FIAR2024: Incorporating nature-based solutions in catastrophic risk management in Romania

30 May 2024 — Daniela GHETU

The second part of the Property Insurance conference focused on agricultural insurance in Romania. The discussions were partly oriented towards exploring the willingness of Romanian insurers to engage in developing nature-based solutions to reduce the exposure and vulnerability of regions to climate catastrophic risks.

Mainstreaming Ecological Restoration of freshwater-related ecosystems in a Landscape context: INnovation, upscaling and transformation, the European project called, in brief, MERLIN is also touching Romania. Its main goals are to protect and restore rivers and other wetlands and reduce freshwater biodiversity loss.

About 7,000 ha of wetlands along the Danube and in the Danube Delta are included in the project which promoted working with local communities to increase flood resilience through nature-based solutions.

In reaching the MERLIN’s project goals there are several challenges as: climate change (droughts and floods), desertification, the Danube river bed incision and the Danube bank erosion. In addition, the economic conditions specific to the country and the people’s lack of trust in policy and decision makers are further challenging.

The main solution promoted by MERLIN is restoring the natural ecosystems for the benefit of people and nature on the identified areas along the Danube and Danube Delta. Presenting the MERLIN project at FIAR is part of the effort to involve the Romanian insurers in developing it. What may be insurers’ contribution? According to Florentina NANU, Managing Partner, Business Development Group, the MERLIN project’s partner in Romania, insurers may participate in implementing nature-based solutions to mitigate the climate related cat risks as:

  • Insurance Product Providers: Designing products that incorporate climate change resilience, raising minimum insurance requirements, and providing incentives for infrastructure insurance, etc.
  • Institutional Investors: Through bond markets, acquiring green bonds that meet certain regulatory standards.
  • Stakeholders in Developing Adapted Insurance Products: Active participation in intersectoral dialogue.
  • Partners in Public-Private Alliances: Expertise in risk management.