Climate-Smart Solutions in SIDS and Coastal Cities using the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI)
Project Leads: Commonwealth Secretariat and the Stimson Center
Financial Support: The UK’s Blue Planet Fund, ORRAA, the United States Department of State and the Government of Canada
Location: Barbados, Dominica, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mauritius and Sri Lanka
The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Stimson Center are developing a suite of rapid assessment tools based on the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI). CORVI, developed by the Stimson Center and supported by AXA XL, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, ORRAA, Bloomberg Philanthropies, TaiwanICDF, and the Commonwealth Secretariat, brings together stakeholders and governments to produce comprehensive risk profiles that help leaders make climate-smart decisions and investments. With CORVI now operating in 16 countries, ORRAA is supporting CORVI’s implementation in Madagascar and developing the CORVI Rapid Assessment model being trialed in five countries.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and coastal cities are at the forefront of the climate crisis. Rising sea levels, extreme storms, and heat events amplify underlying economic and social concerns, such as expanding populations, ageing infrastructure, and limited government resources. These interconnected risks threaten ocean and land-based ecosystems that millions depend on for food and economic security. To address this, decision-makers need a thorough understanding of critical climate vulnerabilities so that they can prioritise actions that build resilience through Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and climate-smart policies. However, collecting this information takes time, and is often too resource intensive for many small island and developing coastal state governments.
In response to this need, CORVI organizes data and information across the land and seascape to provide decision makers with the complete climate risk picture they need to take action. A CORVI assessment covers more than 90 indicators across three categories of risk (environmental, economic, and social) and provides a comprehensive understanding of key climate and ocean risks along with targeted recommendations to address the most critical vulnerabilities. Currently, there are eleven CORVI projects and five CORVI Rapid Assessments around the globe. ORRAA is supporting the implementation of a CORVI project in Toamasina, Madagascar, in partnership with the Government of Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association.
Scalability and Next Steps
With funding from the United Kingdom, ORRAA partners recently piloted the concept of a CORVI Rapid Assessment to meet the needs of different communities in less time. The first CORVI Rapid Assessments were completed in Barbados, Kiribati, and Sri Lanka. Government representatives engaged in the rapid assessment, received the results, and are exploring the available options, and next steps to build coastal-urban resilience. Now, with funding from the Government of Canada, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Stimson Center are trialing revised ‘Phase 2’ CORVI Rapid Assessments in Dominica and Mauritius.