Leda Settlement was founded in 1999 through the effort and vision of Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon and a team of missionaries from Japan. The purpose of settling in this remote area were threefold: 1) To reclaim and area of land in which both God and humanity would cooperate to restart the world in accord to the Original Ideal of Creation. 2) Create in this pristine area a model village, one where humanity and the things of creation would find balance, harmony and the spirit of caring for the wider world. 3) The Leda Settlement according to its Founder Dr. Moon, “Will provide a model of hunger eradication that will be transferred to regions throughout the world.”
The Leda Settlement utilizes the cross-cultural exchange of ideas, creativity and the power of hard work and selfless service to create a pathway to sustainability. Developments made in aquaculture and agriculture and improvements provided to local communities by its residents are an expression of how a life dedicated to God and humanity can provide solutions to problems we face.
While the Leda Settlement covers an area larger than Greater Tokyo, much of that remains in its natural state and serves as a wildlife preserve for hundreds of varieties of birds, fish and mammals. The land that has been set aside for agriculture is currently being used for the raising of cattle, sheep, free range pigs, horses, a variety of tree plantations including the Neem tree, which has many ecological benefits.
While garden vegetables and crops are being grown, the main crop being harvested is the taro plant. This taro plant comes from Asia and is a potato-like vegetation high in nutritional value. The taro is rooted in water and is planted near vegetation that serves as a natural insect repellent. This style of growing maintains the environment.
River kelp and locally grown plants serve as a large part of the food resources for the animals being raised on the farm. Mulching is done from river vegetation to help revive the naturally saline soil.
The Leda Settlement is developing its economic foundation through raising cattle, pigs, sheep and horses. The free range pigs are raised with a unique technique developed in Leda. The ranching aspect of the settlement has been growing steadily each year.
The river and local water sources are one essential key to the healthy development of the Leda Settlement. As envisioned by the Leda Settlement Founder and its pioneers, the development of fish resources through fishponds and through insemination and incubation of fish is serving as an important model for food generation.
In partnership with the University of Asuncion, cutting-edge methods of fertilizing and raising fish fry have been adopted. Currently, 20 fishponds have been developed which hold fish at various stages of their development. Tens of thousands of healthy fish have been raised and then released into the Paraguay River. The additional fish added to the river have served to economically revive the lot of the indigenous fisherman in the area.
This attitude of giving back practiced in the Leda Settlement is essential for healthy sustainable development and has attracted high-level visitors, including the President of Paraguay who were interested in taking part in the periodic fish releases. In May 2015, Settlement workers carried out a release of 50,000 fish.
The Leda Settlement is acutely aware of the increasing importance of fish as the planet’s central food source. This is especially relevant inasmuch as water shortages are increasingly impacting the ability to raise cattle.
In Leda, numerous fish ponds have been created which yield fish and offer potential economic benefit. Yet, something more profound is happening here, that links the concept of sustainable development to a change of heart. Note that the release of 50,000 fish back to the sea offers actions that run counter to simple profit-making motivations. The settlers at Leda are willingly returning the fruit of their labor back to the sea. True and lasting sustainable development is only possible in the context of hearts willing to give back and not just receive.
This standard is important in developing a sustainable culture, one based on the recognition and practice of cooperation and a desire to spread a level of well-being to those in the larger community. Such efforts provide others with the opportunity to feed their families and secure an additional source of income.
Education and Training
The possibilities for development in the fields essential for hunger eradication are nearly limitless but having the wisdom and knowledge to make suitable decisions on ways to move forward require education and sharing with those knowledgable on the subject.
The Leda Settlement has partnered with the University of Asuncion in Paraguay in the field of aquaculture. As a result, Puerto Leda is now the most successful producer of farmed fish in the region. There has been ongoing research and field work aimed at finding suitable animal species and types of trees that help the environment. This process will continue and be expanded upon in the years ahead.