Parallel Session A8: Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience-Building and DRR for ports (continued)

23 May 2024 10:00h - 11:00h

Table of contents

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Full session report

Experts convene to bolster port and coastal infrastructure resilience against climate change

At a recent conference, experts gathered to discuss the challenges and strategies for enhancing the resilience of ports and coastal infrastructure in the face of climate change. Regina Asariotis, serving as the master of ceremonies, introduced the speakers, including Professor Austin Becker from the University of Rhode Island, Mr. Giuseppe Mancinelli from UNOBS, and Ms. Jennifer Doherty-Bigara Rodriguez from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Professor Becker highlighted the critical nature of ports as economic engines and their inherent complexity due to the multitude of stakeholders involved. He underscored the constraints faced by ports, such as their fixed locations and ecological sensitivity. Becker presented alarming data showing that a significant number of the world's ports are already within the range of tropical storms, emphasizing the compounded risks posed by climate change, including more intense storms, sea-level rise, and increased precipitation. He stressed the importance of resilience planning and the need for deep engagement and collaboration across various sectors to overcome institutional barriers and make informed decisions for the future.

Mr. Mancinelli emphasized the need for a holistic approach to climate-adaptive infrastructure, which includes serious planning exercises that consider long-term design, funding, and construction. He mentioned the importance of integrating other critical sectors such as energy, water, and communication into this approach. Mancinelli shared examples from UNOPS's work in Saint Lucia and Curaçao, highlighting the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a critical tool for efficient and sustainable infrastructure development. He called for capacity building, investment in advanced technology, and partnerships to address the challenges of climate change and foster sustainable development.

Ms. Doherty-Bigara Rodriguez shared insights into the IDB's efforts to build resilience in Barbados, challenging the narrative that making infrastructure resilient is prohibitively expensive. She presented evidence that investing in adaptation today can lead to significant future savings. Rodriguez emphasized the need for increased investment in adaptation, as current funding is insufficient. She discussed the IDB's support for governments in establishing legal and regulatory frameworks, promoting stakeholder engagement, and strengthening institutional capacity. Rodriguez also highlighted innovative financial solutions like debt-for-nature swaps to create fiscal space for resilience investments.

The conference also touched on the adaptation finance gap, with Asariotis noting the need for better access to affordable adaptation finance, especially for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The upcoming SIDS 4 conference in Antigua and Barbuda was mentioned as a critical event where the next 10-year agenda for SIDS will be adopted, focusing on resilient prosperity.

Noteworthy observations from the conference included the recognition of data sharing challenges between ports due to commercial sensitivities and security concerns, the need for capacity building in climate expertise, and the importance of long-term planning for infrastructure resilience. The conference concluded with a call for a paradigm shift in how we approach long-term planning and investment in resilience, highlighting the role of good planning and engagement in making sound decisions for the future.

Session transcript

Regina Asariotis:
Hello? Yes. So I'm going to sort of double up here. Obviously, I'm not going to give another presentation, but I'm going to do a little bit the master of ceremonies here. So if I could invite to the stage, please, our next speaker, that is Professor Austin Becker from the University of Rhode Island. There is a, we have a sign there as well, but that is going to come. Please, Austin, you have plenty of seats to choose from. And also Mr. Giuseppe Mancinelli from UNOBS. Very happy to have you both here. And in fact, Mr. Mancinelli is from UNOBS. He is the Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. And UNOBS will have a central role in the aftermath and in the run-up to already, but in the aftermath of the SIDS4 conference, which takes place next week in Antigua. So we're very happy to have him here. And if time permits later, maybe he can share some information about issues arising there. But otherwise, you can contact him in this regard. And we very much hope that he's going to take some messages back with him as well. And we have another speaker, Miss Jennifer Doherty.Doherty-Bigara Rodriguez, to be precise. Very nice to have you with us, Jennifer. Jennifer is working with the IDB, Inter-American Development Bank, and is based here in Barbados. She's a Senior Climate Change Specialist, and is going to share her experiences. So without further ado, Austin, please, you have the floor. put the presentation up, A8.

