The four pillars of Climate Risk Management in the LAC Program
1.Identify vulnerabilities and potential opportunities due to climate variability/change for a given water, agriculture, or health system. This process begins with stakeholder analysis, as they identify their climate challenges, and then proceeds with modeling of the system being analyzed to identify other vulnerabilities and/or opportunities that stakeholders may not identify.
2. Quantify uncertainties in "climate information" in order to reduce uncertainties in using that information. A better understanding of the climate aspects of these vulnerabilities, challenges and opportunities, such as predictability, expected recurrence and possible long term changes require: (a) understanding climate variability at different time scales, and assessing the socioeconomic impacts observed in the past, (b) monitoring the present conditions of relevant environmental factors (climate, vegetation, water, diseases, etc.), and (c) providing the best possible climate information of the future, from seasons to decades depending on the relevance for different decisions and activities1.
3. Identify technologies and practices that optimize results in normal or favorable years as well as technologies and practices that reduce vulnerabilities to climate variability and change (examples in agriculture include crop diversification, crop rotations, improved tillage systems, increased water soil storage, improved crop water use efficiency, drought-resistant cultivars), and
4. Identify interventions, institutional arrangements and best practices that reduce exposure to climate vulnerabilities and enable the opportunistic exploitation of favorable climate conditions. Exposure reduction can be achieved through, for example: (a) improved early warning and response to crisis (e.g. improved emergency systems), and (b) transferring portions of the existing risks (e.g., different modalities of rural insurance, supervised/ differential credit programs, etc.). Risk transfer instruments require efforts to characterize and quantify the different risk levels (“Disasters”, “Harm”, etc.) which vary for different production systems and for different regions of the world. Such characterization and quantification of risk levels is in turn a key input for institutions that design insurance (and re-insurance) policies.
 The temporal scale (seasons, years, decades) of the information that is needed is defined by the needs of the stakeholders demanding it. Farmers usually demand information at seasonal to inter-annual scales, development banks, foresters, water reservoir builders may be interested in the likelihood of decades with e.g., frequent droughts or floods, while National authorities negotiating in the UNFCCC may require climate scenarios for the next 50 or more years.