Inaugural Meeting of the World Sustainable Agriculture Association | September 1991
Saving the Earth and Protecting Our Environment have become universal watchwords. The benevolent Earth has provided us with its manifold blessings of pure water, clean air and nurturing soil for untold generations. However as we head towards the 21st Century, we
find the Earth in a sad state of unbalance, largely due to damage inflicted by man since the Industrial Revolution.
Agriculture, providing the staff of life, was intended as a natural way for human beings to insure the supply of adequate nourishment. Today most of our modern agriculture methods pollute the water, air and soil. Our food brings toxins as well as nutrients into our systems.
Now we must adapt our agriculture to the sustainable course in order to preserve our environment, our health and well-being. Organic farmers, Nature Farmers, Biodynamic or Regenerative farmers, regardless of nomenclature, must unite with those concerned with the future of our planet. The World Sustainable Agriculture Association invites your active participation to create a better future for the Earth.
Goals of the World Sustainable Agriculture Association
Modern agriculture has made great achievements in agricultural science and technology utilizing new inventions and innovations. We have succeeded in harvesting an abundance from nature, thereby insuring for many an increasing quality of life. However, many of the current methods of food, fiber and feed production practiced in the world harm the environment, impair human health and destroy the economic and social well-being of rural communities. Sustainable farming and food-handling systems are available to correct these de- ficiencies. Our group of internationally-minded individuals and organizations, highly concerned about the preservation of harmony between man and nature, transcending their respective nationalities and religious creeds, has resolved to establish the World Sustainable Agriculture Association, with the following goals:
1. Global development and dissemination of scientific and technical information that will facilitate broad support for, and adoption of, sustainable agricultural practices and systems — among producers, consumers, policy makers, economic planners, health professionals, and environmental organizations throughout the world.
2. Strengthen and sustain research and education activities with various organizations to promote sustainable agriculture and protect the environment. Encourage the establishment of research and demonstration projects on operating farms in sustainable agriculture in each participating country.
3. Enhance the work of existing and newly emerging organizations, agencies, and institutions in improving the exchange of practical and scientific information for farmers seeking specific techniques and farming systems they can use to significantly reduce their dependence on ecologically harmful chemical compounds and non-renewable resources.
4. Facilitate the exchange of production and marketing information in farmer – useable form, to increase the economic viability of sustainable farming systems.
5. Promote information exchange on farm policy issues among policy makers on ways to encourage development and adoption of sustainable food and fiber production systems.
6. Form a cooperative endeavor of organizations and individuals committed to these goals, to accelerate and amplify the education, research, and policy activities of many nations, so that an ever-increasing share of the world’s food supply will be produced with methods that are safe to consumers and farm workers, and environmentally friendly.
Former Prime Minister of Japan, President, The America- Japan Society, Inc. Honorary Advisor, Pacific Culture Center
I wish to extend my congratulations to all of you on this momentous occasion — the inauguration of the World Sustainable Agricultural Association (WSAA).
It is my understanding that only last year, during the International Conference on Sustainable Agriculture held in Maui (under the sponsorship of the Hawaii MOA), the distinguished delegates first established a preparatory committee to organize groups worldwide dedicated to the promotion of sustainable agriculture. Now, less than one year since that conference, it is indeed admirable, if not remarkable, that a truly global organization is being launched with the full cooperation of notable public and private groups from many nations.
Today, more than ever before in the history of mankind, there is international consensus over the urgent need to preserve the fragile ecosystem of our planet earth. The growing wisdom of concerned leaders, imbued with an increased understanding and appreciation of the ecol- ogy, will assure the worldwide promotion of sustainable agriculture. As a result, I believe that the policies of WSAA — operating within the context of environmental protection – will be universally accepted and implemented as we move steadily toward a new global era.
Such progress, however, would be impossible without the extraordinary dedication of MOA members who have, for over 50 years, faithfully followed the inspired teachings of Mokichi Okada, the courageous pioneer who dedicated his own life to the preservation of the environment for the benefit of mankind. Through the combined efforts of MOA, various national leaders, and prominent academic authorities, a new international organization has been created. This is indeed a noteworthy achievement.
If we, as nations, can conscientiously share our collective wisdom and experience concerning ecological issues, there is no question that environmental problems caused by current agricultural methods can be addressed and re- solved. I pray for continued goodwill among nations as your organization seeks to attract sponsors and increase worldwide membership.
It is altogether fitting and proper that the World Sustainable Agricultural Association be inaugurated here at the United Nations Headquarters, the enduring symbol of world unity and cooperation. Once again, I congratulate all of you for your memorable achievement.
I would like to congratulate you on the inauguration of the World Sustainable Agriculture Association.
In recent years, various environmental problems, for example the increase in the Earth’s temperature, the destruction of tropical forests and the encroachment of fertile lands by the desert have become more and more critical, requiring urgent measures for their solution.
