Chapter XXIII - Institutional Arrangements, Legal Instruments, Financial Resources & Mechanisms

   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 XXIII

        (CHAPTERS 38,39,33 and 40)

    Agenda 21 identifies the strengthening of business and
industry as one means to achieve progress toward sustainable
development.  The partnership between the United Nations system
and the international co-operative movement has become
increasingly close during recent years, particularly in such
areas as poverty eradication, employment creation and social
integration, and the advancement of women. These issues are of
central importance for sustainable development. Representative
organizations of the international co-operative movement have
collaborated closely with relevant United Nations entities in the
preparations for major recent and anticipated conferences.  
Joint preparation of the present background information paper may
be considered the first step toward a close working partnership
for the purpose of implementing Agenda 21 and achieving
sustainable development.

    A number of national co-operative movements have called for,
and have taken action to create, international activities within
the co-operative movement.  Thus the Japanese Consumers' Co-
operative Union believes that solutions can only be reached by
means of collaboration between Governments, private enterprise
and organizations within civil society. It encourages
collaboration between co-operative movements world-wide, as well
as between them and non-governmental organizations. 231/

   At the national level some co-operative movements have
established special funds for the purpose of promoting
sustainable development. For example, in Japan, the National
Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations (ZEN-NOH)
has established a "Co-operative Association Environmental and
Ecological Fund" (known as the "Rainbow Environmental Fund").

   In 1991 the Mouvement des Caisses Desjardins in Quebec
launched an Environment Fund. This assured investors that they
would be able to obtain not only reasonable long-term capital
growth, but be able to support environmental protection.  
Investments would be selected on the basis of both financial and
environmental performance. Decisions on where to invest would be
made by a consultative committee,  composed of representatives
of the Mouvement and outside experts, on the basis of information
received from research organizations, governmental agencies and
media coverage. 233/ 

231/ ICA News, No. 2, 1993, p. 20.
232/ Review of International Co-operation, vol. 85, No. 4
     (1992), pp. 141-142.
233/ ICA News, No. 2, 1991, p. 5.