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Participants listening to the proceedings of the Seminar

 

The ICA-AP Malaysia Business Office (MBO), ICA Committee on Consumer Co-operation for Asia and Pacific (ICA-AP Consumer Committee), Malaysian National Co-operative Movement (ANGKASA) and Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU) jointly organized the Sustainable Development Goals Seminar from April 24-25, 2018 at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The theme of the seminar, ‘SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production’, coincides with the theme of this year’s International Day of Co-operatives. The two-day event was attended by more than 100 delegates including 30 ICA member organizations, Malaysia co-operative leaders, invited guests and resource speakers.

 

The Welcome Address was delivered by Mr. Balu Iyer, Regional Director of ICA-AP.  He called for a change towards sustainable development as this was the cornerstone to building a sustainable future for generations to come. Mr. Haruyoshi Amano, Chairperson of ICA-AP Consumer Committee and Manager, International Department of JCCU said that consumer co-operatives, by linking producers and consumers, can influence behaviour and contribute to SDG 12. Prof. Madya Dato' Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Razak Shaik, Director General, Co-operative College of Malaysia, explained the correlation between SDGs and the co-operative sector, and shed light on activities carried out by Malaysian co-operatives in relation to SDGs.

 

Ms. Denise Westerhout, Lead for Sustainable Markets Programme, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Malaysia, spoke of sustainable palm oil development and said this needs three conditions: independently audited. Certifies by rather than certified against RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and traceability in terms of achieving the objectives of the seminar, the delegates said. Dr. Ruslan Abullah, Director Science and Environment, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), presented a paper on Malaysian palm oil industries including certification of palm oil like RSPO and MSPO (Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil).

 

Two case studies about activities carried out by co-operatives to achieve SDG 12 were presented. The first was presented by Dato’ Hj Aliasak Hj Ambia, Ex-chairman of ANGKASA and Chairman of Smallholders Co-operative Negeri Sembilan. He highlighted the case of agricultural co-operatives which focused on palm oil plantation and how they created sustainable societies. The second case study by Ms. Atsuko Yano, Marketing Department Manager of JCCU, was on ethical consumption.  Members of JCCU participate in ethical consumption by using certificated co-op brand products like RSPO, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), Rain Forest Alliance, and Fair Trade.

 

On the second day, the delegates visited the Sime Darby Palm Oil Plantation on Carey Island, Selangor. Sime Darby is the largest palm oil player in Malaysia. The delegates were given a tour of the plantation and an overview of the process involved in harvesting oil production. In terms of achieving the objectives of the seminar, the delegate said that they gained information on the theme as well as examples of work being undertaken by co-operatives on SDGs. They were also made aware of the benefits of palm oil.