Non - Economic Loss and Damage Project
Non-economic loss and damage (NELD) refers to the things of value —intangible or tangible— that are not commonly traded in markets. Non-economic losses are associated with irreversible impacts such as human fatalities or the permanent destruction of ecosystems, whereas non-economic damages are associated with impacts that can be alleviated or repaired, such as decreased social cohesion or soil quality.
NELD impacts individuals, societies, and the environment. Examples range from NELD to traditions and culture, to physical and mental health, to sense of place and social fabric, and to identity and dignity. Given the almost infinite number of different ways people assign value to things, capturing all types of NELD is immensely challenging.
Despite this, it is imperative that assessments of Loss and Damage ensure that there is coverage of the non-economic dimensions. Failing to do so can distort our understanding of climate change impacts, discount and exclude the experiences of some, and skew future decision-making.
The Loss and Damage Collaboration's Non-economic Loss and Damage Project works to shine a spotlight on the non-economic dimensions of loss and damage within the UNFCCC process, academia, and other forums relevant to Loss and Damage decision-making. Through an exploration of how we can measure, assess, and address NELD, the group works to further understanding and awareness of this critical yet undervalued component of climate governance.
For enquiries related to Non-economic Loss and Damage Project please contact the project coordinator:
teo [@] lossanddamagecollaboration.org
This is a project which started at COP25 in Madrid 2019. At that meeting of the countries who are members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement, the Santiago Network for averting, minimising and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change (Santiago Network) was established.
The Santiago Network offered hope to frontline communities in the climate crisis that a body had been created to help them address loss and damage. This body would make sure there was action and support being provided on the ground in their communities including helping them access finance, technology and build their capacity to address these impacts. This was in the context of a world where climate impacts are increasing, and this is being felt by the most vulnerable people in our society who are the least responsible for climate change. These impacts are rapidly becoming worse.
This project started under the banner of the Loss and Damage Collaboration, an informal group of practitioners, researchers, activists and decision makers from both the global North and South who have expertise on a range of topics relating to the need to address loss and damage. It had a number of projects, including the Santiago Network Project which developed a committed group from a range of backgrounds led by Doreen Stabinsky and Heidi White who were concerned that the Santiago Network might become no more than a website.
The Santiago Network Working Group, as it was then called, has since been tireless in seeking to steer the negotiations on the Santiago Network from something that had become a website to something that had a dedicated negotiations stream under the UNFCCC, and a comprehensive decision with dedicated finance, agreed form and functions and a process for review. This included publications; advocacy e.g. interventions at meetings of negotiators on the Santiago Network and participation in and chairing of meetings of the Adaptation and Loss and Damage Friends Group which is led by the UK COP26 Presidency team; as well as coordination, capacity building, and support on the ground at the COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, United Kingdom in November 2021.
At COP26 there was positive progress, and the work of the Santiago Network Project will now shift to the 2022 negotiations where financial arrangements will be further elaborated and a decision will be adopted regarding the form or ‘institutional arrangements’ of the Santiago Network to finalise the decision to operationalise the Santiago Network and enable it to provide the help that vulnerable communities need to survive.
The Santiago Network Project is open to members from any background. It is important that our input into the negotiations is well-informed and based on the best available advice. We are particularly concerned to involve marginalised groups whose voices are not always heard to ensure the best outcome possible for the negotiations. We cannot be perfect but we can be ambitious and try as much as possible to learn from the past so that the assistance that is urgently needed is provided. These communities need help now and we need to ensure that the Santiago Network becomes effectively operationalised at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
For enquiries directly related to the Santiago Network Project please contact the Project Lead heidimareewhite [@] gmail.com