Austin Becker:
Well hello everybody, good morning. Thank you for having me, thanks to the Barbados government and UNTAD. My name is Austin Becker. I'm a professor in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island where I do research on ports and infrastructure and emergency management and planning. And I got very interested in this in a previous career when I actually sailed as a ship captain. On tall ships. And I sailed in and out of many harbors and ports along the east coast and in the Caribbean. And got very interested in how complicated and complex these ports are when it comes to planning and management. So I'm going to talk today about that complexity and try to break it down into some components. I know we are a room full of decision makers and influencers in this space who are interested and enthusiastic about trying to tackle this climate change problem head on. So let's just start with some groundwork here. And I'll reiterate what's been said about ports and coastal infrastructure and what makes it so complex and difficult to plan for. And it really comes down to three big pieces. Ports and coastal infrastructure is critical, complex, and constrained. So it's critical, of course, because it's an economic engine. Ports are an economic engine on the local scale. They provide jobs and goods and services to their regions all the way up to the global scale where we've already heard that maritime freight consists of 80% of the world's supply chain. So ports are very critical. They are complex, there are many stakeholders involved in port planning and decision making. There are port authorities, there are port tenants, environmental groups, public policy, neighbors of ports, so many individuals and many actors have a stake in the efficiency and long-term planning of our ports. And finally, they are constrained to these very specific locations. Access to deep water is one part, access to other types of infrastructure, road, rail, highways, pipelines, but they're also in incredibly ecologically sensitive locations. So ports are almost always located in estuaries where riverine systems meet the sea, and these are breeding grounds for essential habitat, for essential marine life. So we have our very sensitive locations and we have very hazardous materials often crossing right over these sensitive areas, and that makes planning and decision making quite complex and difficult. So ports are already in harm's way. This map shows the world's ports that are within 100 kilometers of a tropical storm in a 50-year period. This is about a third of the world's 3,800 ports, so even before we start talking about climate change, we can see that ports are facing these kinds of impacts already. Of note, the Caribbean area has 270 seaports, sorry, 170 seaports, 71 airports, 98 energy facilities, and 47 wastewater facilities. So this is coastal infrastructure that is potentially in harm's way along the coast. You can see more about this if you take a picture of the QR code. We have a GIS study that we did mapping the the coastal infrastructure in the Caribbean. Climate change makes things more complicated and difficult, and there are really three main drivers that ports and coastal infrastructure need to be concerned with. The first is the potential for more of the really intense tropical storms. So a potential doubling of the Cat 4s and Cat 5s, and we may even see a Cat 6 at some point in the future. So more of these really strong tropical storms. The second climate driver is sea level rise, of course, and the projections now range from around three quarters to around two meters of sea level rise by 2100. There are some projections that are even more than this, but even the low end of this projection could be severe consequences for our coasts. And then finally, increased precipitation with climate change. And if you take these three drivers and sort of bundle them together, as some scientists have done, you find that what is today, that 1 in 100 year flooding event, or the 1% annual flooding event, could be as frequent as the annual flooding event by 2100. So this is of real concern for our coastal communities and for ports and for other coastal infrastructure. So what do we mean when we talk about impacts of disasters on ports and port communities? Again, this can be kind of an overwhelming concept. There's a lot packed into what happens when we have a disaster in our coastal areas and in our ports. So one way to kind of help think about this is to break it down into some categories. So the first are the direct damages that happen when a a disaster occurs at a port. So this is damages to structures, to cranes, to assets at the port. The picture that you see here is a refrigerated warehouse in Gulfport, Mississippi that was completely wiped out by the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina. So this was a refrigerator warehouse that stored frozen chicken and frozen pork bellies. We'll come back to that. The second broad category are the indirect costs. So this is the supply chain interruptions, the cleanup costs, the knock-on effects, the lost wages that occur in the aftermath of a disaster event. And these things can be quantified, but they're a little bit more difficult to quantify, and they often require the use of some more advanced modeling techniques. So the picture here shows a container from that same port in Gulfport, which was washed inland with that storm surge and settled in somebody's backyard, along with a whole bunch of other debris. And then the final category are the intangible consequences. So these are things that are very hard to quantify in monetary terms, and they are therefore often left out of the policy discussion. But they're nevertheless really important, in particular to the neighbors around a port area and the environment. And so what you see on the bottom there is a newspaper headline that ran about eight months after Hurricane Katrina, and it says, Rotten Meat from Katrina, Still in Gulfport Neighborhood. So that rotten meat came from the refrigerated warehouse in the top picture, and it washed inland with a three, washed three miles inland with the storm surge. It was about a 30-foot storm surge with Hurricane Katrina. So there are a lot of very good reasons that it is difficult for decision-makers. and planners and policy makers to address resilience and climate adaptation. I think we're all here today because we're interested in making progress in this area, but we have real constraints that need to be faced. And those constraints are both bottom-up constraints, the difficulty of making decisions and investments on the ground, and there are also a lot of top-down constraints that result from institutional barriers. So on the bottom-up side, this is a result of some work that my graduate students did interviewing port decision makers in the North Atlantic area. We interviewed about 15 port decision makers and asked them, if you're not making more investments in resilience, why not? What are the things that are stopping you from making those resilience investments? And so we found it was things like a lack of information. In this case, this was ports. The ports simply didn't have the information or the risk models that they needed in order to make a proper decision. Or money. And of course, money is always a barrier, the magical answer to everything, as this port decision maker said. But it's not just a question of access to that funding. It's how you prioritize the funding that needs to be considered as a resilience barrier. The third is that the perceived risk simply doesn't exceed the threshold for taking an action. So we see that there is a risk here. We see that the risk may be increasing with climate change. We understand that, but it's simply we don't perceive it as enough of a risk to take that next step and actually make the investment in improving our infrastructure, for example. And then finally, this problem can be so overwhelming that it can be easier to just kind of. put our head in the sand and ignore it. So, you know, it's just, you can't control mother nature, so we're not going to do anything. But it's not just those bottom-up barriers that make this a difficult situation. There