Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Country Initiative
2011-2014 | Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Grenada
Vulnerable individuals, financial institutions
Managing and transfering risks associated with extreme weather events


With locked in climate emissions and already committed changes in climate forcings, scientists warn of future impacts on society and nature. The frequency and intensity of weather‐related hazards is expected to grow, along with long‐term adverse impacts of weather‐related risks.

In many cases, this could exceed adaptation thresholds of people and countries. Accepting this reality the UNFCCC negotiations increasingly give a profile to the issue of loss & damage of adverse climate impacts. At COP16, Parties created a Work Program on Loss and Damage under the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). The goal of this work program is to increase awareness among delegates, assess the exposure of countries to loss and damage, explore a range of activities that may be appropriate to address loss and damage in vulnerable countries, and identify ways that the UNFCCC process might play in helping countries avoid and reduce loss and damage associated with climate change. COP18, in December 2012, will mark the next milestone furthering the international response on this issue. The voices of the most vulnerable countries must be articulated and heard at COP 18.

The “Loss and Damage in Vulnerable Countries Initiative” supports the Government of Bangladesh and the Least Developed Countries in their voice to call for action of the international community. Progress in Bangladesh will help inform other LDCs on potential pathways for understanding and addressing loss and damage.

About the initiative

The Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) assists the Government of Bangladesh to help build a common understanding around loss and damage and provide insights about what this entails for vulnerable countries. Following a competitive procurement exercise, CDKN has appointed a consortium.

The overarching objective of the project is to help frame discussions around loss and damage, particularly its implications for LDCs and other vulnerable countries. This is significant because while many of the topics are complementary to adaptation, loss and damage acknowledges that some impacts of climate change cannot be adapted to.


To further the debate and contribute to a common frame for understanding the project will pursue the following objectives:

  • Assess exposure to a spectrum of loss and damage impacts, ranging from climate variability to longer‐term climate change. The initiative will explore this through providing conceptual options for loss & damage, but also practical risk assessment methodologies, as well as case studies examining loss & damage exposures including local perspectives.
  • Examine a range of tools to manage short- and longer‐term loss and damage, particularly in those countries with the greatest exposures and lowest capacities to address loss and damage.
  • Explore policy and implementa6on pathways for LDCs and other vulnerable countries. Building on knowledge gained through consultations with the Government of Bangladesh, LDCs, vulnerable countries and relevant stakeholder organizations, the project will help develop scenarios for policies and actions to mediate and reduce the negative impacts of loss and damage situations. The project will be carried out through constant consultations with the Government of Bangladesh and LDC leadership and suppor6ng research and discourse. The project hopes to facilitate the articulation of these countries´ needs and ideas about how to move the issue area forward, both under the Conven6on and on the ground. This approach is hoped to help vulnerable countries in their position building on loss and damage towards COP18.

The project consortium

Germanwatch is a Germany‐based environment and development organisation. Following the motto “Observing, Analysing, Acting”, Germanwatch has been actively promoting global equity and the preservation of livelihoods since 1991. Germanwatch has worked for more than 15 years in the UNFCCC negotiations and issues related to climate and development.

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic and research arm of the UN. The United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU‐EHS), is located in Bonn, Germany. The Institute supports policymakers and decision makers with evidence‐based research and informa6on on risk and vulnerability aspects of human security.

MCII, hosted at UNU‐EHS
The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) is hosted at UNU‐EHS. MCII is a non‐profit organization that brings together insurers, experts on climate change and adaptation, NGOs, and policy researchers intent on finding solutions to the risks posed by climate change. MCII provides a forum and gathering point for insurance-related expertise on climate change impact issues.

International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) provides a window to local experience, knowledge and research countries most affected by climate change. ICCCAD supports a growing capacity of Bangladesh stakeholders, while enabling people and organizations from outside to benefit from training in Bangladesh, where they can be exposed to the adaptation “experiments” and increasing knowledge.