Assessing and Addressing Non-Economic Loss and Damages from Climatic Disasters

Event: Adaptation Futures 2016: Practices and Solutions
Date: 10-13 May 2016, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The presentation focused on assessing and addressing non-economic loss and damage. Non-economic loss and damage may be “subjective and non-verifiable” but can be more significant than economic losses and damages. They need to be better considered and more widely reported. Through two case studies, Bangladesh and Japan, three categories of non-economic loss and damage are found; human functions, socio-cultural assets and environmental assets. In terms of loss and damage assessments, there are a number of quantitative and qualitative methodologies, but overwhelmingly they are derived from disaster rather than climate change contexts. Further, many are too complex for comprehensive use. In order to better prioritize adaptation interventions, the research in Bangladesh, Thailand, India and Japan employed a multi-criteria assessment methodology called the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to capture both subjective and objective evaluation measures. Selected results suggest the importance of access to sanitation, compensation, and disaster preparedness plans for reducing non-economic loss and damages following cyclones. Low importance is attached to insurance as it is rarely considered for noneconomic losses, and increasing income does not necessarily lead to immediate improvements in non-economic aspects of life. To raise the profile of non-economic loss and damage on the political agenda, governments must be provided with compelling evidence for its importance, so that indicators can be incorporated into existing forms of data collection.