IICA Symposium Reviews Agriculture Insurance’s Role in Mitigating Climate Risks

17 February 2012: The Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA) convened a symposium to discuss the current state of agriculture insurance schemes and products in the Americas, as well as their role within a broader risk management framework to address the effects of climate change.

The one-day symposium was held on 16 February 2012, in Washington, DC, US, and brought together senior officials and experts from regional and international organizations.

World Bank participants confirmed agriculture insurance is available in most Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries, but that budget, infrastructure, human resources and technology still pose challenges.

David Hatch, IICA, said a lack of policies, laws, instruments, credits and investments suggest that many LAC countries underestimate the importance of agriculture insurance schemes as a risk management tool. He called on LAC Governments to become proactive about climate risks to agriculture rather than wait to respond to events. IICA participants noted the Institute's regional sustainable agriculture project component on training in the design and implementation of policies and instruments for risk management and insurance coverage.

Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd., which is responsible for leading the operational and risk management functions of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), discussed its plans to develop, test and implement insurance products linked to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Lucia.

The IICA seminar was attended by senior officials from the World Bank, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Latin American Association for the Development of Agricultural Insurance (ALASA), the Inter-American Federation of Insurance Companies (FIDES), and several major insurers and reinsurers. [IICA Press Release]