MANILA, Philippines– As the call for climate action gets stronger, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative, together with its education arm, the Cooperative College of the Philippines, kick off its 2nd Coop Climate Summit and 1st Community of Practice at the Marriott Manila Hotel in Pasay, Manila, on November 15, 2023.
The event, hosted by Ms. Katheryn Guipetacio, Miss Cagayan de Oro 2023 1st Runner-up and former Miss Earth Philippines 2021 Runner-up, is composed of 23 different speakers and leaders from different sectors of society all coming together to tackle and discuss issues that aim to bring climate justice and foster resilience among vulnerable communities, enabling them to withstand the challenges posed by climate change. It was also attended with over 102 cooperatives from different areas and regions nationwide, including 60 employees, staff, and officials from CLIMBS.
The summit started off with a written keynote message from Senator Lorna Regina “Loren” Bautista Legarda, a representative of the Senate of the Philippines, including a Deputy Commissioner from the Insurance Commission (IC), USEC. Randy G. Serrano, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Chairperson, Usec Joseph R. Encabo and Climate Change Commission (CCC) Commissioner, Hon. Dela Cruz, House of Representative, COOP NATCCO Party List, Hon. Felimon M. Espares was also among the keynote speakers.
The summit was also divided into 3 plenary sessions starting off with Dr. Lionel Henri Valentin Dabbadie from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which was represented by Mr. Ryan Chua, the Forestry and Biodiversity Portfolio Coordinator, Mr. Jose Romeo Ebron, OIC – Cooperative Development Program of ACDI/VOCA, Mr. Jimmy Loro, Chief Adviser at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH – Philippines, Mr. James Elwyn D. Leyte, Senior Research Associate of Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development-Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), Ms. Christine Jeanne G. Violago, Regional Director of Asia and the Pacific, Grameen Foundation, Ms. Donna C. Dizon, CEO and Principal, Co-operative College of the Philippines Vice President for Admin and Corporate Planning, CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative were among the plenary speakers for the first session, entitled “Global Solidarity for Climate Action,” which underscores the need for achieving global partnerships and forming alliances from different sectors to unite as one to combat the climate change crisis and other environmental issues.
The second session, titled “Community Resilience and Adaptation,” focuses on long-term strategies for how the public and private sectors may work together to reshape the narrative and raise awareness about the current situation. Among the plenary speakers were Prof. Marqueza Cathalina L. Reyes. EngD, Professor of Asian Institute of Management and Board of Directors, Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE)-Philippines, Mr. Michael F. Rellosa, the Executive Director of Philippine Insurers and Reinsurers Association (PIRA, Inc.) Ms. Melba P. Manalo, the Acting Vice President of Corporate Business Affairs Group and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Mr. Norman William Kraft, the Director for Program Monitoring & Information Systems Management, Agricultural Credit Policy Council – Department of Agriculture (ACPC-DA).
Lastly, the third session concluded with a discussion on “Cooperative Climate Solutions,” which talks about how the cooperative sectors’ initiatives are currently contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 13 and 17, Climate Action, and Partnerships for the Goals which was discussed by Cong. Cresente C. Paez, the CEO of AgriCOOPh, Fr. Elmo Manching, the Board of Directors Chairperson of CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative, Cong. Rico B. Geron, CEO if Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC), Ms. Joanna T. La’O, Director for Strategy and Programs of Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) Ms. Bernadette Toledo, CPA the Chief Executive Officer of MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center, and Ms. Lasalette Gumban, the Advocacy Unit Head of National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO).
CLIMBS, an insurance cooperative, is aimed at alleviating poverty and aiding the needs of farmers and agricultural workers through projects such as Weather Protect Insurance (WPI), the first parametric agri-insurance in partnership with global partners aided by ICMIF, the IBISA Network, Global Parametrics, and CIAT, for sustainable and inclusive protection. Now on its third year, its scaling efforts is being supported by the Insuresilience Solutions Fund (ISF) in achieving its goals.
The WPI is an innovative solution using blockchain technology with unique features in smart agriculture to help resilience and sustainability among our farmers and agripreneurs. The 2nd Coop Climate Summit 2023 emphasizes the “bayanihan spirit” embedded in the culture of cooperatives in the Philippines.
Through collective efforts and collaboration, CLIMBS highlights the underlying potential of cooperatives to promote climate justice and break barriers of poverty, economic disparities, and inequalities by contributing to the U.N’s Sustainable Development Goals #13 and #17, Climate Action and Partnerships for the Goals, it continues to foster sustainable and inclusive economic and social activities.
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