At the invitation of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (United Nations ESCAP) subregional office for the Pacific, the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company (PCRIC) took advantage of the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas with distinguished peers.
This Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Pacific Perspectives 2022, saw the PCRIC CEO, Mr. Aholotu Palu participate in the session for Disaster and Climate Resilience. With the increasing vulnerability of Pacific Island nations in the face of natural disasters, their manner of response to this challenging threat is of great concern.
In his presentation, Mr. Palu drew attention to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2021 report that determined an expected escalation in rain frequency and intensity in the western tropical Pacific; aridity in the southern Pacific; agricultural and ecological drought, and severity of tropical cyclones.
“It is becoming clear that our nations can no longer just depend on international aid when disaster strikes. We must further strengthen our proactive approaches to disaster risk management and financing.”
“What we are now seeing in our region is a shift towards countries taking ownership of the risks they face. They are demanding high quality, purposeful and cost-effective disaster risk finance products to ensure that they can respond when a disaster hits and safeguard hard-won development gains.”
In this era that has fostered further regional cooperation with respects to disaster response, it is of critical importance that the Pacific region continues its momentum, specifically, in terms of investments and the financing of climate resilience.
PCRIC’s involvement with multiple regional institutions has nurtured effective partnerships that includes data collection and analysis of disaster risk with SPC, supporting dialogue with country leaders on disaster risk finance with PIFS, and an internship program to create a knowledge hub around disaster risk finance insurance with USP.
“Each of these relationships form a principal part of the disaster risk finance landscape in the Pacific. This helps us to pool resources on technical development, political buy-in, and our leaders of tomorrow are putting this key issue at the top of their agendas for the region,” Mr. Palu explained.
The products offered by PCRIC cannot solve the entire financing needs that follow a natural disaster. Assuredly, for the most comprehensive protection against risks, countries must engage a variety of complementary financial instruments that respond in different situations. Therefore, it is paramount for development partners and private sector entities offering disaster risk finance solutions to work together towards a common goal of resilience.
As an outcome, discussions from the meeting will inform the finalization of Pacific Perspectives 2022, slated to be launched on 6th December. This flagship publication will focus on issues related to addressing climate change in the Pacific, highlighting four key thematic topics: disaster resilience, ocean and climate synergy, climate smart and digital trade, and energy transition.