Step 1: Hazard Assessment

Hazard in the current context is defined as “a process, phenomenon or human activity that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation (United Nations General Assembly, 2016)”.

Included are all weather-related hazards (e.g. drought, excessive rain, floods, temperature [heat/cold], or tropical storms) that pose a potential risk to the agricultural sector and its value chain. The analysis includes all identified weather-related events and cascading impacts in terms of frequency, severity, duration, location and probability. For insurance purposes, a minimum of 20-30 years of historical data is needed[3]. Obtaining an overview of hazards helps to:

  • Identify the immediate causes and sources of hazards within the national territory or from across borders (e.g. excessive rain leading to floods also in distant river beds) that could impact the agricultural sector.
  • Determine how these events might change in the short and medium terms as a result of climate variability.
  • Identify the most important weather risks related to the agricultural value chain based on the probability of occurrence, the severity of losses and impact.


If adequate data are not available, advanced technologies such as improved satellite data and/or qualitative analysis of weather events can complement historic meteorological data collected from farmers and the private agricultural sector to be discussed with national actors.

Tools and Guiding Questions

Guiding Questions

How to conduct a risk assessment (hazard, exposure, vulnerability)?


FAO (2007): Climate variability and change: adaptation to drought in Bangladesh − A resource book and training guide (at community level)

World Bank (2016): Agricultural Sector Risk Assessment − Methodological Guidance for Practitioners. Agriculture Global Practice Discussion Paper 10

Case study

WB-GFDRR-EU (2017): South West Indian Ocean Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative (SWIO-RAFI)

Guiding Questions

Which weather-related events affect the agricultural sector and its value chain in your country?

What kind of data do you need and where is this data available?

Are there nationally agreed methodologies for data consolidation, classification and analysis of multi-hazard risk and vulnerability information for all actors in the agricultural value chain?

Global database

Global databases of all natural hazards and extreme weather events, e.g.: World Meteorological Organization: Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS): Provision of climate information (e.g. climate predictions) and services

Platform for Agricultural Risk Management in Development (PARM): Geospatial Data and Weather Risk Mapping for Agriculture Risk Management

GFDRR hazard page ThinkHazard!: General view of hazards for a given location providing guidance on how to reduce the impact of the hazards and where to find more information

Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE: Information on all types of natural hazards and extreme weather events and losses (insured and non-insured)

Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE: Information on all types of natural hazards and extreme weather events and losses (insured and non-insured)

Global database

Munich Re's NATHAN Risk Suite (Natural Hazards Assessment Network)

Swiss Re, web-based tool for historical data on catastrophes, including level of insured and uninsured losses and

WorldClim: Interpolates climate layers from major climate databases compiled by e.g. the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), FAO, WMO, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIATCIAT), R-HYdronet, and SRTM elevation database

NatureServe: One-stop access to the status and location of ecosystems, tools that support data use, and analysis of biodiversity and land-use assessments and planning

Global database

GERICS Climate Service Centre: standardized weather data bank developed in cooperation with e.g. BMZ, GIZ, KfW

Platform for Agricultural Risk Management in Development (PARM): Geospatial Data and Weather Risk Mapping for Agriculture Risk Management

GeoNetwork: web interface to search geospatial data across multiple catalogues


OECD (2012): Disaster risk assessment and risk financing − A G20/OECD Methodological Framework

World Bank GFDRR (2014): Understanding risks in an evolving world − Emerging Best Practices in Natural Disaster Risk Assessment

Further tools under ‘vulnerability assessment’.

Various maps, e.g.

Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) maps for estimating wind speed at surface generated by tropical cyclones and the amount of precipitation runoff.

Topographic maps for earthquake and tropical cyclones measure hazard-triggering rainfall events, provide inputs into climate and land-surface models offering information into e.g. agricultural productivity

Bathymetry maps needed for the computation of tsunami-induced waves and of storm surge due to tropical cyclones.

Guiding Questions

What is the quality of data?


UNDP (2013): A comparative review of country-level and regional disaster loss and damage databases (quality assessment of the global and regional databases)

Guiding Questions

Following a multi-hazard approach, which are the most relevant weather-related events for the agricultural sector?


Preliminary priority setting based on frequency, occurrence, the severity of losses, the impacts, costs and period of restoration after a disaster, and the demand for adaptation from the government (private sector and communities) through the following tools:

Focus group discussions with farmers and cooperatives, interviews with representatives of agricultural entrepreneurs along the agricultural value chain.

Semi-structured interviews with government officials from the relevant ministries (e.g. agriculture, finance, transport, trade and industry, and disaster management offices).


The tools below are relevant for all three guiding questions.