Building resilience in coastal cities – the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI)
Coastal cities are on the frontline of climate and ocean change, with at least 570 cities expected to be adversely affected by rising seas and storm surges by 2050. Due to intensifying extreme weather events and the loss of coastal ecosystems, some coastal cities face impaired water quality and diminished natural defenses, in addition to challenges such as rapid urbanisation, aging infrastructure, and governance gaps.
To comprehensively address these interlocking risks and protect the economic, food, and environmental security of coastal cities and their residents, local decision makers need information that helps them prioritise action, access capital, and make smart investments to build resilience.
ORRAA partners the Stimson Center and Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) have developed the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI), an innovative tool which compares a diverse range of environmental, economic, and political factors connected to climate change, to produce a coastal city’s risk profile. The development of the CORVI tool has been supported by AXA XL, SPF, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
CORVI collects over 3,000 empirical data points and experts’ surveys from government officials, academics, civil society leaders, and private sector representatives. The data spans 10 risk categories and close to 100 indicators, allowing CORVI to compare a wide variety of economic, social, and environmental risks across multiple sectors.
In June 2020, the Stimson Center released its first CORVI report with two initial city risk profiles: Castries, Saint Lucia and Kingston, Jamaica. Assessments are underway in Chattogram, Bangladesh; Dagupan, Philippines; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Mombasa, Kenya; and Suva, Fiji, with additional coastal cities to be added soon. As more city risk profiles are compiled, the growing CORVI dataset will enable comparisons on the vulnerability and resilience of coastal cities across the globe.