I send warm greetings to cooperators in Nigeria today the first Saturday in the month of July which is the day reserved for the celebration of International Cooperative Day by the International Cooperative Alliance and the United Nations.

This year, International Cooperative day is not celebrated with the usual pomp and fun because of the Covid-19 Pandemic which is ravaging the
world. There is no doubt that the year 2020 has been a trying one for the world of which Cooperative Societies as business organizations have had a fair share.

The theme for this year’s celebration is Coops4ClimateAction. The theme was chosen to support Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 13) on climate action. International Cooperative Alliance has been committed to supporting the SDGs and has, this year, called on Cooperators worldwide to use their cooperatives to contribute towards the achievement of a safer and better climate. Many cooperators are affected by the effects of the action of man on the environment, particularly those engaged in small scale farming, women, youths, indigenous people and ethnic minorities who are faced with natural disasters and degradation of the environment. In Nigeria, the Niger Delta Region easily comes to mind as an area where the natural ecosystem has been distorted with oil exploration.

It is almost certain that if nothing is done now, the livelihood of future
generations will be impacted negatively as a result of climate change. This global issue has the potential to take away everything we take for granted. Cities and homes are being taken over by flood with its attendant destructions. Waters may reduce in volume or get polluted; yields from farming activities may not grow well. Oxygen will be limited as deforestation continues and economies will be adversely impacted and most importantly, future inhabitants of the earth will have harder
and shorter lives if immediate actions are not taken against climate change.

Cooperatives, as part occupants of the earth, are also doing their bit to preserve the environment. ICA therefore called for evidence of environmentally friendly agricultural practices to showcase to the world how the Cooperative Movement is contributing to climate action. I am happy to report to you that one of our cooperators who engaged in poultry and fisheries in a novel way was acknowledged in the message of the ICA Africa as one of the ways in which cooperatives are contributing positively to climate action. I want to urge other cooperative societies to come up with innovative ways of doing their business and preserving the environment.

In like manner Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated the need for individuals to change the way of life. The new normal life must consider actions that ensure safety of both man and the environment for safer and healthier living. Efforts towards a better climate cannot be achieved unless we take constructive actions to work together as it is the norm in Cooperative in order to achieve the desired result.

Therefore, as we work together to improve our lives and flatten the curve of
Covid-19 infections in our midst, let’s also work together for a better environment.

I wish you a happy International Cooperative Day celebration.

Thank you and God bless.

High Chief Oriyomi Ayeola
President, Cooperative Federation of Nigeria

4th July, 2020

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