Integrated Climate Risk Management for a Resilient World

Organized by the Delta Electronics Foundation, Taiwan; the Governments of the Netherlands, Tuvalu, Germany, Switzerland and Japan; Mountain and Glacier Protection Organization (MGPO), Pakistan; Munich Re; the World Bank Group; the World Resources Institute (WRI); and Zoi Environment, Switzerland

This event, moderated by André Wehrli, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), highlighted the importance of Integrated Climate Risk Management (ICRM) as an efficient and effective approach to reduce the risk of future losses and damages due to climate change.

Highlighting his country’s long history in addressing floods and offering to share experiences and lessons, Johan van der Werff, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Peru, introduced the Aqueduct Flood Analyzer, a tool that analyzes the risk of flooding, describing it as a powerful instrument for policy makers in planning adaptation strategies.

Charles Iceland, Aqueduct Director, WRI, noted that the Analyzer enables users to programme different flood scenarios, and view a global inundation map, which provides information on the number of people affected and the economic impacts.

Angela Yeh, Delta Electronics Foundation, and Shuuichi Endou, President of Tuvalu Overview, spoke on building resilience to climate change in Taiwan and Tuvalu. Yeh highlighted her organization’s work in rebuilding a school for indigenous peoples in a mountainous area in Taiwan, noting that the new school now serves as a disaster shelter as well as a “net-zero energy-green school.”  Endou highlighted mitigation and land reclamation efforts in Tuvalu, through the planting of mangroves on heavily eroded lands. He called on alternative energy and water technologies to enable the country to build greater resilience.

Roberto Mendez, SDC Bolivia, presented contributions from the Bolivian experience on ICRM, stressing the importance of legally-binding resilience frameworks being mainstreamed into national planning process.

Eiji Otsuki, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), shared the effect of investment for disaster risk reduction (DRR) on the economy, noting that data proves “the sooner the better” as the best DRR investment policy. He drew attention to the benefits of DRR investments for sustainable development.

Panelists then discussed enabling factors and constraints for the adoption and implementation of the ICRM approach. Mataio Tekinene, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, Tuvalu, highlighted his government’s climate change policies and collaboration with civil society actors, and called for external partnerships, noting that “if you save Tuvalu, you save the world.”

Urging capacity building and awareness raising on ICRM, Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, BMZ, stressed the need to: undertake a more comprehensive climate risk assessment, and recognise more gradual slow-onset changes as part of climate risk approaches.

Otsuki noted JICA’s focus on, inter alia, pre-disaster prevention and mitigation measures, and assisting developing country governments to DRR into national policies.

James Close, Director, Climate Change Group, the World Bank Group, highlighted the Bank’s project screening process to ensure climate change resilience in order to monitor the deployment of its resources.

Annika Fawcett, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands, stressed the importance of climate data and knowledge, noting that this is a challenge in many developing countries, and emphasizing the need for thorough risk analyses in cases where data is scarce.

Aisha Khan, CEO, MGPO, Pakistan, lauded community custodians in her country for understanding climate risks, and listed financial, institutional and political constraints for the implementation of ICRM.

Highlighting effects of climate change on the insurance industry and stressing the need to act now, Peter Höppe, Munich Re, drew attention to a corporate climate center dedicated to producing data on climate-related risks, and providing new renewable energy products to interested stakeholders.

Concluding the event, Wehrli stressed the: need to act now; importance of understanding the risks; importance of preparedness in terms of policy and cooperation; and urgency of investing in disaster prevention tools.

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