The Pacific Island States are among the most vulnerable countries in the world to the adverse impacts of climate change and other natural disasters. For the past twenty years, on average, the islands have experienced six tropical cyclones annually, causing damages, estimated at more than 2.9 billion USD.
With no agricultural insurance schemes or any other formal way of transferring weather related risks, the tendency to rely on disaster relief programmes for recovery after the impacts of weather related disasters, hinders the long-term development of the agricultural sector. Fiji is the most advanced in terms of awareness on the concept and benefits of index-based insurance and has initiated the design of such products.
This regional action plan created by Pacific stakeholders has the aim to reduce risks to farmers and other value chain actors through the development and institutionalisation of a tested weather risk agricultural insurance product suitable for the Pacific Islands.
The action plan addresses four key areas:
1. Institutional support & systems: Learn from international good practice on weather index based insurance (WIBI); Build relationships with international insurers (and reinsurers); Sufficient and robust weather and crop data available to attract investments; Specific WIBI legislation and regulation;
2. Data Collection and Validation: Identify and promote through consultation(s) and implementation of pilot WIBI projects and other bundled insurance product(s) lessons that are well understood and accepted by Pacific farmers
3. Starting Point for WIBI: Joint identification for the development and introduction of an insurance product(s).
4. Extend WIBI for Fisheries & introduce Disease risks: insurance products beyond weather based crop insurance, i.e. fisheries, and pests and diseases
The plan also includes action points on Capacity building, Awareness, Education and Financing.