Klimathon Champions emerged as winners in the recently concluded “Klimathon: Our Race Towards A Net Zero Reality,” a joint initiative of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Nestlé Philippines that provided a platform for the youth to develop innovative and sustainability-based solutions addressing the impacts of climate change.
The Klimathon Champions grand finals ceremony was held virtually on April 22, 2022 with the top ten finalists presenting their project concepts to the judges chaired by Dr. Maria Angela Zafra of the National Panel of Technical Experts of CCC, with members Ms. Adona Princesa San Diego of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Ms. Laarni Piloton of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Ms. Antoinette Taus, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and founder of CORA Philippines; and Ms. Jasmine Estacio, Innovation Portfolio Management Head of Nestlé Philippines.
The proposals were judged based on their relevance to climate action, innovativeness, community impact, and sustainability.
Team Econique from the Ateneo De Naga University bagged the third place for their entry, “PH Green Energy Harvesting Using Modified Triboelectric Nanogenerator (M-TENG),” while Team Genoplas from The Mabini Academy placed second for their proposal, “GENOPLAS: A Revolutionary Sustainable Multifunctional Bioplastics from Upcycled Fish Waste Components.”
Team Neutralizer from the University of Mindanao emerged as the first-ever Klimathon Champions with their project concept, “Synthesis of Engineered Bamboo Nanocomposite Through Sol-Gel Technique: A Breakthrough in Automated Vertical Farming using Hydroponics in the Philippines.”
“We are really honored to become the first-ever Klimathon Champions. All our hard work over the past six months to hone and improve our proposal has been worth it. We would like to thank CCC and Nestlé Philippines for believing in what the youth can do for the environment; for giving us the opportunity to showcase our ideas and learn first-hand from industry experts through the mentorship program,” said Jeremiah Malalis and Larry Competente from Team Neutralizer
The top three winning teams received cash prizes that they can use as seed money to further develop and/or implement their project concepts. Special awards were also given to teams that developed embodying and promoting gender empowerment, originality, and community participation:
- Team Genoplas – Gender Empowerment
- Team Econique – Originality
- Team Tagubtub – Community Participation
“As we commemorate Earth Day, let us continue to invest more in our youth, in our communities, and in our creativity and intellect as a nation towards sustainability and resiliency. This is the only way to go in order for us to secure a better future for our nation,” said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of CCC.
Youth as inheritors of the planet
During the program, House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda expressed her support for the Filipino youth and what they are doing for the environment through a special message.
“It is encouraging to see young people already very heavily involved in climate action, all the more because you are doing this in the face of immense challenges and uncertainties because of the pandemic. You are an inspiration to us all,” Deputy Speaker Legarda said. “The next few years ahead will be critical in securing a livable future for humanity. To do so, we will need to stimulate and scale up innovation. The youth of the world are going to be key partners in this endeavor.”
The youth participants committed to use their capabilities towards net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the Klimathon Pledge led by Ms. Taus.
In his closing remarks, Nestlé Philippines Chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki emphasized the importance of initiatives like the Klimathon in keeping with the inclusive approach of empowering the youth and consumers to take action.
“Through Klimathon Champions, we are privileged to be able to work with the youth in particular, providing a platform for developing science-based solutions to climate change,” he said. “To our youth participants, you are among the most passionate and creative members of society, and you can make a difference. It is for you to apply the knowledge and insights that you have gained, to be the changemakers that the world needs today.”
In order to achieve its goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050, Nestlé Philippines continues to engage in partnerships with like-minded stakeholders and work with different sectors in the country.