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The ICA-AP regional office is bringing the perspective of Asia-Pacific members into the conversation around the 33rd Congress theme, Deepening the Cooperative Identity, through online consultations, events, articles, and interviews.


The UN World Environment Day UN World Environment Day 2021 call for for urgent action to revive our damaged ecosystems. Ecosystems are defined as the interaction between living organisms (plants, animals, people) and nature and human-made systems (cities, farms). We all depend on healthy ecosystems for our survival.


To mark the World Environment Day, this issue focuses on Cooperatives for Ecosystem Restoration.


Cooperatives as people-centred businesses actively advocate for Climate Action and Restoration of Ecosystems. The ICA’s 30th Congress in Tokyo in 1992 discussed the issue of sustainable development as a main theme and passed a Declaration on Environment and Sustainable Development. It asked national and Sectoral Organizations to formulate the “Cooperative Agenda 21” in line with the Earth Summit 1992 Agenda 21 and the Rio Statement. The 7th Cooperative Principle – Concern for Community, was agreed at the 31st Congress in 1995 in the context of the international debate in the United Nations about setting sustainable development goals. The ICA Congress resolution on sustainable human development reaffirmed the view that cooperatives should ensure that both their institutional performance and their member education programmes gave environmental issues high priority[1].  


This year the International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay) is being celebrated as “Rebuild better together” to showcase how cooperative are meeting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering communities people-centred and environmentally just recovery.


In this issue, we present an encouraging conversation with Mr. Jack Sim, founder of the Restroom Association of Singapore, the World Toilet Organization, the World Toilet Day Initiative and Bottom of the Pyramid Hub. He talks about his journey of being the ‘Toilet Man’ and the ‘Hero of Environment’. We hear from Mr. S.P. Singh, Managing Director and Dr. H.C. Gena, Chief Project Manager, Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative Limited, about how cooperatives in India are contributing to ecosystem restoration. We also bring a snapshot of the Lassana (Beautiful Sri Lanka) Project by SANASA Federation Limited that led to the development of smart green villages with a vision to make Sri Lanka a green economy.


[1] Guidance Notes on the Cooperative Principles -