Yesterday the 17th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM ExCom) commenced. It is a hybrid event which will conclude on 23 September with attendees in Bonn, Germany and also following online. The webpage for the event has further information and a live link for observers to follow online. The agenda is here.
Of the many critical issues being discussed, one is the WIM ExCom’s 5-year rolling work plan.
The background for this issue is that the work plan of the WIM ExCom is currently being updated. This has proven to be a challenge for the new members of the WIM ExCom, who lack understanding of the previous work plan and how it was developed. Just this morning, the draft workplan for 2023-2027 has just been shared for consideration and discussion.
The work plan for the previous five year period was based upon a consultative process, which comprised the review of progress on the initial two year work plan, combined with an online survey, an invitation for submissions of views to seek inputs on what needed to be included in the new work plan, and a two-day multi-stakeholder consultation session run by a professional facilitator. This process has not been followed this time.
There have been suggestions that the work plan of the WIM ExCom should be the composite of the plans of action of the five expert groups. This is not ideal as the expert groups focus on resolving technical issues and the expert group plans of action have tended to be dominated by the existing work plans of the technical agencies which make up each expert group.
Nevertheless, the existing plans of action of the expert groups were based on the activities set out in the WIM ExCom’s five year rolling work plan; whereas, now, the process seems to be reversed - the updated five year rolling work plan is based on the plans of action of the expert groups.
The WIM ExCom work plan should have a strategic focus to ensure that loss and damage is incorporated into global and national policy and practice; have a specific focus on responding to the needs of vulnerable people, communities, developing countries and ecosystems; ensure they are better equipped to avert, minimize and address loss and damage; and advise on effective systems for delivering action and support. Attention should also be given to integrating human rights.
In collaboration with some L&DC members I have suggested here some activities for the five year rolling work plan that would support implementation of actions to avert, minimise and address Loss and Damage.
Action and Support Workstream – Recognising that work on Action and Support is essential to deliver on the third mandate of the WIM:
• The mobilisation of action and support, including Technical Assistance (TA) - what it looks like and how it should be administered,
• The role of local agents in delivering action and supporting, including TA, respecting national ownership while facilitating local actors
• What are the priorities for action and support, including TA - How to avoid the expendable versus the essential?
Slow Onset Events (SOEs)– what does a trigger mechanism for catalysing TA to address SOEs look like?
• Identify critical SOEs and geographies through a literature review, building on the knowledge products already developed by the ExCom, including the scoping paper on SOEs (Feb 2018) and the mapping of organisations working SOEs (2015)
• Explore possible mechanisms for fast and efficient delivery to respond to loss and damage from slow onset events
• Make recommendations for what triggers might be required or thresholds might need to be met before mobilizing TA to address SOEs
Comprehensive Risk Management (CRM) – CRM requires coherence and coordination and prioritization of the most suitable actions:
• Undertake an analysis of what an effective coordination mechanism might look like that brings together TA from the Humanitarian, Disaster Risk Reduction, and development communities
• How to do this in a way that respects national implementation mechanisms?
Taskforce on Displacement – Identify the action to be taken, including the types of technical assistance that might be required, to support persons and / or communities threatened with displacement or displaced by climate change impacts - either temporarily or permanently
Non-economic Loss and Damage – Identify the action to be taken, including the types of technical assistance that might be required, to support persons and / or communities at risk of suffering or suffering non-economic losses resulting from climate change impacts
Colin McQuistan is Head of Climate and Resilience in the Influence and Impact team of Practical Action. The author also wishes to acknowledge the support of other Loss and Damage Collaboration (L&DC) members for helping to developed and edit this blog.