are also institutional barriers or top-down leadership voids that we're up against in trying to deal with this. So, for example, overlapping jurisdictions. So this is a map of my home port in Providence, Rhode Island, just showing some of the variety of government agencies that have jurisdiction over different parts of the harbor. The Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, the local municipality, the state. So all of these different agencies are responsible for some aspect of the maritime system, but nobody has jurisdiction over the entire port. Similarly, there are limited mandates. So we find that agencies only have authority to do certain pieces of a resilience-building exercise. So there isn't any overall coordinator for resilience in an entity like a port, where you have private and public sector users and all of these overlapping jurisdictions. Resource constraints, of course. We hear about this all the time, and this is going to be a very expensive proposition. And every coastal community, every port in the world is going to be looking for resources to make themselves more resilient to climate change. And then finally, there are limitations in terms of political will. So in the U.S., our typical political terms are four years. Politicians are interested in seeing results on things during their term. That helps them get elected again. And climate adaptation and resilience are long-term investments. where you see the payoff perhaps decades in the future. And often the payoff is simply in damages avoided. And damages avoided is not a great political sell. So the good news is that there is a lot that can be done here and a great place to start, and as Regina had mentioned, is with a resilience assessment or a vulnerability assessment. And in the work that my graduate students did with ports in the US and with support from the Army Corps of Engineers, we found that there were many benefits to going through this process of a resilience assessment. These things, these can take six months or a year, sometimes consultants are used, sometimes they're done in house. But we tend to think of a resilience assessment as a means to an end, as a means to getting a punch list of things that need to get done at the port, for example, in order to build resilience. But there are all of these ancillary benefits to going through a resilience assessment process. So yes, you gain an understanding of your vulnerabilities, but the process engages other stakeholders. It brings in those neighbors, it brings together those different government agencies, and it can enhance those relationships that a port has with the other stakeholders in its community. It can be a means to educate leadership on climate issues. So often the staff at a port, for example, are very passionate, they have a deep understanding of why this is an important matter, but the leadership has lots of other things on their plate, and they haven't had a chance to really engage with it. And the resilience assessment can be a way to help those staffers at the port to educate the leadership on these important issues. It can identify funding opportunities, it can formalize a planning approach. So lots of great reasons to embark on one of these assessment processes. And there's lots of guidance that has been developed already to help either consulting firms or port staff or other parts of the supply chain staff to embark on these. There are a few examples here, a couple from the U.S., one from our work that Regina had mentioned here in the Caribbean. They typically follow a similar path of laying a foundation, engaging stakeholders, developing actions, etc. But these guidance documents have a lot of tools and resources built into them that can help move the process forward. And I'm going to end with just kind of a high-level conceptual call on all of us to really think about how we can change the way that we think about long-term planning and why it's important to do so. So this is a graph that on the bottom has a timeline that starts from today, goes out to 2150. We often talk about climate change with respect to this arbitrary number of 2100. Sea level rise will be X amount by 2100. But we also know that the impacts of climate change will continue to worsen over time. And 2100 is, of course, just that. It's just an arbitrary line that is a reference point for us. So, you know, as people, as decision-makers, we are pretty good at thinking about short-term, one year. What are we going to do this year? What are the conferences that we're going to plan for this year? What are our travel plans? What are our projects that we're engaged with? One year, we can handle. Five to ten years, things start to get a little bit more fuzzy for us. After that, you know, we're thinking about what are we going to do for the rest of our career, for the rest of our lives, that things get quite fuzzy. when we try to think that far out into the future. The lives of our children, what is our legacy going to be? When we start to think about our lives out towards the end of the century, or our legacy out towards the end of the century, it gets very difficult for us to kind of ground that in any sort of reality. But when we're thinking about climate adaptation, and we're thinking about the scale of infrastructure projects that will need to be constructed, like the Maslak Herring Barrier in the Netherlands, these are projects that can take 10 years just to select, to design, to engineer what it is that you're going to do. They can take another 10 years just to get through the permitting and the regulatory process. It can take five years to construct something of that scale. And as we heard from Regina, these types of infrastructure projects tend to have a design life of around 50 years, but they often well outlive their design life and can be functioning quite well in 100 years, 150 years. And we see that if we go down to any port, we can go to our local ports and see infrastructure that's 100 years old in many parts of the world. So this is just to underscore that it's very difficult for us to think about this future, but the decisions that we are making and that we need to make today, some of which may start in this room, will have long-term implications on our children, on our grandchildren, on our legacies, and they really matter. And good planning and good engagement are ways to help assure that we make good decisions for the future. So just three key messages that I'll leave you with. First, of course, climate change is a growing crisis, and especially for port-dependent economies, especially for. island developing states. You know, this is something that we have begun to grapple with really in the last ten years, but it will be at the forefront of our decision making in the coming decades. Second is that resilience planning is a way to help make better decisions. It's a way to help reduce those economic impacts and ultimately to reduce human suffering. And lastly, good resilience planning requires deep engagement and collaboration. This is not something that can be done in a stovepipe fashion in a vacuum. It really requires engagement of all of those different government agencies across those jurisdictions, across those different stakeholder systems to overcome those top-down institutional restraints. So more on our website, the work that I showed here is the results of research done by graduate students and research associates in my lab at University of Rhode Island. Thank you.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you very much, Austin. That was, I think, tied in very well with the previous presentations because we looked a little bit at technical issues and problems, and now these are very valid and very important considerations for how to get there, how to prepare, and I hope for members of the audience who haven't occupied themselves to date that much with this issue, you realize also we say this always, it's not a one-size-fits-all. But you can see, I mean, there are so many facets, there are so many aspects to take into account to move ahead with this. Thank you very much. With that, let me hand over to our next speaker, Giuseppe Mancinelli from UNOBS. You have the floor.

