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This year’s International Day of Co-operatives (officially recognised on social media as #CoopsDay) was celebrated with gusto across the Asia and Pacific region. Members of ICA-AP put their best foot forward in ushering in the global day and in showcasing their work in "Sustainable Consumption and Production of Goods and Services."  

 

The National Cooperative Federation of Nepal (NCF) along with the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Agricultural, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) jointly celebrated the Day in Kathmandu. This is the first time such a tripartite celebration has taken place to mark #CoopsDay in Nepal! Mr. Renaud Meyer, Country Director, UNDP announced the launch of two projects in partnership with the Nepalese co-operative movement - supply chain management of fruits and vegetables and value chain development of agriculture products. NCF Chairman Keshav Badal, called on the urgent need for local co-operatives laws to align themselves with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 

The Department of Agricultural Marketing & Co-operatives, Bhutan in collaboration with the Regional Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives, Gelephu celebrated the Day with members from six different co-operatives in Sarpang Dzongkhag district. The co-operatives are engaged in agricultural production, livestock farming and savings and credit. Dasho Drangpon of the Gelephu Dunkhag Court graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. A special message from the Hon’ble Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests was read out to the gathering. The program included a quiz competition   with questions centered around farming and the theme of sustainable production and consumption . The highlight of the day was a competition amongst the co-operatives to see who had the most forward looking and progressive vision for their co-operative.

 

 

Participants in Gelephu, Bhutan on July 7, 2018. Photograph credit: DAMC

 

 

The Central Cooperative Society (CCS), Myanmar organized festivals at local markets selling co-operative products and shared the ICA statement commemorating the Day through local media outlets. The event held in Nay Pyi Taw was attended by the Union Minister and Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Chairpersons of State and Regions Unions of Co-operative Federations and invited guests from INGOs and NGOs.

 

 

From the venue of the function in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. Photograph credit: CCS

 

 

2018 was a special year for the Co-operative Development Authority (CDA) in the Philippines. They honoured the International Day of Co-operatives after several years and made it doubly special by holding their celebrations in Marawi City; a place ‘ravaged by war, merciless pillage and looting.’ The Day saw the launch of the “Marawi Rehabilitation through Cooperativism Project” - a 76.15 Million pesos project funded by the Bangon Marawi Task Force, an inter-agency initiative of the national government to help rebuild the ruined city, livelihoods of its people, and the hope of its future.

 

To commemorate #CoopsDay, the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), organized a symposium on the theme “Sustainable Consumption and Production of Goods and Services" where the invited speakers were Shri Jalaj Shrivastava, IAS, Additional Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Shri R.S. Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (AMUL); Dr. Manoj Nardeosingh, Assistant Secretary General, African Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO); and Shri Harvir Singh, Editor, Outlook Hindi. NCUI also organized its annual arts competition for young children on themes which included agriculture, family, climate change etc.  All the paintings will be sent to IE-NO-HIKARI Association of Japan for “The 26th Annual World Children’s Picture Contest.”

 

 

The ICA-AP Committee for Youth Cooperation (ICYC) under the aegis of the Chairperson Mr. Ahsan Ali Thakur undertook the ‘Go Green Campaign’ as a gesture of aligning SDG 13, i.e., Climate Action, that complements and furthers SDG 12, i.e. Responsible Consumption and Production. Mr. Thakur encouraged individuals and organisations from within the Asia Pacific co-operative movement to display values of Solidarity and Self-Help which are core values of the co-operative movement at large. He also requested them to inspire more young people in their network and outside to join the Campaign, and help him in his Mission to establish a sustainable environment and society. Volunteers joined the campaign by plating saplings and taking photographs of the event and sharing it widely on social media.

 

Teachers of C.P. BERAR High School for Girls, Karachi, Pakistan celebrating #coopsday by planting a tree and flowers in the cooperative school premises. Photograph credit: Mr. Ahsan Ali Thakur