International Cooperative Alliance Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Balasubramanian ‘Balu’ Iyer, graced the Mindanao Cooperative Summit in Cagayan de Oro City last August 25, 2017, and shared how cooperatives can participate in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
MASS-SPECC delegates joined the summit along with 450 participants from cooperatives from all over Mindanao. The summit was organized by the Cooperative Development Authority – Region X with the theme, “Transformative Cooperatives for People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace.”
Mr. Iyer as keynote speaker showed examples of how cooperatives in Asia have contributed to the Social Development Goals. He stated that cooperatives should be included and promoted actively, the youth involved, sustainability highlighted, and for co-ops to look for new opportunities aside from the agriculture and credit.
To present such opportunities in the local scene, CSOs shared possible engagements for partnership: for environment, Xavier Science Foundation, Inc. through the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES); Philippine College of Technology through their BS Business Administration major in Cooperative Management course and other academic programs, and the Banowaon-Manolo-Talaandig (BAMATA) Tribal Council for education and culture preservation.
Notable guests, City Mayor Oscar Moreno, CDA Chair Orlan Ravanera and directors of CDA regional offices, also graced the summit and welcomed Mr. Iyer and the cooperatives.