Loss and damage

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This article is about loss and damage from climate change. For loss and damage in civil law, see Damages.

The term Loss and damage denotes impacts on communities from events caused by climate change. A definition, outlined by the Climate & Development Knowledge Network is that loss and damage is the consequence of failures to address mitigation against increased greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate changes.[1]

At the 18th Conference of the Parties meeting of the UNFCCC in 2012 in Doha, Qatar, it took 36 hours of negotiation between 195 nations to arrive at a plan where rich nations will compensate poor countries for loss and damage inflicted by climate change. A new website was launched at the conference by the Loss and Damage Vulnerable Countries Initiative.[2] It described its aim as being "the first dedicated site for news, resources and opinion on the issue of loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change". Examples of types of loss and damage include farmers who can no longer grow crops to eat, or grass to feed cattle, because their soil has become too salty, and fishermen who have lost their livelihoods because rivers have dried up.[3]

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has developed a work programme on loss and damage[4] which aims to find ways to address the issue in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. On 12–14 September 2013, it held a meeting in Fiji to consider how best to address loss and damage from 'slow-onset events'. These are impacts of climate change that occur over time, such as sea-level rise, rather than in a single, destructive event. Bangladesh is already suffering from loss and damage resulting from sea-level rise, due to its flat terrain in the coastal region.[5]


  1. ^ Bickersteth, Sam. 12 April 2012. Loss and damage from climate change – building a critical agenda
  2. ^ Climate & Development Knowledge Network 2012. NEWS: Loss and damage website launched
  3. ^ "Loss and damage from climate change": a view from Bangladesh By Arid Al Mamun, BBC Media Action, accessed 30th September 2013.
  4. ^ Work programme on Loss and damage, accessed 30th September 2013
  5. ^ Loss and Damage from the Local Perspective in the Context of a Slow Onset Process: The Case of Sea Level Rise in Bangladesh. By Ainun Nishat, Nandan Mukherjee, Anna Hasemann and Erin Roberts. Accessed 30th September 2013.

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