First InsuResilience Partnership Forum in Bonn

Bonn, 16/11/2017 – Only two days after the successful launch of the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions at COP23, the first Partnership Forum brought together signatories and aspiring members in a joint effort to lay the foundation for efficient collaboration in the field of financial protection against climate change.

The InsuResilience Global Partnership builds on existing initiatives such as InsuResilience in order to expand financial protection for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. It represents a joint effort of G20 and V20 countries to protect vulnerable populations from the adverse effects of climate change. More than 30 partners from governments, civil society, international organizations, academia and the industry have already expressed their support and commitment.

Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, representing the Fijian COP Presidency, welcomed participants and explained why collaboration across sectors is not only much needed in climate finance, but will in fact be mutually beneficial. “Our people are counting on us to develop solutions, and to deliver them fast”, he reminded the audience. “We are looking forward to more partners joining this great initiative.”

The Global Partnership launch and initial Forum resonate with the vision of this year’s UN climate conference, COP23. The Presidency has put focus on the urgency of climate action for vulnerable societies, especially small island developing nations, and asked all UNFCCC countries to forge new alliances that span sectors in order to build greater resilience to climate change impacts.

BMZ’s Director-General Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven extended her thanks to the Fijian Presidency for pointing to the immediacy of climate risks in small island and developing nations. “Climate change is threatening the lives and livelihoods of people in developing countries. We have to do something that is commensurate to the magnitude of the challenge”, she stated, then moving on to elaborate on the vision of the Partnership. “The InsuResilience Partnership will bring cohesion and coordination into the diversity of existing climate finance and insurance schemes. By working together with a diverse range of actors, we can scale up viable solutions.”

Both Hoven and Director-General of the European Commission’s DG DEVCO Stefano Manservisi carved out their vision for a dual impact of the new Partnership: Besides enabling faster and more efficient recovery from climate-related extreme events, the collaborative effort will contribute towards a much-needed paradigm shift. Manservisi emphasized the importance of efficient action to facilitate and incentivize prevention, saying: “This Forum, which we strongly support, offers a coordinated and efficient way to move towards an ex-ante approach in climate risk management.”

Panel discussion at the Partnership Forum (Photo: GIZ/Frommann)

The Forum’s keynote speech was delivered by the Chair of the African Risk Capacity’s Board Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who gave a powerful but optimistic impression of the urgent need to join forces in striving for greater resilience. “This is not political correctness,” she told the audience “it is a necessity. We need this Partnership to come up with solutions, exploring all options to deal with climate risks. The goal is ambitious, but if we work together with the same degree of openness and determination as before, we will achieve this. We must play to the advantage of all partners in the alliance. And as a community, we will make progress.”

After a year of devastating extreme weather events, the Forum provided an inclusive platform for participants from all sectors to discuss the role of the Partnership for the broader resilience agenda, and to develop concrete priorities and measures that will help build greater resilience for disproportionately affected countries.

A wish for inclusive discussion and active engagement was the defining characteristic of the day: An interactive framing session exploring the appropriateness of financial and insurance solutions for varying contexts, co-moderated by the Red Crescent Climate Centre and the World Bank, was preceded by two diverse expert panels on the vision and impact of the Partnership. In a number of afternoon working sessions organized by the World Bank, KfW, the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), A2R, MCII and the InsuResilience Secretariat, participants engaged in focused group talks to discuss challenges and opportunities. They devised concrete recommendations for advancing resilience to climate-related events through innovative finance and insurance solutions.

A final plenary session brought all participants back together to share practical recommendations and to wrap up workshop results. Philipp Knill of BMZ provided an outlook on the Partnership’s way forward, urging participants to continue to actively shape its conceptualization and operationalization. “Judging from the collaborative spirit and enthusiasm that we have felt here today, I think we can say that there is lots of political momentum to realize our ambitious goals.”

The Global Partnership Forum will take place annually to facilitate communication and exchange of information and knowledge among its members. The initial Forum took place at Deutsche Welle Headquarters, within eyeshot of the COP23 conference venue.