Giuseppe Mancinelli:
Good morning. everybody. I hope you can hear me well. First of all, I would like to thank UNCTAD, Regina, for the invitation. It's really a pleasure to be here. And also for the quality of the interventions, I'm very surprised, positively surprised of the interventions. And in a way, not being the first presenter has some advantages as well, because you can pick up some of the data of the intervention, but above all, to validate the kind of messages. And of course, and I love one of the last slides, Professor Becker, of the long-term planning. I think that's probably key of that. Let me see if I can. Okay. I do have a very short presentation. I know that time is of the essence here. I'll try to be as brief as possible. But the main message here is that we need to have an holistic approach when we talk about transport or climate adapted infrastructure. We have seen all over these days all about those kind of messages. But the first thing is that it's not enough just to build resilient infrastructure. We need to have and understand how the different systems operate and interact each other. Now, if we talk about a port, we can have a wonderful port, very well built, but then we cannot forget that we need also bridges, that we need roads. We know that those ports are very important for trade and tourism, but we cannot see that in isolation. That's very important. That's my first message here. So how we maintain and have this comprehensive approach towards climate-adapted infrastructure. The second message here is governments, and particularly SEADs, I'm not going to repeat what has been said about all the limitations for SEADs, have to prepare for properly planned and funded and constructed infrastructure. That's very important because, again, it's not just the infrastructure itself, but how the governments can plan in advance. We have seen 25 years for the design, regulatory, and probably even more than five years for the construction. Let's say 30 years just for that. And then the long-term resistance of the building. So that's very important that the planning exercise is made at the governmental level very seriously with all the parts. But also the funding as well, because the funding is not – we know that there are a lot of multilaterals, financiers and banks there, but it's important to secure those funds and that they are not very costly for the governments. And the construction itself, particularly for SEADs, we know that the construction costs for SEADs are very high, very expensive for logistical reasons. So it is important that all those aspects are taken into consideration, including the risks for the constructions. And the idea is to maximize the efficiency of the supply chain end-to-end, because that's the way we have to look at it. And the final message here – I wanted to start like that – is that the comprehensive approach involves integrating also other critical sectors, such as energy, such as water and communication. So again, that's the holistic view that we have. We have to say. Now a little bit on UNOPSA. We are United Nations Office for Project Services, part of the UN, and we are mandated by the General Assembly for Project Management, Infrastructure and Procurement. So the message here today is also based on the experience we have worldwide, but particularly Latin America and the Caribbean. We have delivered $2 billion in infrastructure, $500 million in terms of transportation, and also over $7 billion in procurement. Those are numbers that gave us the experience to have work in those particular areas of sustainable infrastructure, and give us also the idea of what to do, the work that has to be done. Let me focus here a little bit on procurement. I haven't seen a lot on procurement, but it's an essential part of the supply chain as well. That's because it involves also the suppliers. Those are very important in terms of the construction as well, and again particularly for SEADS. We have developed in UNOPSA a flagship program which is called DRIVE, Driving Responsibility in Vendor Engagement, which basically allows the suppliers to be as sustainable and resilient as the overall supply chain has to be. We work with the suppliers in terms of the economic, social, environmental responsibility. We ask them to apply to the UN Supplier Code of Conduct and the minimum standards that are required. And that's very important because the moment we have those suppliers complying with these requirements, then it allows us to have a better infrastructure as well, a better minimum operating cost for debt, and so forth. I would like to give some examples now based on the work that we have done. I know that examples very often help in terms of understanding the complexity, but also some kind of solutions that we have seen. We usually advise governments in terms of sustainable infrastructure, and it is clear that the climate change is there, so this is a must for all the governments to take care of that. A couple of examples here. One thing that we have worked with the Saint Lucia government has to do with the evidence-based infrastructure. We have worked trying to map the critical infrastructure already existing in the country. We have sort of cross-reference, or cross-sector analysis and impact forecasting as well. This is, going back to my first message, the planning exercise, which is very important. So we have made a sort of predictive analysis of what will be the need of the country in terms of critical infrastructure, sustainable infrastructure. That, of course, includes ports and roads and bridges and whatever that is implied. So we have done this infrastructure planning based on the present anticipated needs, including environmental aspects as well, or climate consideration. And in the end, after we have done this sort of database of information, we have matched that need with the financing as well. Remember the second message, plan and fund it, which is very important. So we have developed this sustainable infrastructure financing tool, which is matching those needs in terms of sustainable infrastructure with the existing funding, which is, of course, very important. What is missing there, of course, is the construction and building part. as well. Okay, so this is something we try also to monitor with the government. The other example, I'll skip it for the time, Regina is looking at me, but it's something we have done in Curaçao. But let me focus on this third aspect here, which I believe is very important, considering looking at the very last presentations. The building information modeling, which in some countries is not new, but in other countries is quite new. The use of BIM has proven to be critical, particularly for infrastructure, but particularly for building a resilient port. This is a methodology of digitalization of infrastructure, which allows for efficiency and sustainability when the infrastructure is done. But it allows also for the reduction in the construction costs and improvement in the coordination. I mean, we heard about coordination among different authorities, that's very important. To what extent the digital infrastructure can allow us to prevent a lot of critical aspects, which sooner or later will happen, so how to manage those, how to know in advance that and reduce the cost of the impact of those events. But also, the BIM has proven to be a reliable tool to combat the climate change. There's been a decrease, it has been proven that there's a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 20% when infrastructure is done through BIM, which is a very powerful tool in that sense. And that has to do also with the predictive maintenance, predictive analysis of those things to happen, including in the early warning systems. which somehow are not very strong in certain countries, those kind of methodologies is very good in that sense. And including the savings and operational efficiency, which is estimated between 15 and 20%. So I wanted to give that example because that's very related to what has been said so far. So just to sort of come out to a conclusion here, the message here is that for a resilient climate and adaptive future, there must be a shift, fundamental shift in terms of the debate that is done at the governmental level, but also including other parts as well. That's an holistic approach, thinking about planning, thinking about funding and the construction itself, because that's the only way to have a greater impact, a better use of the limited resources which are there. And of course, also in terms of the challenges associated with the efficient management of custom currencies, particularly for port. So the final message here is sort of called call to action. And again, as I was saying, the sort of validating what has been said so far during these days, the first one is the capacity building. Training, that's key, that's essential to work and design and manage this resilient infrastructure. So we have to sort of leverage an existing and national capacity. We have to train workers, planners, including national authorities on the planning exercise. So capacity building is one key aspect that has to be taken into consideration. The second aspect is investing in advanced technology. This is why. I wanted to make the example of BIM, the digitalization infrastructure is key in terms of identify those potential issues which sooner or later will happen. So it's important that we know up front what they will be and how to face that. The video from Japan is quite clear in terms of the sea rising level and how they had to deal with that. With this kind of information and digitalization, there's a way to predict those and think in advance how to manage those events. And the final part is in terms of the partnership. First of all, this is a moral obligation we have. Also, advancing with the Agenda 2030, we have the SDG number 17 in terms of partnership. I want to remind that to all, this is an overall responsibility for us. So I think that if we are able to join forces, I think that would be much better to sort of overcome those problems. So regional partnerships are very important, international as well. We need the private sector, we need the governments, we need the UN to be there. So the civil society and so forth. That's key in terms of sustainability of the overarching principles and the governance, not just for the infrastructure itself. And hopefully, as Prime Minister Miyamoto was saying, let's see this as a hub for a better reason, as she said. So thank you very much.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you. Thank you very much for this very interesting presentation. And I know there is plenty, plenty more to say. We're all a little bit pressed for time, but it doesn't matter. We have a shorter coffee break. What you said about collaboration, I think is very well placed here because you see, we are all in the online meeting have advantages, remote participation, and in-person meetings have advantages. So we're all in the situation that we actually meet here, and we meet in person. We don't just go back to our offices right away as it were, we're here. And I think it is actually an opportunity to draw on this a little bit for some collaboration. And I think this is going to happen with people in the room, on the panels, and I would very much hope that that is the case. Thank you very much. And if we have time, I'll give you the floor again to. Let us know a little bit about some of the SIDS IV or the initiatives that are going to be launched at SIDS IV which are of pertinence and of relevance to this particular issue. That's going to be very important for the SIDS. But our very last speaker in this first block of sessions has been waiting patiently,Jennifer Doherty-Bigara Rodriguez who is with the IDB on her particular area of work and expertise is mainstreaming these types of considerations into policy, climate policy. And of course she is with the IDB so we were hoping to get also a little bit of information about key issues in the financial adaptation architecture. So let me give you the floor, very happy to have you with us, we hadn't met before. So you have the floor.

