soak up water behind the tree on a terrace (very useful for orchards in mountaineous areas where they had draughts two summers ago) - fantastic!! But disaster struck in the middle of avidly going through the videos, when the sound stopped on the you tube videos- arggh, technology ! So I will have to see whether I can remediate that problem before i can look further at the multitude of links you gave me - the beauty is that each of these links throws up a whole array of other links of course. Thank you very much and I will take you up on your kind offer, although it might be not immediately because I am having to finish a contract that will take all my time, but surely in one or two months time. Kind regards,Anne.
Hi Brian, A lot to take in - but what you say is so true: ' it is fundamentally unsound for impoverished people to rely on regionally-supplied technological solutions (including energy supply) ' - however if the councils in Kurdistan might see an indirect benefit in terms of tourism, draught solutions, fire pevention, etc.. - they might opt for these solutions.Yes there is still organic farming in Kurdistan, but the Anfal campaign from Saddam on the Kurdish provinces included the destruction of the environment - most of the trees were gone when we went end 1991. There are massive tree planting schemes going on, but in the scheme of things, that is more in some areas than in others - you now can see tall trees on those slopes where there was landslide danger, which is where they started effectively.There are a number of countries who have cottoned on to the 'organic foods' industry, and therefore insured that their farms don't move over to the use of pesticides, etc. I know for sure about Bulgaria (my son's girlfriend is Bulgarian and as such i have direct links there) and similarly for Poland and a number of other East European countries ( an acquaintance in Belgium started a travel business with as niche farmhouses which provided organic food and cooking, and bed and breakfast out there) - but I am not sure on what scale it is there.That brought me to the question as to whether your kind of expertise and perma culture is well-known in planning departments and agricultural engineer circles, and how wide spread this knowledge is. Is it a standard part of their study programs or not, and since when? Obviously there are studies how to regain land from deserts in Africa, Australia and the Middle East, but I wonder how well-known those techniques for the mountain areas are.Your example of the Portugal landowner project is truly inspiring. I also was reading the blog on feng shui in villages and towns - if there is any truth in this, then water streaming through communities is always an added bonus. It reminded me that I always tried to find a holiday place for the family where there was a stream, however small, even when if we had a seaside holiday - as it often provided so much more for the family to do and provided the coolness you need in the summer (nothing more invigorating than a paddle in the stream for tired feet). Those were always our most successful holidays, in terms of everyone in the family having had a lot of fun (different ages in the children, also adults with very different tastes) and in terms of everyone not minding to do another holiday in the same spot. So, I can very well see what you are saying in terms of the recreational and tourism benefits of building small reservoirs at the top of the mountain/hill - the horticultural and agricultural benefits are obvious.Nikola Tesla... no, i haven't heard of his name, because as I said it has been a while since I have read up on all this. I remember in the nineties going to Orlando and seeing experiments where they were growing seaweed and other foods on airbags, unfortunately there was no literature about it, and I did not know in how far this was biological, and I had small kids at the time who needed attention, so had to move on!! But what an invention, to be able to extract latent electricity from the atmosphere - surely if he had been working for a university in some countries in the 'underdeveloped' world, it might have been a different story in terms of furthering this research, as it might have made them less dependent on the technologies of the 'west' and therefore give them some way out of their crippling debts to the world bank.I will read up further - in my 'tea breaks' !!- and definitely will want to your offer up to link further in.Thanks,Anne