NCBA - National Cooperative Business Association

07/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/07/2020 15:01

Global projects highlight climate specific work for International Day of Cooperatives

The Co-op Forest in northern Peru is playing a meaningful role in slowing climate change. [photo: NCG]Cooperators around the world joined together on July 4 for International Day of Cooperatives to show leadership on climate action, taking a stand as a global community working toward a fair, green and just environment for all. The 2020 International Day of Cooperatives theme was chosen to support the UN's Sustainable Development Goal #13 on Climate Action, which calls for urgent action to address the current climate emergency.

Our projects in Peru, Madagascar, Ecuador, Haiti and Indonesia are working on climate specific initiatives through trainings and local programs with the goal of supporting reforestation, agroforestry and protecting biodiversity. These initiatives have an end goal of creating resilient communities that can mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in their local communities, thus creating lasting change.

USAID Feed the Future Indonesia Sustainable Cooperative Agribusiness Alliance (SCAA)

The just ended USAID Feed the Future Indonesia Sustainable Cooperative Agribusiness Alliance (SCAA)project built off the successful Indonesia Cooperative Business Development Alliance (ICBDA) project with an added environmental focus. SCAA-supported nurseries produced nearly 675,000 vanilla, pepper, and clove seedlings and distributed them to over 7,900 farmers who planted them on more than 1,800 hectares. Members of cooperatives in Sulawesi and Papua earn money from selling vanilla beans, peppercorns, and cloves through their cooperatives instead of cutting down trees and selling the wood to local sawmills and middle men. Although the project's impacts on the environment and climate change were not explicitly measured, farmers are now much less tempted to cut down trees since they generate reliable incomes from crops that require canopy.

Private sector partners involved in the USAID SCAA project will continue this impactful cooperative value chain work under the new USDA-funded Indonesia Spice Trade Alliance (ISTA) projectthat seeks to improve and expand the trade of black pepper, cinnamon and vanilla products in part through improving environmental resiliency.

USAID Sustainable Vanilla for People and Nature (SVPN)

Lessons learned from Indonesia are also being applied in Madagascar under the new USAID SVPN Activitythat has been renamed locally as Mafatoky, which means insurance for the futurein the Malagasy language. Mafatoky has the explicit goals of reducing threats to biodiversity, improving natural resource management, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through sustainable, certified vanilla production and diversification of livelihoods for improved resiliency of vanilla cooperatives.

USAID Mikajy

NCBA CLUSA has been intentionally promoting biodiversity conservation in Madagascar through its work with vanilla cooperatives since 2018 as part TetraTech's consortium implementing the USAID Mikajy Activity. Earlier this year, USAID Mikajy celebrated a major milestone as 1,791 vanilla farmers of the AVAMA Cooperative Union in the Analanjirofo region became Rainforest Alliance certified. This means that vanilla farmers will do good for the environment while increasing their incomes through certification premiums. As conservation-friendly enterprises, AVAMA member cooperatives are now establishing nurseries to support reforestation, agroforestry, and protect biodiversity. The nurseries are part of the continuous improvement criteria required to maintain RA certification. As seen in Indonesia, these nurseries will also help coop members diversify their crop production and livelihoods.

USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Ecuador and Peru

The Ecuadorian government has embraced the Cooperative Model as a strategy to build resilience among families impacted by the spread of COVID-19 and the drop in oil prices, a highly dependent commodity for the economy. These worldwide events have rocked Ecuador, where 40% of the population is engaged in the informal labor market. This fact makes cooperation in vulnerable communities a critical aspect of long-term economic recovery by using cooperatives and associations as vehicles to access markets and scale up production. Through the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program, NCBA CLUSA is supporting the Cooperative Model in Ecuador through strategic alliances and technical assistance in organizational strengthening.

In Peru, COVID-19 demands creativity and ingenuity in responding to the challenges the pandemic imposes on the cacao and coffee value chains. The USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program and local partners are uniting efforts to support AMUJENP, an all women's chocolate makers association with ambitions to become a co-op, to strengthen its organizational capacity through volunteer technical assistance. The women of AMUJENP hope that these skills can help them reshape their chocolate business to build their resilience against future shocks and stresses.

USAID Reforestation Project

This five-year project, funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics in partnership with NCBA CLUSA and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), aims to address critical environmental degradation and loss of tree cover in Haiti's North and Northeast regions. NCBA CLUSA leads a participatory process to empower communities to develop sub-watershed management plans with the goal of reducing threats, increasing tree cover, and navigating economic risks and challenges. The reforestation project is working closely with local communities to achieve four main objectives: reduce the threat of deforestation, improve resilience to economic and natural shocks, increasing tree cover in targeted areas, and improving environmental governance and coordination.