Jennifer Doherty-Bigara Rodriguez:
Thank you. And yes, I'll provide a larger overview on how we're building resilience with a huge bias in Barbados since I'm based here and supporting the country through different initiatives but also different infrastructure projects. First of all I was going to show quite a gloomy slide that we've seen many before on how climate change is impacting the world, especially the Caribbean, but I think you've heard enough of this. So sea level rise, droughts, floods, you've heard it and sadly what we've seen is the more we hear about this the less we seem to be acting about it. So I'll try to just move forward with one of the key messages I'd like to share with you today, which is the fact that we need to stay away sometimes from the recurrent narrative of making it resilient will be very expensive. And that is something we've learned and this is something that even as part of the MDB's climate finance methodology we've changed, it's because in the past when we would consider We would ask the person how much more expensive it is. And that would be the adaptation climate finance that we would consider. But we're not looking at the long-term. We're not looking at the positive externalities. And actually, whenever you talk to governments, sometimes they will tell you, I don't have the money. I can't do it more resilient because I'm already under a complicated debt or fiscal context, especially in the SIDS again. So I think it is important to say I think it is important to say that when we look at adaptation, we look at something that, yes, will be done right. And that might imply sometimes additional resources. But it's not always the case. Because when you're already, for example, intervening in the design of an infrastructure, or if you're using the adequate technologies, this will sometimes be cheaper. Because you need to consider the different benefits you're having, both the reduction of emissions, but also the increase in resilience. A brief story we'd like to share is that we were working with El Salvador. They were telling us, and it was the Ministry of Finance for once. It wasn't the Ministry of Environment. And they were telling us that they were unable to cope with the amount of bridges that they had to build over and over again. Because they no longer had the money to do that. But if they included the resiliency filter, they were able to say that if it's well done, yes, it's more expensive at first. But then over time, that bridge is actually going to last for the 40 to 60 years it's meant to last. And it's the same thing for ports and every major infrastructure we're talking about. So one important thing is that over time, we've been doing a lot of studies. Because a key information that we're learning here today is that data should be driving policy. And for example, when we realized that every dollar that we invest in finance today will be actually saving us $4 in the future. And the more we do these studies, the more that second figure is increasing. Now we're saying that every dollar. that is invested today will save us $12 over time. And this is not because we're getting better at the methodologies, that since we're not investing, it's always gonna be a better investment to do today than the one you'll have to spend over time because you're reacting to a natural hazard, to especially extreme natural hazards. So in that sense, let's make sure that we have the economists on the table and that we need to kind of convey the right message to them. When we're looking at a cost-benefit analysis, let's make sure that the adaptation filter is there, that the NPV that we're using is actually reflecting adaptation over time. And those are conversations that we need to have beyond only the engineers making more resilient ports. It's also the economists or the financial advisor that is in the room and needs to understand what actually climate change means to their specific sector. Second of all is we're still not investing enough. I'm putting some figures on the slide and it's between two and 3% of flows going for climate finance adaptation. This is a topic that's still lagging behind. And when we talk about adaptation, it's just reacting or coping with the impacts of climate change that we already are feeling right now. And we're not even mentioning the ones that are coming and we keep on looking at how bad it could be. And we've seen so many American movies that show us apocalyptic scenarios and we would love to be their heroes. So why don't we become the heroes of those stories today? We're all here, maybe part of the policymaking scenario, part of a firm, part of engineers. How do we make sure that the adaptation story just gets the wave it needs? Because if we're talking about the climate change agenda, we've seen so many resources and we're all thrilled about that, going to the mitigation side. We wanna invest in renewable energy as we should. But then when we talk about adaptation, it's a bit more complicated to grasp. because it's a bit more difficult to identify the impact if you don't have the proper indicators, if you don't have the proper data. So again, this is just trying to make the case about adaptation. Let's stay away from that recurrent speech that it's only gonna make it more difficult for governments to invest in it. Let's help them do it. And that's where I would like to share with you what we are doing in Barbados. Because when we're talking about mainstreaming adaptation and policy, first of all, it's just having the right information, the right planning processes, the right strategies. Most states, for example, still do not have a national adaptation plan. And that's the basic, that's the Bible. How can we address adaptation and actually increase your resilient capacity if I don't really know how hard are you gonna get hit or how adaptation should be translated into agriculture, transport, all the different sectors. We need to really translate that information into specific actions. And for that, for example, we need to help these countries downscale the climate change models. We need to support these countries in that specific data. And that data also requires resources. But again, that's where we should be collaborating. Sometimes some of our colleagues already have generated that data. And what we need is to ensure that it is transferred to the governments. Second of all, we help the governments establish legal and regulatory frameworks. For example, the bank has a specific loan, which is called the policy-based loan, where we focus on identifying key regulations, key laws that would have to be pushed forward. And as a matter of fact, if they do so, they will receive specific resources. So for example, this year, we were working with Barbados on a policy-based loan that was focusing on the physical development plan, but it was also including specific regulation. on water pollution, but also how we're taking care of water reuse in Barbados, which is an important thing since it's a water-scarce country. And all of these policy conditions are included in the policy matrix, and if they are submitted to cabinet approval, and if we get those policies approved, the government receives a certain amount of money. In this case, it was 100 million U.S. dollars. Again, we're also talking about specific resources. Allocating specific funding for resilience is important, and therefore, we want to have the government understand if their current spending is actually aligned to this. So, for example, when the IDB is providing a loan, we need to make sure since last year that all our operations are 100% aligned to the Paris Agreement. And that is something we do in-house, but what we would like the government also to understand is that they should have that similar assessment when they are spending specific resources. For example, in that sense, what we did is that we created a budget tagging methodology for climate spending in Barbados. But also even, and I'm pretty sure our UNOPS colleague will be happy, we also supported them with a new procurement policy that fosters sustainability. But that will have an impact on the side of the government, but we want to make sure that the different providers will be ready for that shift. So all of these different actions and the different support that the bank provides needs to have also a continuity. So for example, the policy-based loans that we have are usually programmatic. We do them every two years, and we try to ensure that we no longer focus on the approval at Parliament of certain regulations, but we actually need to make them operational. And that's why, for example, when we look at how do we like to enhance the resiliency of housing, we want to make sure that therefore there will be specific investments in social housing. those specific standards. Furthermore, we also like to focus on the staff, on the public servants, and that's where the strengthening of the institutional capacity is important, because we do talk a lot about how resources are needed, especially in SIDS, especially in the Caribbean. But sometimes we bring quite an amount of grants, but those are not executed because in front of you, you might only have two to three people to take care of the project. Two to three people sometimes are the climate change experts in a country. For example, this is the case in Barbados. The team of climate change experts in Barbados, in the government, is limited, and they have to do all of this. They have to support the Ministry of Finance. They have to support the different sectoral ministries on mainstreaming climate change, and specifically help them on the adaptation side. How can we keep on building that capacity if we don't have enough human resources? And again, when we talk about resources, we need to bear in mind that those countries have limited capacity. If they're not sometimes, like Barbados, part of an IMF program, where the IMF is actually telling them, I'm having a look at how you're spending your resources, and you should not increase your debt levels. So that's also where the IDB has been trying to be as innovative as possible in creating debt-for-nature solutions or debt-for-climate solutions, where we create fiscal space but with a specific purpose. Basically it's how a country is buying back debt titles that are very expensive for cheaper debt titles, and the difference is actually savings. And what we do is that we support those transactions with guarantees, and we do that if we get a commitment from the government that those savings will be used for a specific purpose. For example, the debt-for-nature we did two years ago with the government of Barbados has a specific commitment of having the government decide and actually declare. 