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Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

24 July 2023


Excellency, Ms. Khadeeja Naseem, Minister of State for Environment, Climate Change and Technology of the Maldives,

Excellencies, panelists, distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed my pleasure to open the 4th ESCAP Disaster Resilience Week, which aptly focuses on the imperative of transformative adaptation for disaster and climate resilience.

As the world hurtles towards 1.5 and 2 degrees of warming, we are falling behind in understanding how to adapt and respond in a risk-informed manner to escalating floods, prolonged droughts, scorching heatwaves, intensified cyclones and rapid sea level rise.

In this context, the ESCAP Risk and Resilience Portal emerges as a useful knowledge tool for policymakers.

We launched the Portal in 2021 to gain crucial insights into the key risks facing our region. It has enabled us to identify the location of risks, quantify potential losses and develop adaptive strategies.

Now, in its second generation, the Portal offers an updated solution package equipped with cutting-edge tools and information that show how countries will be affected by 1.5 and 2 degrees of warming.

Drawing from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate science, the effects are shown by multiple sectors at the regional, subregional, national and even at subnational levels in a few selected countries.

It has produced climate risk profiles for 55 countries. It is also customized to support risk-informed policy actions – for example – what is the potential effect of climate change on a country’s GDP? What is the cost of adaptation? Where are the risk hotspots? How can adaptation and resilience interventions contribute to SDG and Sendai Targets?     

Furthermore, the Portal can be applied in a variety of contexts. This includes transboundary river basin hazards as well as the intersection of the Pacific ring of fire with climate risk hotspots.

It captures the geographies of intensifying and expanding risks across the region and thus provides an evidence base to strengthen existing and build new cooperation mechanisms.

As risks outpace resilience, data-driven decision-making and strategic foresight are key for transformative adaptation.  

Now is the time for collaborative action and for investments that will shape a brighter tomorrow and build a future of resilience, sustainability, and shared prosperity.

I wish you all the best in your deliberations.

Thank you.

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