Climate and disaster risk transfer in national policies and climate commitments can strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities and sectors against the impacts of climate and disaster risks. With the objective of enhancing the understanding of risk transfer mechanisms as a key instrument to address climate change impacts, build capacities, and to share lessons learned in Sri Lanka and across the world, SLYCAN Trust, in its workshop series on Climate Risk and Risk Transfer, included a session on ‘Integrating Climate and Disaster Risk Transfer into National Policies and Climate Commitments’. This dialogue, held as a virtual event on 20 January 2021, focused on challenges, opportunities, and synergies of integrating risk transfer into national policies and commitments.
Following are some of the key points highlighted during the virtual dialogue:
- The conceptualisation of loss and damage as that which surpasses a country’s ability to adapt has facilitated the inclusion of loss and damage in countries’ National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
- The importance of accurate data and forecasts, adequate knowledge on risk transfer mechanisms, analysing future scenarios to address emerging risks, bringing scientific knowledge into the processes, rethinking strategies, and re-evaluating commitments when integrating climate disaster risk transfer into national policies
- The importance of actors in developing countries being a part of the solution-building process, as international development support programmes and solutions face difficulties in effectively reaching people in need of support
- The need to recognise the contribution of MSMEs to economies and ensure proper protections are offered by insurance and risk investments to cope with risks associated with extreme weather events
- In view of serious climate impacts in post-Covid-19 economic recovery, there is a need to plan for long-term recovery, aligning with SDGs, which requires extensive economic stimulus and looking at social protection, policy coherence, and advancing universal health cover when integrating climate into national policies
- Investments to address climate and disaster risks must encompass both human and economic losses
- Governments should focus on recovering from infrastructure damage and work on resilient buildings to adapt to future climate and disaster risks
- National initiatives to build resilient cities should include three components: economic environment in institutions, national guideline planning and economy, and finance and budget
- Based on the application of the new concept ‘transdisciplinary approach,’ recommendations were made to mainstream Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) resilient strategies into multi-scale spatial development planning, control, and management; revitalise DRR strategy into dynamic and multi-sectoral socio-economic development; and invest in risk-informed sustainable development
- The importance of risk-informed development and investment through scientific knowledge, technology, and innovation
- Efforts related to loss and damage may be included in the Paris Agreement’s global stocktaking process
The speakers at the virtual event included Dr. Sunimal Jayathunga (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment of Sri Lanka), Ms. Sara Jane Ahmed (Finance Advisor, V20), Mr. Prakash Bista (Technical Expert on National Adaptation Plan, Nature, Climate, and Energy Team, UNDP), Dr. Khamarrul Azahari Razak (Director, Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Center, Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia), Ms. Anoja Seneviratne (Director, Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka), Ms. Linda Siegele (PhD Candidate, University College London, Faculty of Laws), and Mr. Kairos Dela Cruz ( Deputy Executive Director, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities).
The workshop builds on previous multi-stakeholder consultation, workshops, and research conducted by SLYCAN Trust under the ‘Multi-Actor Partnerships on Climate and Disaster Risk Financing and Preparedness in the Context of the InsuResilience Global Partnership’. This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by SLYCAN Trust in collaboration with Chrysalis as a local partner in Sri Lanka.