10% of marine protected areas, and that is actually something that the government has committed to, and that is why they were able to make those specific savings. Right now we're also working on a similar transaction that will have the specific savings allocated for resilient infrastructure. So this is also where you are changing and shifting the paradigm on how governments are prioritizing their investments, and also how that is allowing them to be kind of a suitable person or actually state on the market, because actually the market wants those kind of titles, the ones that are backed up with ESG standards or climate targets. Also an additional thing I wanted to share with you is that we need to promote stakeholder engagement, and that's where I'll share with you the recent approval of a loan with the Coastal Zone Management Unit here in Barbados, a 50 million US dollar loan that will intervene in five sites that were identified through a specific methodology that will help them build and that will intervene in areas such as oysters, if some of you know, because we know that every time we get an extreme rainfall, the flooding is quite impressive and kind of limits the capacity for the market to work properly or for even inhabitants to just go through that area to go to work or to go back home. So these five sites were analyzed so we can ensure that whatever solution that was being provided would be climate change resilient. And this is important to convey, because sometimes they're telling us, well, Barbados usually doesn't get hit by a hurricane. We had a Category 1 two years ago, but usually those hurricanes just don't like to come by Barbados. But this is not going to be the change, it's not going to be the case in the next years, and we need to make sure that the investments we're doing with this entity will be able to cope with the projections of climate change, make sure that those 50 million US dollars are being invested. used in the right way. So also that's how do we make sure that all the lessons learned, they're having from working with the IDB for that specific loan, will be kind of transferred to all the different investments that they're doing. Because we need to make sure that, yes, in this case it's the coastal zone management unit, but how do we ensure that those standards are also conveyed to other sectors. Finally, I'd like to share an idea that we had, because when we talk about Barbados, we're also talking about how do we make sure that certain projects have scalability. Barbados is in the Caribbean, and when we talk about trade and ports, we know that whenever a country will be hit, it will have a domino effect on other countries. And the probability that if Barbados gets hit, it will be also the case for other islands, state islands in the Caribbean. So whatever happens here will probably be happening elsewhere. So how do we make sure, for example, that if the country is under the impact of an extreme weather event and its port is put at stake, how can other countries be helpful and help Barbados to cope with the impacts, but also how that system is able to build further collaboration. For example, we were working on a water and sanitation project, and we needed new pipes for Barbados. But given the COVID impact, the different trade routes were impacted, and they actually needed to collaborate with Trinidad to make sure that the amount of pipes they needed were also considered by Trinidad, because the provider was not just going to provide the pipes for Barbados, because it wasn't almost financially viable to do so. So how do we make sure that trade fosters that collaboration between countries, and that they can see that their strategies to overcome their limitations, because they're SIDS, can actually become opportunities to ensure that they can get potentially savings, but most importantly, strategic alliances as they try to face the impacts of climate change. And finally, I would say that one of the topics that we're still being unable to attend in the Caribbean is the fact that migration will have to be a challenge to be addressed. As if you know, some of the Pacific SIDS are already creating some agreements. We saw the one, I think it was Tuvalu with Australia. But in the Caribbean, we're still not talking about this topic. And we understand it's a quite sensitive topic. But how do we include that also as part of the trade conversations? We need to ensure that the synergies of all these conversations are put forward. And therefore, for example, when we have the cops on climate change, that the negotiations go beyond for sometimes, yes, the need for finance, but also the need for further collaboration amongst developing countries. So I'll finish with one very interesting work that my colleagues from IDB Invest, our private sector window, did for climate change and ports. They're working with all the different private sector stakeholders to ensure that they have a strategy to ensure the resilience of this critical asset. For us, it has been important to convey to them that the information that they have is actually very valuable. And there would be an interest to collaborating with governments on how they could use that data to further increase investments coming from the public, but also the private sector. It's also been important for us to, even in a repetitive way, because some of my previous panelists share this, to help them understand that whatever impact this has on the specific port will further have impacts on the GDP of the country. And that's when you get their attention. And finally, we're also trying to ensure that we are considering in different universities how to better build things. with climate change layers of information. So this is something I am sharing with you in this last slide, where you'll have the references of all the different publications we've had, and very much look forward to any comments or questions you may have. Thank you.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you. Thank you very much, Jennifer. I'm sure I speak for everyone, that was very interesting. It's certainly heartening to hear what good works are going on in Barbados, and as we all know, Barbados is leading in these respects in many, many areas. Barbados is ahead of some others in many ways. So that is very heartening, and I'm sure could provide best practices and guidance. Also, the fact that there is actually now some focus on transport, and more specifically, port resilience, that is also very interesting, because generally, we've been looking at that for a long, long time, and that is not really the case. So even as critical as transport is, and ports in particular, one way or the other, there is never a focus on this when you're talking. The same in other national adaptation plans, it's sort of always a kind of afterthought. However, just to mention one thing, I think that it has to be said, because you said very correctly, you don't always need massive investment. You don't, and that's very important, small design changes can have an important impact, and so on, and there's a clear benefit to resilience building, which goes beyond sort of the specific cost-benefit analysis of a project. But it also has to be said, and that's from the perspective of SIDS, and you will know this, there is a problem in that globally, there is just an adaptation finance gap, and of course, port infrastructure assets that need to be built from scratch, or need to be significant, where you have significant infrastructure needs, that needs to be funded, and it's a real catch-22, because the countries that are most vulnerable, we heard earlier, or we all refer to this, for example, Dominica lost more than two years' worth of GDP, so you lose that, it's like adding insult to injury, and then you don't get, sort of, not you don't get, it's not the one bank or the other bank's fault, but the way the system is set up, the OECD, I was just checking this, again, the latest figures, the latest figures for 21, is that global climate finance made available by developed countries. countries, for developing countries, is a total of just under 90 billion. And 27% of that, just about 25 billion, was for adaptation. Now, if we just think, zoom out, zoom out, and how much of that will have gone into a port adaptation, anywhere in the world? And then very often, of course, this is not available in the form of grants, but it's loans. And then you get this problem that middle income countries have, don't get concessional loans and so on. So long story short, there is a genuine adaptation finance gap. And the member states of UNCTAD actually highlighted that in their UNCTAD 15 outcome document, the need for better access to affordable adaptation finance. And the Prime Minister of Barbados has been making this point as part of this Bridgetown initiative as well. And I think it's altogether, everybody here who's occupying themselves with these issues will agree that it is worth making an effort to see how monies can be, finance can be generated. And I know that time is an issue, but I would like to just mention this. Years ago already, at one expert meeting we had, the idea was floated that any finance that could be raised through greenhouse gas emissions control from shipping, because of economies of scale, can raise a lot of money. And that it would make sense to reinvest some of this money basically in the infrastructure for the maritime industry. Ports need ships, obviously, and ships need ports. So to reinvest this in the form of providing assistance for port adaptation to developing countries. And that is, I think, an idea that is now coming back again a little bit in the discussion. It is certainly worthwhile considering because the amounts that can be raised are vast. The shipping industry doesn't want to be a cash cow. There are other valuable ways of spending this money, you know, looking at alternative fuels and mitigation efforts. But this is is a clear-cut opportunity to consider this, and I very much hope that the people here will also bear this in mind as they go forward and in their areas of activity to discuss this type of issue. Thank you very much. Now, we are late. We have the good fortune that after the following session, we'll have a coffee break, and then we have an excellent panel of speakers with a focus on more DRR. So we have very, very good speakers. We're all a little bit exhausted. Everybody needs a moment's break here. Now, we have the good fortune that at the end of the following session, there is no other group coming in, so we can have a little bit of a we can take a few minutes longer. So are there any particular questions or comments you would like to make? Maybe we should take five minutes for that, and then we should go for our break, and I would suggest that we have a break of about 20 minutes, if that's okay with you, and then we come back. Yes, sir. Just give you this one.

