Scaling practical solutions for tackling loss and damage in LDCs and SIDS

Side event

This event brought together least developed countries and Small Island Developing States to jointly generate a shared understanding on what is needed to tackle loss and damage.

Last updated 21 August 2023
Men pile up sandbags in a long line on a beach, with the ocean in the background.

Men working on the construction of a levee with sandbags for protection against erosion, on a sandy beach in Ihuru, an atoll in the Maldives (Photo: Alain Schroeder/Climate Visuals)

London Climate Action Week 2023Loss and damage is one of the most important issues for climate-vulnerable developing countries that are facing new types and forms of climate impact with higher intensity and frequency, which they are not equipped to handle.

These impacts are most acute in least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), where vulnerability is high, and where the people have done least to contribute to the problem.

Tackling loss and damage is not straightforward and there isn’t one solution that fits all. The causes and impacts of loss and damage are highly varied, from sudden climate shocks to long range slow-onset events, and result in economic and non-economic impacts, such as loss of cultural heritage, language or identity.

Also, a country’s vulnerability depends on its existing infrastructure, socio-economic development, and manifests itself differently for different people.

Support and finance to address loss and damage must therefore be grounded in the everyday realities of loss and damage and tailored to the vulnerabilities of different people and places. It requires a comprehensive approach that is anticipatory and agile, as well as responsive to immediate, medium and long-term needs.

In this event, IIED, in partnership with ICCCAD, Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) and the British Red Cross, aimed to bring together LDCs, SIDS and other actors from vulnerable developing countries. We jointly explored three critical questions and generated a shared understanding on what is needed to tackle loss and damage and created support behind these actions:

  • What works and in which contexts?
  • How can such action and support be delivered?
  • How it can be financed?

This event will featured a round of case studies of practical solutions to loss and damage, with reflections from a panel; followed by a discussion about financing these practical solutions.

This event was part of London Climate Action Week 2023.

Agenda and speakers

Panel 1: case studies of practical solutions

Moderator: Saleemul Huq, director, ICCCAD

  • Experience of women grassroots organisations in climate and disaster risk management and building community resilience: Sheela Patel, founder and director of the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) India
  • CRISP-M tool in delivering anticipatory and shock responsive social protection: Ritu Bharadwaj, principal researcher, IIED
  • START network approaches that are proactive and reach people at risk quickly: Oenone Chadburn, head of humanitarian and resilience team, Tearfund

Panel 2: delivering practical solutions at scale

Moderator: Ben Webster, head of secretariat, Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP)

  • Dr Christopher Bartlett, head of climate diplomacy, government of Vanuatu
  • Kishan Kumarsingh, head MEA Unit, Ministry of Planning and Development, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Marek Szilvasi, senior program manager for climate justice, Open Society Foundations

Panel 3: financing

Moderator: Claire Clement, director of law and policy, British Red Cross

  • Catherine Simonet, adaptation lead, AFD
  • Sinead Walsh, climate director, department of Foreign Affairs, government of Ireland
  • Gemma Tanner, senior adaptation advisor, UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO)

Event coverage

Watch a full recording of the event below or on IIED's YouTube channel, where individual links to the start of each speaker's contribution are also provided.

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