Climate Change is one of the biggest problems that the world faces today. It is an issue which needs to be addressed and solved, if we want to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. The cost of climate change has been proven to be high in terms of lives lost, infrastructure damage, and economic impact. Studies have shown there are many ways companies can help reduce the cause and mitigate its effects. Also, individuals can take personal yet crucial steps to make a difference as their contribution to climate action.
One of the effects of climate change are severe tropical storms, which the Philippines experiences seasonally, getting about 20 storms every year and 5 of which being very destructive. Thus, the livelihoods of many Filipinos are affected especially those of farmers and agripreneurs who are totally vulnerable and at risk. In the aftermath of natural calamities, they face financial crises and the burden of recovering from the damages they have incurred. This kind of situation should prompt the insurance industry to take action, because it plays an important role in the global economy; it provides an incentive to invest in risk-reducing measures like insuring crops. Evidently when the agriculture industry suffers, so does the food supply.
CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative (CLIMBS) understands how and why climate change is one of the key sources of risk. CLIMBS is aware that there is a need for cooperatives to heed the call of contributing resources and effort to combat climate change, apparently one of the most demanding challenges of our time, but one which is not outside the realm of possibility. As a composite insurance company, CLIMBS leads and strengthens its advocacy in providing insurance protection, especially to the grassroots sector of the country, while upholding the cooperative values and principles.
CLIMBS has introduced the enhanced Weather Protect Insurance (WPI), to help those affected by natural disasters cope and to assist cooperatives manage possible losses brought on by such events. This Agri Insurance is in partnership with like-minded cooperatives and organizations; from the international sector: The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), IBISA Network, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture), and Global Parametrics. From the domestic sector are the five (5) pioneering cooperatives who have remained steadfast since day one: Oro Integrated Cooperative (OIC), Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank (MCCB), Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), Metro Ormoc Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (OCCCI), and The Philippine Family Farmers Agriculture-Fishery-Forestry Cooperatives Federation (AgriCOOPh). This enhanced Weather Protect Insurance is an innovative solution using blockchain technology with a unique feature on smart agriculture to help build resilience and sustainability among our farmers and agripreneurs. This product is in compliance with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) supported by Insurance Commission (IC) circular 2015-53 to promote an agriculture microinsurance product, increase sector resilience to climate change risk, and introduce innovative risk-transfer mechanisms such as weather-based or index parametric insurance systems.
Last year, Typhoon Odette devastated many parts of Visayas and Mindanao, including the livelihoods of our farmers and agripreneurs, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative, remaining faithful to its promise of “Helping Cooperatives and Agripreneurs Build Resilient & Sustainable Communities and Climate Action through Digital Solutions”, offered assistance by way of its enhanced Weather Protect Insurance product, and awarded almost 3-Million Pesos of claim benefit to its member-cooperatives and its farmer-members particularly to Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank and Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Since its launching, CLIMBS has paid a total of 5.6 Million Pesos to seven (7) cooperatives nationwide. In Bohol Province alone, one hundred sixty-three (163) member-farmers have initially received assistance from the payout.
In year 1 (2021): CLIMBS insured 3,600 farmers from the five (5) pilot cooperatives from 15 different provinces. For year 2, CLIMBS aims to insure 36,000 farmers from 42 provinces; For year 3: to insure 72,000 farmers from 62 provinces; and for year 4: to insure 144,000 farmers nationwide. This is part of CLIMBS’s commitment: “To Insure 20 Million Lives by 2024 and Embody the Cooperative Values and Principles”.
Currently, CLIMBS is developing and improving the policy brief for Weather Protect Insurance Products completing the agricultural value chain. The development contains the success highlights which will be done through a thorough assessment from the pilot cooperatives for insurance climate change awareness and climate information. This will be released in the third (3rd) quarter of the year. CLIMBS will refine and scale up the weather index insurance product for excess rain and wind speed. And soon, CLIMBS will also design a new weather index insurance product for drought.
This initiative is CLIMBS’s, together with its global partners and pilot cooperatives, collective contribution to #Coops2030 in addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) nos. 1: No Poverty, 2: Zero Hunger, 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, 13: Climate Action and 17: Partnership for the Goals.
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