Our Mail Missions
EPF is founded on three major divisions of our mission. Two of the divisions, Environment and Food, are affiliated with our subsidiary non-profit organizations, the Environmental Protection Rice Network and Asaichi-yuichi Network or Farmers' Market Network. Both headquarters are in the same office as EPF.
In conjunction with the presiding Environmental Protection Rice Network, our affiliate non-profit organization, certified by the government, we have been encouraging our local farmers to produce agricultural products in environmentally friendly ways; we have set up the farming criteria that farmers can follow so as to produce either high-quality chemical-free or organic types of rice. According to the criteria, our 150 farmer/members have been producing "Kankyo-hozen Mai" or "environmental protection rice" statewide. We also publish a monthly newsletter, the "Komenet" or the Ricenet to link between farmers and consumers. The bulletin is delivered to 350 individuals and organizations. The letter mainly contains reports on environmental-friendly farming, environmental protection advocacy locally, nationwide, and worldwide. We, furthermore, preside over such festivals as harvesting the high-quality rice jointly with consumers including local kids.
Harvesting the Environmentally-friendly Rice
In this project, we have been engaged in international cooperation, especially for sustainable development, and to promote environmental education; we have networked with other NGOs in Japan and abroad. EPF has provided information on desertification issues in Asia with Japanese citizens with assistance to the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Our members have participated in various environmental seminars and excursions; our executive director has taken part in the UNCCD's world conventions in Hyderabad (1996) and in Beijing (1997), and a UNCCD Asian Focal Points session this year in Bangkok.
Discussion with Mr. Maurice Strong, March 2000
We have hosted seminars on sustainable development in developing nations, inviting experts on the field from Japan and overseas. We also hold meetings with other NGOs to exchange ideas and co-host environmental events.
With an affiliate, Farmers' Market Network, we have assisted in holding farmers' markets. It is our view that to protect the regional environment, consumers need to help farmers. We have had five years of history in which we have the farmers' markets in the center of Sendai on a monthly basis. A lot of farmers from statewide and even from other parts of the Tohoku District get together in a park in central Sendai, and share their products with the local consumers. We are also focusing these days on the recycling of trash for organic food production using discarded food scraps and refuse as fertilizer.
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