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Frequently asked questions on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (L&D Mechanism)






1. When was the L&D Mechanism established?


The L&D Mechanism was established at the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland, which took place in November 2013. Provisions regarding the L&D Mechanism are contained in decision 2/CP.19.

2. What is the aim of the L&D Mechanism?

The aim of the L&D Mechanism is to address loss and damage associated with impacts of climate change, including extreme events (such as hurricanes, heat waves, etc.) and slow onset events (such as desertification, sea level rise, ocean acidification, etc.) in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

3. How will the L&D Mechanism assist countries address loss and damage?

The L&D Mechanism will promote the implementation of approaches to addresses loss and damage in three ways:
  • Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches;
  • Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders;
  • Enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacity–building.

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraph 5 for details of the functions of the L&D Mechanism.

4. How will the L&D Mechanism enhance knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches?

The L&D Mechanism will facilitate:

  • Action to address gaps in the understanding of various topics related to addressing loss and damage, for example, the risk of slow onset events, non-economic loss and damage, how impacts of climate change are affecting patterns of migration, displacement and human mobility, etc.;
  • Collection, sharing, management and use of relevant data and information;
  • Provision of overviews of best practices, challenges, experiences and lessons learned.

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraph 5 (a) and decision 3/CP.18, paragraph 7 (a).

A literature review on different approaches to address loss and damage can be found here.

5. How will the L&D Mechanism strengthen dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders?

The L&D Mechanism will provide leadership and coordination, under the Convention, on the assessment and implementation of approaches to address loss and damage. Furthermore the L&D Mechanism will promote cooperation and collaboration across relevant work outside of the Convention at all levels.

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraph 5 (b).

6. How will the L&D Mechanism enhance action and support?

The L&D Mechanism will enhance action and support by:

  • Providing technical support and guidance on approaches to address loss and damage;
  • Catalyzing relevant information and recommendations to the operating entities of the financial mechanism of the Convention;
  • Facilitating the mobilization and securing of expertise, and enhancement of support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, to strengthen existing approaches and facilitate development and implementation of additional approaches to address loss and damage. 

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraph 5 (c).

7. What actions can countries undertake to address loss and damage?

The L&D Mechanism aims to enable countries to undertake actions, such as:

  • Assessing the risk of loss and damage;
    Identifying options and designing and implementing country-driven risk management strategies and approaches;
  • Systematic observation and data collection of the impacts of climate change;
  • Implementing comprehensive climate risk management approaches, including scaling up and replicating good practices and pilot initiatives;
  • Promoting an enabling environment that would encourage investment and the involvement of relevant stakeholders in climate risk management;
  • Involving vulnerable communities and populations, civil society, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders, in the assessment of and response to loss and damage;
  • Enhancing access to, sharing and the use of data, at the regional, national and subnational levels, to facilitate the assessment and management of climate-related risk.

8. What is the linkage of the L&D Mechanism with other processes and stakeholders?

The L&D Mechanism should complement, draw upon the work of and involve, as appropriate, existing bodies and expert groups under the Convention as well as on that of relevant organizations and expert bodies outside the Convention, at all levels.

Relevant international and regional organizations, institutions and processes have been invited by the COP to integrate measures to address the impacts of climate change and to explore and strengthen synergies in the context of addressing loss and damage, especially in particularly vulnerable developing countries.

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraphs 6 and 11.

9. What is the Executive Committee of the L&D Mechanism? 

The Executive Committee of the L&D Mechanism was established to guide the implementation of the functions of the L&D Mechanism. It is guided by and accountable to the COP. The Executive Committee will report annually to the COP.

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraphs 2-4.

For more information on the Executive Committee including its membership, please click here.

10. What is the timeline for the implementation of the L&D Mechanism?

The Executive Committee will develop an initial 2-year workplan for the implementation of the L&D Mechanism during the course of 2014. At COP 20 (December 2014), Parties will finalize the organization and governance of the Executive Committee. At COP 22 (December, 2016) the L&D Mechanism will be reviewed.

See decision 2/CP.19 paragraphs 9 and 15.

To see the chronology of major previous decisions and events on issues related to loss and damage under the Convention, please click here.



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