Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade
Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)
Islands and Small States Institute (ISSI) of the University of Malta




Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade (Malta)

Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS)

Islands and Small States Institute (ISSI) of the University of Malta


Climate change is a global challenge that affects countries and communities the world-over. It is widely acknowledged that climate change-related hazards impact lives and livelihoods, are an existential threat to entire countries, obliterate decades of development efforts, aggravate impacts on ecosystems, and contribute to the displacement of people, thereby increasing the threats of social and political instability [1].

Both Small Island States and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), are among the most exposed to the harm brought by climate change, and often exhibit a high degree of vulnerability, given their dependence on economic activities located in the coastal areas and generally, limited resource endowment [2]. International cooperation is a critical enabler of providing support to reinforce the necessary frameworks and resources for adaptation, including through the development of tailor-made tools, as well as purpose-built financing. Access to finance is a critical factor in order to enable vulnerable countries to achieve sustainable development and strengthen their resilience. In respect of the latter, Bridgetown 2.0, an initiative championed by the Prime Minister of Barbados, highlights the need “for urgent and decisive action to reform the international financial architecture (IFA)”, to make it fit-for-purpose, to address ”… unrelenting climate change, increasing systemic risks, extreme inequality ….”. The Paris Summit for a New Global Financing Pact held in June 2023, was instrumental in taking the necessary steps to continue to build upon Bridgetown 2.0, and follow-up with concrete actions. Following the crucial operationalisation of the Loss and Damage Fund at COP28, the adoption of a new climate finance goal will be a key element at COP29. The New Collective Qualitative Goal on climate finance will need to take into account developing countries’ needs and priorities, estimated at $5.8 – $5.9 trillion until 2030.[5]

The Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta and the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) have embarked on a pilot project, together with the Islands and Small States Institute (ISSI) of the University of Malta, to develop a Climate Vulnerability and Resilience Index. The initiative intends to build on the work undertaken last year by the UN High-Level Panel (HLP) of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) and the OACPS Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (OMVI) and Multidimensional Resilience Index (OMRI) which informed OACPS’ submission to the HLP.

The Climate Vulnerability and Resilience Index (CVRI) will be an important tool, which, while being complementary to the MVI, will add granularity by accounting for the policy-induced resilience actions that States undertake. This matters because equitable climate finance requires an understanding of the efforts that States are making to strengthen their resilience against the backdrop of the inherent vulnerabilities they are exposed to.

To date, climate indices have mostly focused on measuring vulnerability and resilience separately [4]. This proposed index, besides assessing vulnerability and resilience individually, will also juxtapose the two indices, with the objective of creating a more comprehensive understanding of the risks of being harmed by climate change, and the efforts and costs associated to address climate change vulnerabilities by strengthening and maintaining resilience. The CVRI, while drawing upon indicators already used in the MVI, will clearly distinguish between inherent vulnerability features and the resilience measures that governments and communities undertake.

The adoption of the OMVI and tasking to develop the CVRI are mandated in Decision No. 4 made of the OACPS Council of Ministers 116th Session held in July 2023 [3]. The CVRI also represents a tangible expression of support within the framework of Malta’s leadership within the UN Security Council on climate and security, forging resilience to address security issues as a result of climate change impacts.


Malta’s dedication to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Small Island States is inexorably woven into its foreign policy strategy [6]. As an island nation situated in one of the world’s primary climate hotspots, Malta has consistently championed the interests of small islands globally. This steadfast commitment is reflected in a number of undertakings including the ‘Island for Islands’ initiative, which was launched at COP26. Collaborating closely with SIDS, Malta works on several partnerships intended to strengthen SIDS’ resilience and bolster their capacities in situ. Malta’s expertise in capacity building serves as a cornerstone in this endeavour, as evidenced by its hosting of the Small States Centre of Excellence and co-chairing of the UN Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS. Malta’s efforts have been also duly recognised by the international community, as demonstrated by the prestigious 2023 SIDS Partnership Award in the Social Category bestowed upon Malta by the United Nations for its SIDS Scholarship Programme.

The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is the largest international organisation serving the Global South, with principal objectives to achieve the sustainable development and progressive integration into the world economy of its 79 Member States. Within its structures is the OACPS SIDS Forum, a subsidiary and consultative organ of the OACPS under the revised Georgetown Agreement (2019). It brings together the 39 SIDS members of the OACPS, to determine and coalesce around common priorities and interests, including the need for stronger climate action and access to concessional finance.

The Islands and Small States Institute (ISSI) is based at the University of Malta and promotes teaching, research and training on the economic, social, cultural, ecological and geographical aspects of islands and small states. A centre of excellence on issues pertaining to islands and small states since the mid-1980s, ISSI has a notable track record of high-calibre policy research on resilience, economy, climate change, environment and health issues in islands and small states. It has been the institutional home of the open-access journal Small States and Territories since 2018. Graduates from its Master and Doctoral Programmes include various SIDS citizens, many of whom occupy senior management positions in the public or private sector of their countries. ISSI is a partner institution of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade of Malta.


[1] IPCC, 2022: Summary for Policymakers [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, M. Tignor, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, M. Tignor, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem, B. Rama (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pp. 3–33, doi:10.1017/9781009325844.001.

[2] Moncada, S., Briguglio, L., Bambrick, H., Kelman, I., Iorns, C., & Nurse, L. (Eds.). (2021). Small island developing states: Vulnerability and resilience under climate change (Vol. 9). Springer International Publishing.

[3] OACPS, 2023: Decisions and Resolutions of the 116th Session of the OACPS Council of Ministers held in Brussels, Belgium on 19 and 20 July 2023. Reference: ACP/27/003/23.

[4] Briguglio, L., & Moncada, S. (2022). Small states and the vulnerability resilience framework: withstanding exposure to adverse external shocks. Occasional Papers on Islands and Small States, 3.Msida: Islands and Small States Institute of the University of Malta

[5] Executive summary by the Standing Committee on Finance on the first report on the determination of the needs of developing country Parties related to implementing the Convention and the Paris Agreement, UNFCCC.

[6] Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs (Malta), Foreign Policy Strategy, February 2022

[7]Newspoint (UM) 12.07.2023 Publication