by Chrislee A. Javier, Caress L. Tolentino, Alyssa Maryse G. Cruz, and Nicole G. Amante with reports from Jaia Gabrielle S. Labastilla
In celebration of the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC), UP Los Baños will host the first International Conference for Cooperatives on November 8-10, 2012 at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) auditorium.
The United Nations launched the International Year for Cooperatives in October 31 last year to provide public awareness to major issues and to stimulate actions as solutions for these issues. Through the IYC, UN aims to:
- “increase public awareness about the contributions of the cooperatives particularly in the socio-economic development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,
- promote the formation and growth of cooperatives, and
- establish appropriate policies for the development and stability of the cooperatives.”
With the theme “Co-operative Enterprises: Key to Economic and Social Progress”, the international conference organized by the Institute of Cooperative and Bio-Enterprise Development (ICOPED) will be the venue for the exchange new ideas to improve economic and social status of people in through cooperatives. The topics include:
- cooperative education,
- cooperative enterprise development,
- cooperative finance,
- ICT research database development and management for cooperatives,
- women and youth in cooperatives, and
- the role of cooperatives in environmental sustainability.
According to Dr. Isabelita M. Pagbuayon, the director of ICOPED, they focused on a smaller context, particularly the smaller cooperatives who want to participate in the said event. She stated that the conference will be open for anyone who would want to attend and participate to create public awareness at least for Laguna. About 50 papers have been sent to be presented in the November conference coming from Czech Republic, Uruguay, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
To promote development and formation of the cooperatives, ICOPED invited guests to give speeches about the success factors from growth to success of the different cooperatives in the country. The conference will also aim in improving the policies concerning economic and social issues for further development and promotion of cooperatives.
Dr. Pagbuayon shared that the papers presented and the results of the discussions will be compiled into a book after the conference to help the public learn more about cooperatives and to aid existing cooperatives in further developing their organizations.
Working with ICOPED for organizing the International Conference for Cooperatives are the Department of Agriculture (DA); Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Cooperative Development Authority (CDA); Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).