Modeling catastrophes in the Philippines and Bangladesh

Mayon Volcano – Philippines; Photo: Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/volcano-mayon-philippines-nature-659640/

Mayon Volcano – Philippines; Photo: Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/volcano-mayon-philippines-nature-659640/

Floods in the Philippines and cyclones in Bangladesh will soon be better insurable thanks to a new open source platform for catastrophe models. Within a two-year project, starting in June 2018, the non-for-profit company Oasis Loss Modelling Framework (Oasis) is planning to build up the platform as well as stakeholders’ capacity in the region to use these models.

The Philippines and Bangladesh are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Bangladesh has historically suffered some of the worst natural disasters in the world in terms of fatalities and has invested significantly in early-warning systems and cyclone shelters to reduce human casualties. However, sea level rise is challenging the infrastructure and assets remain highly vulnerable. The Philippines lies to the west of an area of Ocean capable of producing the most intense tropical cyclones on the planet, as evidenced by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013 with wind gusts over 170mph, and was ranked as 8th in the world in terms of the number of people exposed to floods each year within the 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Lake in Bangladesh; Photo: Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/bangladesh-landscape-nature-tourism-3673378/

The new project Oasis Platform for Climate and Catastrophe Risk Assessment – Asia will help to understand and develop transparent and standardised catastrophe models to simulate extreme weather event related damages and their impacts. These models can then be used to assess the likelihood and financial damage caused by extreme climate events and underpin information required by financial markets to invest in (Re-) insurance.

A free and open-source modelling platform with financial simulation engines will deliver results from two new catastrophe models, including climate change impacts. The project will also foster in-country capacity in the development, use and understanding of catastrophe risk models. It also aims to connect international reinsurance capacity with in-country demand. Additionally, it will provide toolkits for in-country users to update and sustain the models in the long-term beyond the timeframe of the project.

Cordillera Central – Philippines; Photo: Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/en/cardillera-mountain-range-region-3132446/

Mr. Allan Santos, President and CEO of the National Reinsurance Corporation of Philippines (Nat Re) appreciates the approach: “It is an honour to be a part of this pioneering project as it is the first of its kind for developing nations. We are pooling together the expertise of key influencers of disaster risk financing and management from the government, the academe, and the insurance sector, all of whom have a shared vision of more disaster resilient communities.”

Winter Storm; Photo: Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/winter-storm-hurricane-cyclone-58025/The idea for the platform has previously been endorsed by “The Lab – Driving Sustainable Investment”, a network that brings together and catalyzes broader government and private sector efforts to scale up climate finance. The German Environment Ministry (BMU) is now funding the implementation of the platform and the accompanying activities in the Philippines and Bangladesh as project under its International Climate Initiative (IKI) with 2.98 Million euros.



Thunderstorm in the city; Photo: Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/lightning-city-night-sky-weather-1082080/