SPREP discusses disaster risk insurance

THE Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) climate change adviser Espen Ronneberg says there have been a lot of discussions about disaster risk insurance for climate change in the region.

Mr Ronneberg said there was a catastrophic insurance facility which not all countries were members of.

“It only covers certain aspects of natural disasters. What countries are interested in is to have climate change insurance for things you can’t adapt towards,” Mr Ronneberg said.

“We have been doing work in the region and involved insurance industry experts and other interested partners to see what were the options for an insurance facility for the region.

“It is still work in progress. Fiji would be included in this facility. For the disaster one, eight countries are members.”

He said for climate change, they wanted to have coverage for all 14 island countries.

He added there were also obstacles faced by small island countries in accessing some of the climate change international financing.

“The sheer amount of paperwork you have to develop is one thing. You also have to show proof the number of steps one has taken. For example, having a gender plan for your project,” he said.

“This means you have to show that you have done community consultations. It means you have to do your environmental and social risk assessments as well .

“It is not only about putting things on paper, you have to physically do things as well. These cost money and you need to have experts who know how to carry out these tasks. These things all add up making it complex for countries without big administrations. “

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