Approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries

The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage promotes the implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, in a comprehensive, integrated and coherent manner (See decision 2/CP.19 for the details). The mechanism is established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to assist developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change by:

  • Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches to address loss and damage

  • Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders

  • Enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacity-building

Through these functions, the mechanism implements Article 8 of the Paris Agreement.

The Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism guides the implementation of those functions through its workplan, and with the support of thematic expert groups. The current work plan has five strategic workstreams (see the accordions below), addressing loss and damage associated with climate change impacts. In fulfilling its mandate the Executive Committee also develops initiatives, such as the Fiji Clearing House for Risk Transfer, which connects experts and those looking for risk transfer solutions in order to build tailor-made responses, to foster climate-resilient sustainable development.

Slow onset events

Slow onset events include increasing temperature, desertification, loss of biodiversity, land and forest degradation, glacial retreat, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and salinization. Activities under this strategic workstream aim at improving the understanding of slow onset events, as well as enhancing the capacity of address them, particularly at regional and national levels. 

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Non-economic losses

Non-economic losses are additional to the loss of property, assets, infrastructure, agricultural production and/or revenue that can result from the adverse effects of climate change. It covers loss and damage that are not easily quantifiable in economic terms, such as loss of life, degraded health, losses induced by human mobility, as well as loss or degradation of territory, cultural heritage, indigenous knowledge, societal/cultural identity biodiversity, and ecosystem services. This strategic workstream aims at enhancing data collection on, knowledge and awareness of non-economic losses, so that they can be further taken into account in national level measures.

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Comprehensive risk management approaches

Comprehensive risk management approaches include risk assessment, risk reduction, risk transfer and risk retention. Such approaches aim at building long-term resilience of countries, vulnerable populations and communities to loss and damage, including in relation to extreme and slow onset events, including through:

  • emergency preparedness;
  • measures to enhance recovery, rehabilitation and build back/forward better;
  • social protection instruments, including social safety nets; and
  • transformational approaches.  

This strategic workstream aims at enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches, including issues related to finance, data, technology, regulatory environments and capacity-building.

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Human mobility

Human mobility comprises migration, displacement and planned relocation related to the adverse impacts of climate change. The main purpose of this strategic workstream is to better understand the impacts of climate change on human mobility, develop and disseminate recommendations for integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change, as well as facilitate stakeholder engagement for further action.

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Action and support

This strategic workstream targets enhanced cooperation and facilitation in relation to action and support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.

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