Kana Mutombo:
Thank you so much for the good presentation. My name is Kana Mutombo from American Bureau of Shipping. I just want to make a comment. Having worked in port for more than 10 years, I think I tend to agree with the presentation from Professor Baker. The biggest challenges in port is sharing of information between ports. We don't share information and the funding. Why don't we share information? We need to be aware port is first a commercial entity. They are there for business. So as a result of that, both compete with each other. And I think the solution will be we need to find a way to shift from competition to complementarity. That's the answer. Either we fight together this battle, there's no loser, there's no winner. We need to choose to win together or to lose together. Thank you.

Regina Asariotis:
Thank you very much. Thank you very much indeed. And I apologize I hadn't gotten to you because we knew you were going to come. We had a full program of speeches. Now we had, as you know, one speaker had to cancel and you can see it's still a problem with time. So thank you very much. Your name is actually on the program and you are indicated there as speaking from the floor. So thank you very much for making that comment. And of course, you've got a valid, a very valid point. I'm sure everybody agrees with that. Austin, you want to come back?

Austin Becker:
This is a huge challenge, not just because data is sensitive from a commercial standpoint, but also because ports are critical infrastructure. So there are homeland security issues around data sharing and sensitivity as well. So we've been working on a project in Rhode Island with ports and other critical infrastructure where we're collecting their risk data, their vulnerabilities, the things that are at their facility that are in harm's way, their generators, their electrical transformers, their server rooms. And navigating this data sharing challenge is, it's really tough because there are many different reasons that entities are sensitive about their data. They have different protocols. trying to facilitate collaboration and data sharing and engagement across different government sectors, different types of industries. You have to make sure that you can develop protocols that meet everybody's needs in terms of what data you're collecting, how you're going to manage it, how you're going to store it, how you're going to share it or not share it, who will have access to it. And it's not to be underestimated.

