One of the key agenda points of the upcoming COP27 is the mobilisation of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage. What is the Network’s mission, who is involved, and what are the challenges and expectations? Here is a quick overview on what you need to know about the Santiago Network.

What is the Santiago Network?

Mandated in 2019 at COP25 in Madrid, the Santiago Network is part of enhancing and strengthening the 2013 establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM), which facilitates and supports the actions of developing countries in their efforts to address loss and damages associated with the adverse impacts of climate change.

un climate negotiations

Loss and Damage in the UN climate negotiations take the following approaches:

  1. Mitigating loss and damage - by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding the harm they would cause
  2. Minimising loss and damage - by helping people and communities adapt and prepare to the extent possible
  3. Addressing loss and damage - by dealing with and recovering from the consequences of climate impacts.

As a technical support hub and network of organisations, the Santiago Network aims to catalyse access to, and organise the availability of, technical assistance for vulnerable developing countries that request for loss and damage assistance via a network of relevant bodies, institutions and organisations.

What is Loss and Damage?

Loss and damage is a term about mitigating climate change.

  • “Loss and Damage” (capital letters)
  • Describes policies and plans used to address loss and damage like those negotiated at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • “loss and damage” (lowercase letters)
  • Describes the manifestation of climate change impacts that cannot be avoided (eg. reducing emissions).

Who is involved?

Launched in August 2020, the Santiago Network is a multi-stakeholder coalition, including various organisations and governments engaging in close consultation around countries’ specific needs. It includes amongst others:

  • African Development Bank
  • African Risk Capacity
  • The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility
  • Green Climate Fund
  • Global Environment Facility
  • Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery
  • InsuResilience Global Partnership
  • International Federation of Red Cross
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Munich Climate Insurance Initiative
  • Overseas Development Institute
  • Pacific Community
  • Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL)
  • United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • United Nations World Food Programme
  • The World Bank

How are they connected?

We mapped out the stakeholders of the Santiago Network for you to understand and visualise how they are connected to each other.

santiago network

The Santiago Network is still in its early stages and a lot of work will have to go into equipping a system to support planning of solutions, coordination and knowledge sharing between organisations, facilitating new partnerships and leveraging existing resources to reduce duplication of efforts. Even though the Santiago Network is expected to be inaugurated at COP27, countries have still not agreed on a negotiated outcome or a shared vision on what this support network should look like.

Over time, it is hoped that better functions would be developed to align with countries’ needs for technical assistance. However, long-term and scalable services on a planetary scale take time, effort and commitment to develop to fruition.