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Sustainable Consumption
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Supporting Sustainable Consumption and Production through Natural Agriculture

As an NGO with consultative status with ECOSOC, Shumei has been a regular participant in the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). This year the 18th cycle of the CSD was held at UN Headquarters in New York City from 3 to 14 May 2010. One of the key thematic issues in this review session was the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Patterns.
Sustainable Consumption and Production is an integral part of the Shumei philosophy, which is based on a fundamental respect for nature and a strong desire to balance the material and the spiritual aspects of life. Natural Agriculture is considered to be more than an approach to farming -- it is a way of life in harmony with nature.
The challenge facing our global community is that the more developed a country becomes, the larger their carbon footprint becomes. Current patterns of consumption and production have breached ecological limits and the planet cannot sustain this level of human activity and use of its finite resources.
Many of the delegates attending CSD-18 said that the goal of sustainable consumption and production is to ‘decouple’ economic growth with environmental degradation. We cannot continue with “business as usual” and the desired change can be found through implementing the three Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  However, we are in a dilemma because many people do not want to sacrifice their quality of life or their opportunities for growth and development.
As part of the UN Marrakesh Process to elaborate on the development of a 10-year framework, task forces were established to explore opportunities, best practices and implement projects to advance the transition to more sustainable consumption and production patterns. The Task Force on Education for Sustainable Consumption led by Italy and the Task Force on Sustainable Lifestyles led by Sweden directly address this dilemma through our relationship with the natural environment and our lifestyle choices and its impact on the environment. Food is essential to life and it is a center piece for sustainable consumption and sustainable lifestyles.
Food production and distribution is one of the highest contributors to CO2-emissions. For the average person, their food choices account for more greenhouse gas emissions than their international travel. As consumers, we have a significant role to play in reducing carbon emissions and encouraging green economies. The food we eat matters. It not only impacts our health, but our environment as well. Our approach to nature and agriculture can help us to see this much clearer.
Natural Agriculture is a lifestyle that teaches us to listen to the wisdom of nature. Through our work through the world from Africa and Asia to Europe, Latin America and North America, we have learned that farming culture will be different and the agricultural and environmental needs, challenges and motivations will vary. However, Natural Agriculture encourages us to build a relationship with the environment and return to a life that is more in tune with nature. It enables farmers and consumers to significantly reduce their carbon footprint by eschewing the use of all additives in the growing process, such as fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals and manure. It encourages the use and saving of indigenous seeds, respecting the biodiversity of the land and following the natural growing seasons. These are extremely important practices that perpetuate a natural model of consumption and production.
Behavior change begins with creating a shift in consciousness. There is great value in helping people to reconnect with nature. We have seen this happen when consumers understand where their food comes from and how it is being grown, when they participate in consumer-supported agriculture programs or Farm to School programs.
Our global community needs to make a major shift in the way we consume and produce food. Although governments and industry leaders are focusing on green policies and technologies, a change in individual behavior is essential now. As global citizens, we can make wiser lifestyle choices to help build a greener economy and a more sustainable future for our families and our planet.
The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Patterns
Food We Eat Matters

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  shumei natural agriculture   Guidelines for Peaceful Living —
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  Farming to Create Heaven on Earth  
  shumei natural agriculture   Lisa Hamilton.
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shueim natural agriculture