Background of NASCA


What is sustainable production
and consumption?

Regional Resources

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International Coalition for
Sustainable Production
and Consumption


North American countries have been slower than their overseas counterparts to address current consumption patterns as a serious environmental issue.?Prior to 2001, a formidable challenge to the promotion of sustainable consumption in North America was the lack of a formal mechanism to facilitate collaboration and the exchange of information among the three countries.? Although Canada, the United States, and Mexico exhibit differences in their consumption patterns, all three economies are closely linked under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the environmental impacts associated with free trade do not respect political boundaries.?

In early 2001, the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) approached key promoters of sustainable consumption initiatives in North America to gauge their interest in developing a sustainable consumption network in North America.?The idea was to catalyze a network or alliance that would enable organizations to learn about innovative approaches and successful pilot programs more efficiently, work together to reach larger audiences more effectively, reduce the likelihood of project redundancy or duplication, and amplify their power to drive the implementation of initiatives at the local and regional levels.?UML sought to involve a broad spectrum of organizations from the public and non-profit sectors, ranging from groups that engage in grassroots organizing and household education to institutes that research the public policy or economic aspects of consumption.?The individuals and organizations contacted by UML affirmed the need for greater communication and collaboration and indicated their eagerness to begin addressing ways to work together better as a community.?/span>

For more, see: “Building Synergy for Sustainable Consumption: The Development of a North American Sustainable Consumption Alliance?/a> [PDF] or the NASCA meeting proceedings reports.

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