Regina Asariotis:
Does anybody else want to raise anything? I'm sure there are things, but I know also everybody's exhausted. So let's have a break. Thank you very much, the speakers on our panel. And I would like to, because, you know, Giuseppe wanted to say something about the SIDS conference. Do you think now is a good moment? We just have to keep it really brief because everybody's in need of a break and we don't want to be too late. The reason why we want to bring this in is because the conference is starting next week and there are key issues which relate to... We had hoped Simona Marinescu from Europs to moderate this following session, but she couldn't come. So this is why Giuseppe can very briefly inform you. Thank you very much.

Giuseppe Mancinelli:
Thanks. I will be telegraphic. Well, greetings to my colleagues, Simona Marinescu. As you know, there will be a very important high-level event next week in Antigua and Barbuda. So basically the SIDS will adopt the Antigua and Barbuda next 10-year agenda for SIDS. And basically, that will build on resilient prosperity. Okay, that's the main part of that. And for the preparation of the agenda, there's been extensive research and analysis on the resiliency. And one of the things that came out is that seeds need to improve their productive capacity, okay? That's very important. And there's, of course, a correlation between productive capacity and resilience. So this is why the agenda will develop at the heart of the five pillars of the PCI, basically. So that's the main aspect, the spoiler of the event. That's it.

Regina Asariotis:
Brief, that really was brief, and it's much appreciated. But what I suggest, we can follow up as well in, obviously, we're going to be following the SIDS 4 conference as well. But we can follow up on this. And I think what we can do is for the, including on our website, when we put the presentations, we'll just beef this up a little bit and put together some of the information that is worth highlighting in this context. Because after all, this is the plan for the next ten years for SIDS. So let's just highlight this a little bit. So we're going to do this. We're going to factor this into, maybe we can put a slide together, or we put this in our outcome, and we're going to convey this information. Thank you very much indeed. Thanks a lot. So with that, then, thank you very, very much. The three panelists in this particular session, Jennifer Doherty-Bigara-Rodriguez, Austin Becker, and Giuseppe Mancinelli. Thank you very much, and I look forward to the next panel and a glass of water. So thank you very much for your attention, for being with us.

AB

Austin Becker

Speech speed

160 words per minute

Speech length

3260 words

Speech time

1220 secs

GM

Giuseppe Mancinelli

Speech speed

145 words per minute

Speech length

2153 words

Speech time

893 secs

JD

Jennifer Doherty-Bigara Rodriguez

Speech speed

186 words per minute

Speech length

3219 words

Speech time

1040 secs

KM

Kana Mutombo

Speech speed

120 words per minute

Speech length

156 words

Speech time

78 secs

RA

Regina Asariotis

Speech speed

167 words per minute

Speech length

2212 words

Speech time

795 secs