Date: Jun 05, 2024 Time: 10:30 AM
Climate Financing for the SIDS in the Indo-Pacific: Institutions, Instruments & Imperatives

The Indo-Pacific confronts multifaceted challenges, particularly impacting the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). These states encounter a range of obstacles due to their remote geography, small landmass, and dependence on ocean resources. With an average Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 28 times their land area, SIDS are highly reliant on the ocean for resources, facing high import and export costs. They grapple with fragile ecosystems, vulnerability to climate change, extreme weather events, and economic shocks, making them particularly susceptible to biodiversity loss and climate-related challenges. Problems of sea level rise, land subsidence, increasing salinity, extreme weather events of cyclones and storm surges further aggravate their vulnerabilities. With a combined population of over 65 million spread across 1,000 islands, SIDS are disproportionally affected by global warming despite contributing minimally to global greenhouse gas emissions. This stands true not only for the SIDS but also for the other island states located in different parts of the world. 

SIDS are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of rising temperatures, with heatwaves exacerbating public health issues. These temperatures contribute to the prevalence of heat-related illnesses and exacerbate chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Moreover, climate-induced changes, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events, directly impact the healthcare infrastructure in these regions. For example, the loss of GDP due to natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in Dominica was a staggering 224 per cent, severely affecting healthcare funding and infrastructure. Additionally, SIDS have limited access to crucial climate finance, receiving only US$ 1.5 billion out of the US$ 100 billion pledged to developing countries in 2019, despite being disproportionately affected by climate change. Despite being classified as middle-income, the SIDS often find their vulnerabilities overlooked, struggling with limited access to development assistance, heavy debts, difficulty attracting private capital, and becoming entangled in the geopolitical tensions of the Indo-Pacific, where they are frequently used as pawns in larger strategic games. This financial shortfall hampers their ability to respond effectively to health/climate emergencies and invest in long-term resilience, making the need for targeted and adequate funding more critical than ever.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, under the Sustainable Finance in the Indo-Pacific (SUFIP) Development Network (DN), this webinar aims to understand the challenges of climate finance and the journey of the SIDS towards building long-term resilience. 


  1. Assessment of Financial Gaps: Evaluate the current financial mechanisms and identify gaps hindering efforts to bolster climate and health resilience in the Indo-Pacific, emphasising the impacts of climate change in the region.
  2. Development of Innovative Financing Models: Devise innovative financing mechanisms specifically tailored to support initiatives that tackle the adverse effects of climate change on health risks and enhance climate resilience in the region.
  3. Promotion of Partnerships: Facilitate partnerships among governments, private sectors, DFIs, and civil society to mobilise resources for sustainable development initiatives addressing health risks exacerbated by climate change.
  4. Empowerment through Knowledge Sharing: Establish platforms for knowledge exchange and capacity-building programs to empower stakeholders in implementing effective strategies to mitigate health risks associated with risk of extreme weather events. 

Driving Questions:

  1. What primary financial obstacles prevent adequate funding for initiatives addressing health risks intensified by extreme weather and natural disasters, and how to effectively overcome these barriers?
  2. What type of financial instruments and models can be thought of to mobilise resources specifically for mitigating health risks linked to extreme weather and natural disasters in the region?
  3. In what ways can cross-sector collaborations incentivise sustainable investments reinforcing healthcare systems and address health risks arising from compromised water availability and quality due to the adverse effects of climate change?
  4. What policy reforms and regulatory frameworks can encourage investments in climate-resilient infrastructure and healthcare systems addressing health risks associated with climate induced disasters in the Indo-Pacific?
  5. How can knowledge-sharing initiatives and capacity-building programs empower stakeholders to adopt sustainable practices for climate adaptation and improved public health outcomes amidst the challenges posed by extreme weather and natural disasters?
  6. How can we enhance the agency of SIDS, in terms of financial decision making, agenda setting and regional/multilateral processes/institutions? 



10:30 - 10:35 (IN)

Introduction to SUFIP Development Network

  • Swati Prabhu, Associate Fellow, ORF

10:35 - 11:45 (IN)

Panel 1: Deconstructing Just Transition for the SIDS


  • Emily Wilkinson, Director, Resilient and Sustainable Islands Initiative (RESI), ODI, UK
  • Labanya Prakash Jena, Head, Centre for Sustainable Finance, Climate Policy Initiative, India 
  • Sourav Kumar Biswas, Director, Resilient Infrastructure, Sponge Collaborative, India
  • Malshini Senaratne, University of Seychelles and Director of Eco Sol Consulting, Seychelles


  • Vikrom Mathur, Senior Fellow, ORF

11:45 - 12:55 (IN)

Panel 2: Building Resilient Prosperity for the SIDS


  • Agathe Nougaret, International Technical Expert Infrastructure Climate Change Adaptation, CDRI 
  • Wairimu Mwaniki, Primary Healthcare Technical Advisor, Ministry of Defence, Kenya
  • Inke Mathauer, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO 
  • Thomas Gonnet, Regional Task Team Leader, Asia and Southeast Asia, AFD 


  • Aparna Roy, Fellow, ORF

12:55 - 13:00 (IN)

Vote of Thanks

Venue Address