Loss and Damage: Roadmap to Relevance for the Warsaw International Mechanism

Loss and Damage: Roadmap to Relevance for the Warsaw International Mechanism

Roadmap document outlining possible structure and activities for the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

COP 19 in Warsaw decided to establish the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) under the Cancun Adaptation Framework, so as to address loss and damage in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. As part of that agreement, it was requested that the Executive Committee of the WIM develop an initial two-year work plan for the implementation of the mechanism’s functions. The aim of this roadmap document is to outline a possible structure and activities for the work plan, targeted at providing loss and damage with a meaningful institutional basis in the climate regime. The document begins by contextualising loss and damage discussions, tracing the inclusion of the topic within the climate regime from its introduction on the agenda in the Conference of Parties 18 (COP18) in 2010, through the milestones on the way to COP 19, and on to the establishment there of the WIM. Following this, the authors outline the initial procedures of the Executive Committee, and defines the relevant activities within the work plan as those based on the three main functions the WIM is mandated to implement:

  • Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management to address loss and damage associated with climate change, including slow onset impacts
  • Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders
  • Enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacity-building, to enable countries to take action to address loss and damage.

The rest of the document discusses: the potential for light activities in the year-long gap before the two-year work plan is implemented in 2015/16; the importance of structuring work so that the mechanism shows its relevance and utility, in a functional and systemic sense, prior to its review in 2016; the need for innovation, engagement with stakeholders, and approaches that are country-driven; important loss and damage initiatives outside of the UNFCCC, including the African Risk Capacity (ARC) and the Nansen Initiative on Disaster-Induced Cross-Border Displacement launched by Norway and Switzerland; attempts to include loss and damage under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP); and finally information on the proposed 2016 WIM review.

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