Negotiations in Doha, Qatar in the context of the United Nations conference on climate change entered its second and final week today with very little progress achieved on key issues of importance to small island developing States like Fiji. A key issue being advocated by the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), of which Fiji is a member, is an international mechanism to assist vulnerable developing countries cope with the loss and damage arising from the adverse impacts of climate change.

Developed country Parties clearly acknowledge the many challenges faced by vulnerable States such as island countries and those in the African continent to severe climate change impacts. Nevertheless, there has been resistance from developed countries on the establishment of an international mechanism to assist in compensation for the loss and damage to small island developing states from the adverse effects of human induced climate change.

The compensation mechanism is being proposed by the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) at the current United Nations climate change negotiations in the Arab state of Qatar

The international mechanism is intended to provide an Insurance component to help Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and other particularly vulnerable developing countries manage financial risk from increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events. It also seeks to establish a rehabilitation scheme to address the slow onset events such as sea-level rise, increasing land and ocean temperatures, and ocean acidification. The third component of the international mechanism is a risk management facility to support and promote risk assessment and management tools.

The insurance component will assist countries manage financial risks associated with increasingly frequent and severe climate‐related extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tropical storms, storm surge, floods and droughts.

The rehabilitation/compensatory component will address the progressive negative impacts of climate change, such as seal level rise, increasing sea and land temperatures and ocean acidification that result in loss and damage such as permanent or extended loss of useful and, damage to coral reefs, damage to water tables, loss of fisheries.

The risk management component will provide both technical and financial support to reduce risk that result in loss and damage, including sea level rise, increasing sea temperatures, increasing air temperatures and ocean acidification, which have impacts on coastal infrastructure, shorelines, coral reefs etc. This component would work closely with the other two components.

While progress has been slow with negotiations fast approaching its end, there is a very strong insistence from AOSIS and African countries to have the loss and damage mechanism as one of the outcome from Doha.

AOSIS chair, Nauru, said at the UN conference in Qatar that addressing loss and damage from the adverse effects of climate change is an issue of fundamental importance to the members of AOSIS.