Integrated Planning and Management of Land ResourcesFAOCSDUNEP
World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa 2002

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Message 48

Subject: Message 48 - Intervention by Neil Sorensen on Questions 5 and 6 Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 18:24:16 +0100 From: RIO10-Moderator To: "'RIO10-L@mailserv.fao.org'" On Question 5 Although not yet well developed at national and international levels, there are some very positive examples of integrated natural resources use at local levels relating to municipal composting and urban agriculture - two fundamental aspects of achieving sustainable resource and land use management. Municipal composting requires very little additional financial capacity, and existing equipment and state owned land could be utilized to facilitate program implementation. None of the examples I provide holistically or completely compost all biodegradable waste from all available sources, but evidence suggests that around 2/3 of all municipal solid waste could be used as compost. Imagine if the table scraps, coffee grounds and restaurant waste from all major cities were composted. Currently, municipal waste is either burned or buried in landfills with all sorts of waste. We need to recapture the nutrients of our current consumption patterns and supplant the need for petrochemicals by creating an abundant and inexpensive source of fertilizer for farmers and gardeners. Together with multifunctional and urban agriculture, a good share of the environmental devastation being caused by industrial agriculture could be halted in a relatively short time. With a concerted effort, any state, municipality or nation should be able to find some land and reallocate a portion of the waste management resources to composting programs. The only problem is getting individuals and businesses to comply or even understand why it is they should start separating orange rinds from wax-coated cardboard after and entire lifetime of not thinking about it. Composting program at University of Michigan, Anne Arbor http://www.p2000.umich.edu/grounds_waste/gw4.htm Case Study of Composting Program in Thailand http://www.duced-iua.dk/network/Project%20Proposals/EMWC.htm New Hampshire Environmental fact sheet on composting http://www.des.state.nh.us/factsheets/sw/sw-3.htm Wastewater composting in Albuquerque http://www.cabq.gov/wastewater/compost.html Municipal Windrow Composting in Laem Chabang, Thailand http://ciet.buu.ac.th/CIET305/Compost.htm City Farmer http://www.cityfarmer.org/ On Question 6 I think the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is the best example of a diverse constituency working together to create technical standards and policies that in a very practical sense positively influence SARD. They have a very democratic structure and make a serious effort to include the perspectives of all members in their policies and the organic standards. (www.ifoam.org ) I will send in a draft copy of I-GO, which is IFOAM's plan to advance organic agriculture over the next four years. They are looking for additional funds to support their activities, and they use them in a very effective and practical way. Neil Sorensen, Program Assistant for International Programs Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

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