Perspectives on Non- Economic Loss and Damage


Perspectives on Non- Economic Loss and Damage

Understanding values at risk from climate change

Cover Perspectives L&D

Non-economic losses may be some of the most important values, yet they can pose challenges for measurement and may go unnoticed or unaddressed by policy. Discussions about loss and damage are really a discussion about value - and there are at least three different kinds of value: use value (measured relatively well by economic means), indirect use value (which sustains societal functions but which are not necessarily valued in economic terms), and symbolic value (which help forge identity and cooperative problem solving, but which similarly is not measured in monetary terms).

Experience has shown that efforts to replace losses "only" via monetary compensation has not worked well. Instead, policy and practice on loss and damage must capture the opportunity for a more fundamental transformation. Any framework for loss and damage must aim not merely at compensating previous living conditions, but at improving them. The paper concludes with at least four areas for consideration by policy and practice: ensuring a broader view that values functions that are the source of resilience and problem solving (cultural practices, identity, traditional systems of knowledge); encouraging social participation as a principle in adaptation and addressing loss and damage; nurturing social capital to respond to non-economic loss and damage; and, finally, capturing the opportunity for transformation in the way loss and damage is assessed and addressed.

James Morrissey and Anthony Oliver-Smith
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