Suva Expert Dialogue: Connecting structure and mandate

2 May 2018

The mandate of the two-day Suva Expert Dialogue starting today is “to explore … ways for facilitating the mobilization and securing of expertise, and enhancement of support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, for … loss and damage” However, it seems the gremlins got into the design phase and day one seems designed to distract us from clearly discussing finance. So, ECO has a few pointers on how to connect the structure with the mandate:


  1. Risk Assessment:
  • Go beyond risk and conduct post-event loss and damage assessments; including of need, capacities, and support required.
  • Put vulnerable people at the center of all assessments.
  • Assessment of risks and capacities, particularly related to slow onset events, must be done in line with mitigation pathways and temperature-rise scenarios.
  • Comprehensive assessment must consider both the economic and non-economic nature of impacts. Addressing non-economic impacts still needs finance, as well as other kinds of measures (e.g. migration and displacement).
  • Needs and capacity assessment of research and implementation institutions in developing countries need to be conducted.
  • Comprehensive risk assessment of vulnerable people, critical ecosystems, and biodiversity are crucial.


  1. Risk Reduction:
  • Stopping climate change is the best and adaptation the second-best strategy for risk reduction, but ECO knows that even then, substantial residual risks remain.
  • Risk reduction means providing resources to developing countries for a range of activities, such as strengthened infrastructure and buildings (e.g. retrofitting houses and building dykes); improved early warning systems, increased coastal resilience (e.g. planting mangroves and protecting coral reeves) and trained human resources.
  • It requires sustainable and resilient economic development €” both at the community and household levels.
  • Appropriate policy frameworks and strong institutional capacities are required in developing countries.


  1. Risk Transfer:
  • Insurance is not sufficient to cover a wide range of impacts and particularly not relevant for slow onset events.
  • Insurance should sit within a comprehensive risk management plan/strategy and not be treated in isolation.
  • With the increasing number of extreme weather events, insurance will become economically unviable for such impacts.
  • As a matter of justice, insurance premiums need to be covered through public and innovative finance in a polluter pays principle (both polluter countries and industries).
  • Build institutional capacity in developing countries €” including for regulation of private sector.
  • Engage communities in decision-making about risk transfer mechanisms €” including whether insurance is an appropriate response for poorer communities.
  • Develop robust alternatives to insurance, such as a Global Solidarity Fund, financed by developed countries.


  1. Risk Retention:
  • Developing countries” capacity varies based on their economic situation and climate vulnerability.
  • The risk retention potential depends on a country’s institutional capacity, which needs to be mapped and built in developing countries.
  • Substantial budgetary allocations and international public finance support is required by developing countries to boost national level mechanisms, such as social protection schemes and national disaster response funds, in light of increasing climate impacts.

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