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Assessing Disaster Vulnerability along the Mississippi River Corridor: A Roundtable with Mississippi River Mayors and the Insurance Industry

MRCTI meetingOur ClimateWise team recently worked with the United Nations Environment Program North America and the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative to coordinate a roundtable discussion between mayors along the river and the insurance industry.

This meeting took place between 23 Mississippi River mayors and leaders from the global and North American insurance industry. Other key stakeholders from federal agencies, foundations, and resilience organizations joined with them to discuss how to reduce vulnerability and build resilience to natural disasters within the Mississippi River corridor.

 This meeting, held at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC, was the first time these stakeholders have held a structured dialogue around the question of what can be done to improve resilience in the river corridor and what role the insurance industry and others within the financial markets have to play in that effort.

We have been working with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative since 2015 to develop a resilience planning framework for the Mississippi River corridor and to secure funding to complete a corridor-wide vulnerability assessment as the basis for a long-term climate resilience program. Our Executive Director, Tonya Graham, presented this planning framework at the roundtable to provide context for the conversation.

MRCTI mapThe immediate aim of the roundtable was to foster a productive conversation between Mississippi River mayors and insurance industry leaders on how to better manage disaster risk. A longer-term goal was to develop partnerships that will further the efforts to assess vulnerability and build climate resilience in the corridor. Successful efforts to build climate resilience in this region will most certainly involve the insurance industry, so this roundtable was timely and productive.

Next steps include Mississippi River communities working with the insurance industry on programs that pool risk and our ClimateWise team working with MRCTI and EcoAdapt to identify concrete milestones and products for the vulnerability assessment process.

Our goal is that local leaders along the Mississippi River corridor understand their climate risk and have the guidance and support they need to protect their residents and natural resources as climate conditions change. 

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