KUALA LUMPUR – NATCCO Chairperson Corazon Montallana urged co-op leaders all over Asia to integrate climate solutions in co-op operations and instill climate action in the culture of their co-op members.
Speaking at the Co-op to Co-op Trade & Business Conference on August 22 to 23 attended by co-op federation leaders from all over Asia, Montallana said: “I stand before you today to highlight the pivotal role that cooperatives play in fostering the development of communities through sustainable forestry practices as a response to climate action while it epitomizes the essence of community collaboration.”
The meeting was hosted by the Malaysian National Cooperative Movement-ANGKASA, and attended by members of the Board of Directors, officers and members of the International Cooperative Alliance in Asia and the Pacific.
She highlighted NATCCO’s “exemplification of the cooperative mission, the ability to pool resources, share knowledge and implement climate action programs focusing on trainings, waste management and sustainable forestry practices that preserve biodiversity, mitigate climate change and ensure the long-term health of ecosystems.”
NATCCO has an Advocacy Unit dedicated solely to enabling co-ops to practice and push advocacies like Gender & Development, Overseas Filipino membership in co-operatives, Youth Leadership Development, and Climate Action, which only began in 2020.
While the Cooperative Development Authority requires all co-ops to engage in tree-planting every year, NATCCO, she said the NATCCO Network has gone beyond.
The ICA-AP invited choice federations from all over Asia to participate in a workshop in Bangkok in November 2019.
One of the resolutions was to integrate the “Sixth C of Credit” in co-op operations and culture, which is “Climate Action”
The Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (AACCU) drafted ‘Business Solutions 26’ and introduced it to Asian co-op leaders online in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
The NATCCO Advocacy Unit lost no time, and conducted webinars on Business Solutions 26 in the following months. Since then, NATCCO has trained 420 cooperators from 140 cooperatives across countries.
NATCCO launched the Green Co-op Award in 2022 based on the compliance of co-ops to the Green Co-op Assessment Tool developed by NATCCO and the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions (AACCU). Based on the experience, the NATCCO Advocacy Unit has developed a Trainers’ Manual: Women Cooperators for Climate Action and the pilot training was held in Vietnam.
The final output will be done at the Regional Meeting in Manila in November 2023. Thereafter, it will be launched by ICA-AP as well.
In concluding, Montallana called on co-op leaders to make Climate Action a culture in the co-op by integrating green policies and adopting green practices, educating members to make climate action not just an activity but a lifestyle, partnering with government, NGOs, and other organizations, and to establish monitoring mechanisms to track their environmental performance and check their progress.
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