NZ collaborates with UNDP to launch Climate Risk Insurance Initiative for the Pacific

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji, Jonathan Curr has launched the ‘Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era- Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation’ Programme in Suva, today.

The initiative is jointly developed and will be implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations University Institute for Environment Society and the United Nations Development Programme.

“New Zealand, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is pleased to support this initiative as it fully aligns with New Zealand’s “climate action” agenda as well as its focus on disaster risk reduction in the Pacific to address vulnerabilities of low-income populations,” Curr said.

The programme is the first of its kind for the region where market-based climate risk insurance solutions will be made available to Pacific islanders in Fiji and Vanuatu first, then to other island countries.

“Climate change is a key strategic priority for New Zealand.  Our focus is on ensuring there is an effective global response to climate change and that New Zealand makes a responsible contribution to that global response, and that climate resilience in the Pacific improves.”

“At the United Nations General Assembly in 2018, Prime Minister Ardern announced that New Zealand would spend at least $300 million on climate change development assistance from 2019 to 2022.  In addition, two-thirds of this would be focused on the Pacific, and at least half, focused on adaptation activities.”

The new initiative aims to develop affordable parametric and weather index-based climate risk insurance targeted at the agriculture, fisheries, retail and tourism sectors with specific focus on women, youth, migrants and MSME segments.

“We are now in December, the beginning of the annual ‘cyclone’ season (which runs from November –April) in this part of the world which is synonymous with flooding, heavy rainfall and events that disrupt and affect lives and livelihoods.”

“Low income Pacific people and vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected. Farmers, fishermen/women and small businesses also face untold challenges, their incomes affected post-disaster. Presently, they have little recourse but to await Government or external assistance that often takes weeks or months to arrive.”

The programme covers 23 activities (including our support for the Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP) across seven sectors including public sector strengthening, information for decision making, global influence, innovative finance, water security, ecosystems, and climate mobility, thus reflecting the cross-cutting nature of climate change.



Josephine Navula