In japan, there is a growing concern about food safety among citizens, and public opinion supports a shift in agricultural methods from one heavily dependent on synthetic fertilizers and chemicals to environmentally safe, sustainable methods. It is significant that in April 1991, 173 Japanese congressmen belonging to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, supporting the philosophy of Mokichi Okada, founder of MOA, formed the MOA Diet Federation for the Protection of Food, Agriculture and the Environment. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has allocated funds for the research and development of ecologically sound, sustainable agriculture, such as Nature Farming, in fiscal year 1991.
I believe that it is now of crucial importance for food producers to shift to sustainable agriculture, in the interest of soil productivity and economic viability.
I am very pleased to witness the global cooperation in the movement for sustainable agriculture as advocated by the WSAA. I sincerely hope that the Association extends its activities in the protection of human welfare, guiding this beautiful earth towards the 21st Century.
The establishment of the World Sustainable Agriculture Association (WSSA) is an important accomplishment. The Secretary of Agriculture and Water Resources of Mexico congratulates the organizers for making the Association possible.
The Government of Mexico favors close cooperation with organizations, individuals, and governments beyond its natural geographic borders. International transfers of technology and scientific information that can provide more efficient systems of agriculture to fulfill the needs of Mexico’s growing population are part of the government’s continuing developmental efforts.
The maintenance of a consistent and important research program to increase productivity and decrease costs benefits food producers and aims at maintaining self- sufficiency in food while also taking into consideration the environmental impact of agricultural policies. Exchange of information on these policies in order to stimulate agricultural development without hurting the environment is vitally important to Mexico. Therefore, we congratulate you, and through this message would like to support the growth of the organization that you have now inaugurated so that sustainable agricultural practices may become permanently established for all governments and food producers on our planet.
Chairman World Sustainable Agriculture Association President, MOA Japan Advisor, Pacific Culture Center
Facing the dawn of the 21st century, it is with great pleasure that we inaugurate the World Sustainable Agriculture Association, dedicated to the international promotion of environmentally sustainable agricultural policies.
Current agricultural methods are destroying the natural environment from which our sustenance depends, thereby disturbing the economic and social order and, ultimately, threatening our very existence.
At the same time there is a constant need to meet the growing food demands of the world population.
To address this challenge, the alternative method of “sustainable agriculture” based on the values of respect for and harmony with nature must be explored and developed. Those individuals and organizations who have worked patiently over long hours toward this noble objective are gathered today to launch a new campaign reflecting their collective wisdom and integrity.
Given your busy schedules, we are grateful for your participation and attendance. We look forward to your continued cooperation and support as our organization sponsors additional activities in the future. Your kindness is deeply appreciated.
President, World Sustainable Agriculture Association Executive Director, Research Corporation of Hawaii Advisor, Pacific Culture Center
The inauguration of the World Sustainable Agriculture Association represents the culmination of the effort of many people from more than a dozen countries. We are drawn together by two overriding concerns that we share:
First, the heavy dependence that modern agriculture places on usage of chemicals which have proven and suspected harmful effects on the health of those who consume the products, and
Second, the cumulative long term harmful effects that the use of these chemicals and methods have on our environment, which places the well- being of future generations at jeopardy.
There are contradictory and multi-faceted demands that need to be met to solve the short and long term problems of producing sufficient health-giving foods to meet world demand while restoring and preserving the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. There are no easy or simple answers, but encouraging progress is being made by far-sighted pioneers and organizations to find alternative ways to grow food that harmonize man’s efforts with the way of nature.
WSAA pledges to work with all who share our goals and welcome all who would like to join our effort.
In October, 1990, the tropical island of Maui served as the meeting site for the International Conference on Agriculture for the 21st Century: Toward Sustainable Agriculture for the Pacific Rim Nations. Enthusiastic farmers from Hawaii, the Mainland and various countries attended to share information with scientists and policy makers on sustainable agriculture practices. During the meeting, delegates from six nations sought to expand the network from the Pacific community to a world-wide endeavor. The seed that would grow to the World Sustainable Agriculture Association was planted here.
In June, 1991 leaders in the sustainable agriculture movement from eleven nations gathered in Atami, Japan, in order to form a new international association. This preparatory meeting included tours of MOA Nature Farming facilities which are run by the Nature Farming International Research Foundation. During their deliberations, the statement of purpose and goals of the new organization were drafted. Today, September 6, 1991, we are gathered at the United Nations, New York, to inaugurate the World Sustainable Agriculture Association.
INAUGURAL MEETING World Sustainable Agriculture Association
United Nations Headquarters New York, N.Y.
Sponsor MOA Foundation
Supporting Groups: U. S. Department of Agriculture / Agriculture Canada / Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mexico / Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Taiwan /U.S. Environmental Protection Agency /Ministry of Education, Thailand / FINER Brazil / Rodale Institute / Organic Foods Production Association of North America / Center for Science in the Public Interest / International Foundation of Natural Ecology, Taiwan / Nature Farming /International Research Foundation. Japan / International Holistic Health Association, India / Pacific Culture Center / United Nations Environment Programme