First National Stakeholder Workshop on Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance and Addressing Climate Risks and Hazards

SLYCAN Trust

[Colombo, Sri Lanka] – July 22, 2020 - SLYCAN Trust hosted the first national workshop on On July 15, 2020, as part of a project on multi-actor partnerships on climate and disaster risk finance and insurance in the context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership. The event was conducted virtually via Zoom that was converted upon the surge in local COVID-19 cases. 

The impacts of climate change are increasingly undermining the progress made toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the reduction of poverty in developing countries such as Sri Lanka. In particular, the agriculture sector is vulnerable to climate change impacts aggravating existing social and economic vulnerabilities and compromising food security and livelihoods. There is an urgent need to shift from reactive crisis management to investing in prevention, early preparedness, and action. As part of a comprehensive climate and disaster risk management approach, risk finance and insurance solutions can enable more resilient economic development and help protect lives, livelihoods, public finances, and infrastructure.

The workshop conducted consisted of two main components including the development of a  stakeholder map on climate change and climate insurance for Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector, and to identify existing gaps and needs for implementing an effective climate risk transfer mechanism in Sri Lanka.

Delivering the keynote address was Dr Sunimal Jayathunga, Director, Climate Change Secretariat, Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Resources who said, ”The workshop is timely as there is a need to provide local perspective on the importance of climate risk transfer, mitigation, and loss and damage. There are international mechanisms in place that can help guide and localise the efforts that are made by the Sri Lankan authorities as well as civil society.”

Mr P Algama, Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development participated at the workshop as Guest of Honour. In his address, he said, “There are definitely many gaps and needs we have identified that need to be addressed and implemented in order to achieve an effective climate risk transfer mechanism especially when taking into account the agriculture sector. Both short and long-term strategies that need to be taken are ones that we as the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development should do in collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure that the process is participatory.” 

The breakout sessions took place as working group discussions that focused on developing a  stakeholder map on climate change and climate insurance for Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector and identifying existing gaps and needs for implementing an effective climate risk transfer mechanism in Sri Lanka.

Presenting on climate risk and transfer insurance Mr Dennis Mombauer, Director: Research & Education, SLYCAN Trust said, “Climate risks are severe, and especially developing countries such as Sri Lanka are vulnerable to it. There is a need to bridge the protection gap as a higher risk transfer and insurance penetration leads to faster recovery. Moreover, insurance subsidies can help protect the most vulnerable. Globally while there are two types of agricultural insurance schemes that available, indemnity and index-based insurance schemes, it’s important to understand that one size does not fit all and the risk, socio-economic-cultural factors among others need to be taken into account when coming to a conclusion with regard to mitigating risk.”

The follow-up virtual workshop to this stakeholder consultation will take place on the 23rd July 2020. 

This workshop is part of a project on multi-actor partnerships on climate and disaster risk finance and insurance in the context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership which is implemented in collaboration with Chrysalis as a local partner and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The envisaged overall impact of the project is that the negative consequences of disasters and climate change on the development opportunities and living conditions of particularly vulnerable population groups such as farmers in Trincomalee and Anuradhapura are reduced through effective, poverty-oriented, and equitable implementation of measures to finance resilience-building to climate and disaster risks.

The most important institutional direct target groups include but not limited to: communities and people vulnerable to climate change and disaster risk; relevant actors as potential partners in multi-actor partnerships involved in the design and implementation of climate and disaster risk financing measures and civil society actors in the priority countries and at international (regional, global) level. 

In November 2017, the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions was officially launched at the UN Climate Conference COP23 in Bonn. It brings together G20 countries in partnership with the V20 nations, as well as civil society, international organisations, the private sector; and academia. Since the launch, more than 70 diverse partners have signed the Joint Statement and become members of the Global Partnership. The project is to be seen as a direct contribution to the IGP's goal of developing "a global multi-stakeholder community that can generate and promote best practice in the use of climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI)." 


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SLYCAN Trust

SLYCAN Trust is a non-profit think tank. It has been a registered legal entity in the form of a trust since 2016, and a guarantee limited company since 2019. The entities focus on the thematic areas of climate change, adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, environmental conservation and restoration, social justice, and animal welfare. SLYCAN Trust’s activities include legal and policy research, education and awareness creation, capacity building and training, and implementation of ground level action. SLYCAN Trust aims to facilitate and contribute to multi-stakeholder driven, inclusive and participatory actions for a sustainable and resilient future for all.