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Technology & Data

Coastal Risk Index Highlights NbS Resilience Role

Mangroves and coral reefs are safeguarding more than US$$350 billion in assets and prevent annual floods affecting more than 14 million people, according to the Coastal Risk Index (CRI), which launched its coastal climate risk analysis platform at New York Climate Week. The open-source tool aims to equip financial institutions, investors, insurers, infrastructure project managers, and policymakers with insights into coastal risks in the face of the escalating climate crisis and the critical role of nature-based solutions (NbS) in building cost-effective coastal resilience. The CRI utilises hydrodynamic models, offering a set of global flood maps at a resolution of 90 metres. It will showcase current and potential future global coastal flood hazards and storm surges to 2050, underscoring the flood reduction benefits of natural habitats like reefs and mangroves. Users will also be able to examine areas of high social vulnerability and identify where investing in coastal NbS plays a role in protecting communities. The CRI has been launched by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) in partnership with IHE Delft, and the University of California Santa Cruz. It is financially backed by French insurer AXA, the US Department of State, the Government of Canada, and the UK’s Blue Planet Fund. Chip Cunliffe, Programme and Risk Director at ORRAA, said:Our work is only just beginning – the true potential of this open-access tool can only be realised with the broader build-out of this platform. We invite more stakeholders to join us in this journey toward global coastal resilience. With better data, we can make better decisions and generate better outcomes.” 

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