Chapter XIII - Science for Sustainable Development & Biological Diversity

   This document has been made available in electronic format
      by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA

  Contribution of Co-operative Enterprises and the International
     Co-operative Movement to Implementation of UN AGENDA 21:
       Programme of Action for Sustainable Development 

                     Prepared jointly by
             the International Co-operative Alliance
                      the United Nations
  Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development

                 Geneva and New York, April 1995

        For information purposes only. Not an official
   document of the United Nations and not officially edited.

                       CHAPTER XIII

       (CHAPTER 16)

     Some national co-operative movements have their own research
and development capability: this is the case for many of the
larger agricultural supply and marketing co-operatives, such as
the Raiffeisen movement in Germany and some of the larger co-
operatives in the United States. Certain of the larger
manufacturing co-operatives, such as the Mondragon Group in the
Basque Autonomous Region in Spain have their own scientific and
technological facilities. However, there is at present no
information concerning the use by co-operative movements of their
own facilities for research and development on environmental
matters, or on broader aspects of sustainable development.

    However, in a number of cases it is known that partnerships
have been established between co-operative movements and the
scientific community. For example, in Canada Co-op Atlantic, a
supply co-operative which in 1992 served 175 member co-operatives
with 170,000 individual members in eastern Canada, had appointed
a committee of ecologists, biologists and environmentalists to
help members translate environmental concerns into practical
action. 154/ In the United Kingdom, the Co-operative Wholesale
Society, which leads the environmental campaign of the consumer
co-operative movement, has appointed as its consultant a well-
known environmentalist and university professor, Professor David
Bellamy.155/  The Swedish consumer co-operative group Kooperativa
Forbundet consults with researchers in order to determine
criteria for the use of its own symbol for environmentally
friendly products. 156/  A number of Swedish co-operative
organizations collaborate closely with the scientific community
in the environmental education organization "The Natural Step"
157/  In the United Kingdom the Co-operative Wholesale Society
was the first retailer to provide a special label, based upon
consultation with the scientific community, for foods that had
been genetically engineered. 158/

    In Finland the Eka Corporation, a multi-functional co-
operative enterprise owned by 400,000 members, has sponsored a
three-year research project coordinated by the Finnish Nature
Conservation Society and designed to examine the environmental
impact and ecologically sound treatment of waste originating in
offices, commercial premises and construction sites. The project
would also undertake a life-cycle analysis of the environmental
effects of consumer goods. 159/ 

    In 1991 the Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins in Quebec made
a grant for doctorate students carrying out research on
environmental issues. 160/ 

    In 1993 the Uganda Co-operative Alliance reported that it was
a member of the Agricultural Policy Committee and the Governing
Council of the National Agricultural Research Organizations, both
of which emphasized the use of environmental criteria by research
and extension services. 161/ 


154/ ICA News, No. 3, 1992, p. 15.
155/ Review of International Co-operation, vol. 83, No. 4
     (1990), p. 50.
156/ Review of International Co-operation, vol. 83, No. 2
     (1990), p. 91.
157/ ICA News, No. 3, 1992, pp. 9-10.
158/ Communication from ICA, April 1995.
159/ ICA News, No. 3, 1992, p. 10.
160/ ICA News, No. 2, 1991, p. 5.
161/ Jossy R. Bibangambah, "Environmental problems facing
     farmers in Uganda: a country paper prepared for the IFAP
     Environment Committee, Proceedings of the Third Session,
     27th - 29th October 1993, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines,
     Paris, International Federation of Agricultural Producers,
     November 1993, Fascicule 9.