Policy Brief Sheds Light on Urgent Climate Finance Needs in the Pacific Region

December 19, 2023
Policy Primer on Loss and Damage Consideration For Pacific Island Countries

Policy Primer on Loss and Damage Considerations for Pacific Island Countries


Against the backdrop of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP28 conference in Dubai, a new policy primer has been released which frames the Pacific’s perspectives on climate change-induced loss and damage and associated Pacific priorities for the new Loss and Damage fund, operationalized on Day 1 at COP28.

This Policy Primer has been developed by the Pacific Islands Forum, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, as a guidance paper to provide detail and background on the dynamics of loss and damage experiences in the Pacific and to assist Pacific stakeholders to express their priorities in relation to Loss and Damage Financing.

The policy brief underlines key findings and recommendations, including:

• Recognizing the imperative need for a dedicated Loss and Damage Fund tailored to the distinct challenges faced by Pacific Island nations.

• Stressing the significance of a dynamic and adaptable fund structure.

• Addressing economic and non-economic Loss and Damage in an interconnected manner.

• Supporting proactive and responsive measures to tackle Loss and Damage.

• Ensuring equitable access to funding while acknowledging the diversity of regional contexts and needs.

At the opening of COP28, countries have made pledges of over US$600 million to capitalize the fund and discussions on the make-up of the governing board are now underway.  

While international discussions have progressed on critical elements for the operationalization of the Fund, a greater awareness and understanding of loss and damage in the context of Small Island Developing States like those in the Pacific, is crucial to ensure needs are adequately addressed. 

“The insights and recommendations presented in this policy brief are instrumental in shaping the decisions and actions required to address Loss and Damage in the Pacific. They serve as a vital roadmap for our region as we work towards the operationalization of a dedicated Loss and Damage Fund at COP28 and in the aftermath”, said Karlos Lee Moresi, Resilience Team Leader at the Pacific Islands Forum. 

Mr. Mike Waiwai, Director of Climate Change, Government of Vanuatu during the side event stated, “Vanuatu is already facing existing threats from climate change. Our NDC outlines a cost of US $177 million for loss and damage needs across all sectors. We are using this to align our sector priorities and plans. Vanuatu wants to ensure there is new financing to address loss and damage.” 

Furthermore, Mr Simon Stumpf, Deputy Head of Climate Finance Division, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Advisor in the Transitional Committee emphasized, "the Fund is not the silver bullet - we need all instruments available to deliver to communities on the ground. Part of the loss and damage finance package decision is to ensure direct access modalities to communities at the subnational level,” 

“The insights and recommendations made during the event by expert panelists and contained in the brief serve as crucial information to assist Pacific representatives and broader stakeholders in supporting the shaping of appropriate financing mechanisms. Specifically, the policy primer calls for collective global responsibility and a catalyst for cooperative efforts and inventive solutions,” said Ms. Tuya Altangerel, Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme Pacific Office, who joined the event virtually from Fiji. 

The Pacific Island Forum will continue to develop Policy Primer papers in this series, to provide up-to-date information and guidance on relevant resilience financing topics for the Pacific, particularly in the wake of decisions made at this year’s COP28.

To access the policy brief and learn more about the initiative, please visit:



For more information, please contact:

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Lisa Williams-Lahari – Public Affairs Adviser


UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji 

Nicholas Turner - Communications and Advocacy Specialist