Framework for Loss and Damage Assessment Developed for Southeast Asian Countries

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Framework for Loss and Damage Assessment Developed for Southeast Asian Countries

With global climate steadily warming, loss and damage to natural and humans systems will continue to persist and may even worsen according to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Given this, a group of scientists converged to enhance knowledge and better understand these issues through the project entitled Assessing the Linkages between Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and Loss and Damage (L&D): Case Studies in the Low-lying Coastal Cities of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

This two-year collaborative research project that just closed was funded by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research through a competitive grant under the ‘Climate Adaptation Framework’. The series of activities undertaken by the project tried to understand the emerging issues with regard to L&D at the local, national and regional scales. Specifically, it 1) Reviewed existing frameworks for assessing L&D due to climate-related disasters; 2) Identified emerging issues, gaps and opportunities in linking CCA, DRR and L&D; 3) Developed a framework in linking CCA-DRR-L&D, and 4) Recommended research and development (R&D) and policy agenda for implementation to help improve the resilience of the communities against climate-related disasters.

The highlight of this project is the initiative to develop a framework that links L&D-CCA-DRR. It shows a cyclic process of reducing or avoiding L&D associated with climate change impacts and increasing resilience by combining both CCA and DRR strategies through these seven major components: climate stressors, climate/disaster risk, socio-ecological system, potential and actual L&D assessments, resilience building as incorporated in the planning process, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). This framework, when successfully operationalized, is envisioned to ultimately reduce and avoid L&D, decrease vulnerability, and increase resiliency at the local, national, regional, and global levels.

To successfully operationalize the proposed regional framework on L&D assessment, advancement on climate information and knowledge is needed to support effective L&D systems as per initial pilot-testing. The framework should also be mainstreamed in all levels of development planning and policy-making. It requires the participation of relevant stakeholders and actors and the strong partnerships between and among them to effectively implement this new system. The findings also recommend that an effective M&E mechanism should support the initiatives to ensure the improvement and continuity of the new system in assessing L&D interlinked with CCA-DRR.

It is important to note, however, that there are gaps and challenges that must be addressed and the proposed mechanism is just a guiding framework in conducting L&D assessment and creating development plans. It is necessary to further assess the potential application of the framework and the specific tools and methods to conduct each of the included components in the proposed system. Developing and testing of specific and appropriate assessment tools is also recommended.

The project was spearheaded by the OML Center Executive Director, Dr. Rodel Lasco, along with the collaborators, Dr. Rizaldi Boer (Indonesia), Dr. Nguyen Huu Ninh (Vietnam) and Mr. Suppakorn Chinvanno (Thailand).

For more information about the outputs and findings of the project, check this link.