Insurance for ecosystems


Global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson has announced the launch of the Global Ecosystem Resilience Facility (GERF), the first system of its kind to offer financial and risk management solutions specifically with the intention of building the resilience of global biological ecosystems and communities. Climate change and associated risks are damaging marine ecosystems, which have a knock-on effect on coastal communities and the wider economies around them and, as a result, the importance of strengthening such ecosystems is paramount.

GERF will utilise analytics, incentivise environmentally friendly practices and innovate in the insurance realm in order to support these ecosystems, with coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses in the Caribbean an initial focus. Willis Towers Watson is currently mapping marine ecosystems, in collaboration with Cefas and the University of York, in order to assess the level of risk and develop models accordingly.

“The Global Ecosystem Resilience Facility is such an important initiative in helping to support the resilience of coastal and island communities to climate pressures,” said John Haley, CEO of Willis Towers Watson, at GERF’s launch in Mexico. “Dependence on the blue economy makes them particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate-related threats and other risks, and the goal of this ground-breaking initiative is to help provide greater stability, and ultimately greater prosperity, to these communities.”