Genillard & Co.’s long-awaited CISAR 2021 symposium (Climate Insurance Solutions for Agricultural Risks) took place virtually this year with resounding success, on the 2nd and 3rd of March.
Via the CISAR 2021 symposium we were able to bring together diverse stakeholders across governments, farmers, academia and insurers to digitally enable a wide-ranging dialogue from climate research results and agricultural statistics to a climate risk information service and the closure of the protection gap in EU agriculture. The event was sponsored by Liberty Mutual Reinsurance.
Over 80 international delegates attended the two-day symposium. Keynote addresses and presentations were followed by exchanges among participants. Virtual panel discussions, polls and breakout sessions on topics relevant to agricultural policy were facilitated with Microsoft Teams, and a CISAR 2021 interactive Miro Board.
Day 1 – March 2nd:
The first day of the CISAR symposium was launched with an opening welcome address by Christopher Genillard, Managing Director, Genillard & Co. The virtual floor was then passed on to Dr. Stefan Niemeyer, EU Joint Research Centre for the first keynote address. As a scientific expert in agricultural sciences within the EU, Dr. Niemeyer spoke about aspects of crop monitoring and the impacts of weather and climate on future crop yields. He then led into the first panel discussion on the „Perception of emerging risks for agriculture in Europe – approaches to managing climate risks“. The dialogue was between experts from the Joint Research Centre, Wageningen University Research, University of Zagreb, Croatia Osiguranje and the International Finance Corporation – World Bank. An output example from this panel was that information about and innovative ideas on good indices for crop development are in high demand; these can be effectively overcome by means of new technologies in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Data.
In the transition to the second half of the day’s programme, Christopher Genillard spoke from an analytical perspective about the Green Deal and where approaches to improving a faster closing of the protection gap in European agricultural policy might be found. An insight into the reinsurance perspective was then provided by a presentation from Marcel Andriesse, Swiss Re, on „New insurance and reinsurance products that facilitate a closing of the protection gap“. A follow-up panel discussion with leading experts from Swiss Re, Liberty Mutual RE, Munich Re, Agvesto, AEGIS London and ETH Zurich on „The insurance industry’s initiatives to close the protection gap in agriculture“ and ensuing breakout sessions on the previously addressed topics, concluded the first day of CISAR 2021. A key takeaway from day one was that it is crucial to reach and involve farmers and the agricultural community further in the concrete processes of closing the protection gap.
Day 2 – March 3rd:
Day two of CISAR 2021 focused on the digital agenda and technology in agro insurance. During the first half of the day, technical experts Tamme van der Wal, Wageningen University, Michaela Seewald, Geoville, Gregory Mygdakos and Manos Lekakis, AgroApps and Jaclyn Bolt, Wageningen University debated the new paths and technologies in agro insurance using digital processes, data diversity and advanced analytics. The experts also explored a substantive focus on Blockchain and Earth Observation data in the insurance industry and presented an insight into the BEACON and INFINITECH projects.
During the second half of the day’s programme, topics concerning parametric insurance in the agro industry were highlighted by Lukas Schönach, Descartes Underwriting, and an Indian Earth Observation insurance prototype was presented by Ivo Banovsky, Pixely. A subsequent panel discussion involving all the experts illuminated and critically reflected on the prior topics.
Concluding breakout sessions, serving as a platform for networking and deepening the discussions between the different stakeholders on the individual topics, marked the end of CISAR 2021.
In summary, the CISAR symposium 2021 provided delegates with latest insights into climate change and its impact on crop production in Europe, as well as furnishing them with product news from risk carriers and information on innovative technologies. These topics not only contributed to a diverse programme but, we are confident will lead closing the global protection gap in agro insurance.
Despite the challenging circumstances instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on initial feedback received, we consider CISAR 2021 to have been an informative, stimulating and provocative symposium. Naturally, face-to-face discussions over dinner in our Bavarian hospitality were dearly missed, however the Genillard & Co team believe we were successful thanks to the engaging delegate participants, in fully exploring innovative ways enabled via technology to inform, share, and digitally network. Moreover, geographically distant participants were able to participate through the virtual framework of the symposium, turning CISAR 2021 into a truly global and diverse meeting place. Whilst the current restrictions do not allow for physical events, we consider it important to continue providing a platform for experts in agricultural insurance to exchange and transfer knowledge so that new insights and technologies can be debated and brought to their respective markets. CISAR 2021 has proven that this can work virtually.
We would like to thank all delegates and participants for their significant contributions to the success of CISAR 2021.
We look forward to the next CISAR symposium where aim to bring together the best of both worlds!
The Genillard & Co Team