A Report on the Event held at
The Forum, AcuMedic Centre, 10th August 2013
A group of well-informed participants concerned with the ecological crisis facing our planet got together to discuss organic farming as the basis for solutions. Several interrelated social and environmental catastrophes will certainly descend upon our world should we carry on in the current direction of development. Intense discussion ensued after the presentations by Jadwiga Lapota and Sir Julian Rose on the crucial importance of organic farming and how it can be done.
Professor Man Fong Mei introduced the main topics of the discussion by going straight into highlighting the environmental alarm bells ringing in China and throughout the world. He described the problems of water, food and air pollution in China which have become an extremely expensive price for rapid development. The thirty-odd years of economic expansion since China’s ‘Open Door Policy’ was introduced have inflicted so much damage to the natural environment that it may take over a hundred years to repair. Now, the Chinese people are very much concerned with air and water quality and its impact on their health. The possible rejection of GMOs in the production of food is also a reaction to the food safety crisis that China is facing, as highlighted by the baby powder milk scandal.
It is hoped that, in order to resolve the immense crisis facing them, China will resort to a more enlightened civilisation as part of continued development of its traditional wisdom. In turn, the interrelated ramifications will affect the rest of the world. Now is a unique opportunity for China to show the world her 5,000 years of wisdom in the enlightenment of building a sustainable, balanced society.
Harmony amongst the nations can only be established through mutual respect and by observing mutual interests not just amongst ourselves but also in relation to nature. This concept is embodied in the classical Chinese philosophical notion of ‘Tian Ren He Yi’ meaning ‘Men and heaven are an inseparable one’.
During the discussion all participants contributed to a list of actions that must be taken in order for us to become a more sustainable society.
To sum up, the list of solutions that can change our world are: Target the decision makers, tell them about the crisis and what can be done; Adopt a multipronged approach in your environmental campaign – target not only the government but raise awareness and strive for change on the economic, cultural and societal levels. The environmental crisis in China and the reaction at some levels can be used as the example; Cut out food waste – buying (and throwing away) less food can lower the mass production and in turn alleviate the pressure on our planet’s resources; Get information about grassroots environmental campaigns (mainstream mass media does not provide this), visit local farmers’ markets to buy food and learn about their activities, attend meetings such as this one and organise similar meetings on a larger scale; Have a more basic, healthy lifestyle, grow your own vegetables, bake your own bread and eat real healthy food.
Professor Man Fong Mei is Executive Chairman, Advisory Committee for Working of World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Chairman of the Chinese Medical Institute and Register (CMIR,UK) and the Chinese Medical Council (CMC, UK). He is also the Clinical Director at AcuMedic.