The Climate and Society approach is a collective process involving: engagement of the relevant community of partners, identifying key challenges and opportunities, and harnessing and disseminating state of the art knowledge and recommendations. This issue will build on high level roundtable discussions supported by specialists and researchers with intimate understanding of the technical and practical challenges associated with index insurance implementation. It will build on informative workshops designed to bring together experts to address if/how particular hurdles can be overcome, or technologies be implemented to facilitate the use of index insurance at scale relevant to the development challenge.
Kicking off the Process
Swiss Re and the IRI jointly hosted a policy roundtable on the use of index insurance for poverty reduction, June 24, 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland. The roundtable was held in cooperation with the Global Humanitarian Forum, chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, on the occasion of the forum's first annual meeting on 'The Human Face of Climate Change'. The GHF calls us "to catalyze action to meet the urgent needs of vulnerable communities exposed to climate risks," reflecting a growing demand for new and innovative approaches to managing climate risk.
Thirty leaders from fields as diverse as reinsurance, climate science, economics and food security participated, in an effort to gain insight on how these innovative tools can best serve development, today. The meeting focused on three key questions, as framed in the roundtable background paper:
- What kinds of index insurance are necessary to span the range of poverty problems and assist development?
- Can index insurance overcome hurdles in scale-up to cover the risks it must address?
- What are the roles of governments, NGOs and donors in scaling up index insurance for poverty reduction?
The discussion was chaired by the Rt. Hon. Simon Upton, former Minister for the Environment of New Zealand, and past Chairman of the OECD Round Table on Sustainable Development.
Workshops Around the World
The IRI and partners have been busy hosting a series of workshops in the Fall, 2008. The IRI/ and CRED co-hosted a workshop on the 'Role of Climate Science for Index Insurance', bringing together experts to focus on innovative research and technologies that have potential in scaling up index insurance.
The World Bank CRMG hosted a workshop in Brussels, Belgium, designed to bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sectors to discuss practical challenges of implementing index insurance, including potential solutions and practical experience.
BASIX, along with WFP/IFAD, hosted a workshop in Hyderabad, India, designed to look at index insurance in practice in India, bringing together key stakeholders engaged in implementation to discuss lessons learned and ways forward.
Finally, the IRI and MCII co-hosted as side session at the UNFCCC COP14 in Poznan, Poland, which looked at how climate risk insurance could be used as an adaptation tool, as well as how it might be integrated into a Post-Kyoto Framework.