The Environmental Migration Portal Newsletter is produced as part of the "Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy" (MECLEP) project, funded by the European Union, implemented by IOM. 

Environmental Migration Portal Newsletter
Knowledge Platform on People on the Move in a Changing Climate
September 2016


Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Updates 

 © UN Photo (Rick Bajornas) 2016

New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants
recognizes importance of environmental degradation, disasters and climate change
19 September 2016
UN Headquarters, New York City, U.S.A.

The New York Declaration was adopted on the 19th of September 2016 during the 71st session of the General Assembly. The commitments included in the Declaration highlight the importance of migration, environment and climate change issues and the need for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) officially joining the UN system with the aim to “strengthen the global governance of migration”.
In the past 65 years of its existence, IOM has been committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and societies. As the leading international organization for migration, the IOM has worked over the past twenty years on two pronged approaches geared by the vision of bringing environmental and climate migration in the spotlight and working across policy areas for the benefit of migrants, their host communities and their countries of origin, within the greater framework of sustainable development.
On the one hand, the IOM has advocated integrating migration into other policy areas and influenced key policy processes that deal with vulnerability and poverty reduction and development that are key to achieve the planned and dignified migration vision of the Organization. On the other hand, the Organization aimed at shaping migration thinking, policy and dialogues to better take into account environmental and climate change factors as push or pull factors of migration.
Mainstreaming human mobility in other policy areas has made major advances over the past ten years, culminating in the incorporation of migration in all mayor policy processes and outcome documents that established the future of global action: Small Island Developing States (SIDS) SAMOO Pathway (2014), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (2014), Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (2015), Sustainable Development Goals (2015), Nansen Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (2015), World Humanitarian Summit (2016), and the United Nations Environment Assembly (2016). These policy processes recognized the crucial role of migration as one of the megatrends of this century, which cannot be ignored in future planning and have to be addressed for sustainable development.

Visit the official website:
Read the Summit documents here

 © IOM 2016
Technical Meeting on Migration, Displacement and Human Mobility
in the context of Action Area 6 of the initial two-year workplan
of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts, UNFCCC

27-29 July 2016
Casablanca, Morocco

On 27-29 July 2016, the International Organization for Migration organized in cooperation with the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism (Excom/WIM), with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, a technical meeting to support the work on issues related to migration, displacement and human mobility in the context of loss and damage. The Meeting was also supported by the Kingdom of Morocco and was labelled as an official COP22 event.
The Executive Committee was established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process in 2013 to guide the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM), a mechanism adopted by States Parties to the UNFCCC to support action to address economic and non-economic loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change in particularly vulnerable developing countries. The Executive Committee follows a two-year work plan approved in 2014 composed of nine Action areas, including Action area 6: “Enhance the understanding of and expertise on how the impacts of climate change are affecting patterns of migration, displacement and human mobility; and the application of such understanding and expertise”.
The technical meeting held in Casablanca brought together members of the Executive Committee, governmental experts, academics, and representatives of international organizations, NGOs and specialized institutions from all over the world in a consultation aimed at exchanging existing knowledge and expertise on migration, displacement and human mobility associated with climate change, and at supporting the Executive Committee in its work under Action area 6.
As part of the preparatory work for the technical meeting, three synthesis papers were produced by thematic champions focusing on the three Pillars of Action area 6: 1) Enhancing knowledge and understanding; 2) Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies; and 3) Enhancing action and support. The papers benefitted from contributions from experts from the governmental, academic, intergovernmental and civil society sectors.
The meeting took place ahead of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, which will be hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in November 2016, and where the Executive Committee is to present a five-year work plan for WIM addressing key areas of action on loss and damage, including action in relation to migration, displacement and human mobility.
The three thematic papers developed as part of the technical meeting and other relevant documents are available online:
 © IOM 2016
IASFM 16: Rethinking Forced Migration and Displacement: Theory, Policy, and Praxis
12-15 July, 2016.
Poznan, Poland
The 16th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) was hosted at the Adam Mickiewicz University. The main topic was ‘Rethinking Forced Migration and Displacement: Theory, Policy, and Praxis’.

The conference engaged in discussion related to migration and the environment. During this event the MECLEP project coordinator Susanne Melde, together with partners from the MECLEP Consortium, held the panel ‘Displacement and adaptation to climate change and disasters: New evidence and policy implications’. The panel covered theoretical and methodological considerations when studying displacement in the context of adaptation to environmental and climate change, as well as case studies from Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam and the policy implications of the findings from those countries. It consisted of five interesting presentations where Francois Gemenne, Julia Blocher, Robert Oakes and Susanne Melde presented the results of their research.

The comparison of existing policy frameworks among the pilot MECLEP countries shows that the majority of governments recognized preventing and addressing displacement as a policy priority. In contrast to migration and partly planned relocation, displacement may entail the least beneficial adaptation outcomes. Early planning, preparedness and increasing resilience, using indigenous and migrants’ knowledge, are found to be decisive for increasing adaptive capacities of populations affected by disasters and environmental change. 

Read more in the event website.
 © RESAMA, 2016
VII World Social Forum on Migration
7-10 July 2016
Sao Paulo, Brazil

The VII World Social Forum on Migration was held in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, under the motto: “Migrants Building Alternatives in the Face of the Disorder and Global Crisis of Capital”. The World Social Forum on Migrations was conceived as a Thematic Forum of the World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre in 2004. Since then, It has been organized every two years.The 2016 edition was held at the Zumbi Dos Palmares University.

The Forum was attended by various participants such as academics, activists, diplomats and specialists in migrations. The links between human mobility and the Environment, including findings from the MECLEP project, were presented in the fourth axis ‘Migration, the right of Mother Nature, the climate and the North-South conflicts’. This axis aimed at contemplating migration and displacement of environmental caused by global warming or large "developmentalist" projects both in the field and in the city, which subvert the living conditions of populations and expel the places where they live.

Read more in the event website.

MECLEP Project Updates

 © IOM Mauritius
Mauritius Capacity Building Training Workshop
13-15 July 2016
Port Louis, Mauritius

IOM Mauritius, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, held a national policymaker training workshop on migration, environment and climate change, within the framework of the MECLEP project. Nineteen policymakers from various ministries and agencies who have a stake in environmental migration, including environment, climate change, development, disaster management and planning, social affairs and the statistics office participated in the workshop.
On the basis of the existing and ongoing MECLEP research in Mauritius, the workshop built capacity of policymakers and practitioners on the migration-environment nexus, offered practical guidance on policy formulation and programmatic action, especially on migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental and climate change, and allowed an exchange of knowledge, practices, and experiences.

Prior to the training workshop, a local research capacity building workshop for the selected MECLEP survey team, EMPRETEC Mauritius, was held in April 2016. The survey team conducted a national household survey in June and July 2016 in 3 selected sites in Mauritius and the preliminary results were presented during the workshop.
As an outcome of the workshop, participants proposed a series of environmental and climate policy recommendations, drawing from the acquired knowledge on environmental migration and based on their respective areas of expertise. Three pilot programmes, relating to disaster response and adaptation, livelihoods options in the face of slow onset events as well as response to forced migration were also concerted and drawn up.

Media Highlight

Research Database Updates

Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict or Natural Disaster

Conference Report - Understanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge: The Role of Research
Environmental Migration and Displacement - What we know, and what we do not know
Migration in the INDCs and NDCs
Detecting climate adaptation with mobile network data in Bangladesh: anomalies in communication, mobility and consumption patterns during cyclone Mahasen
The influence of climate variability on internal migration flows in South Africa
Search the database

Upcoming Events

TransRe Conference
Connecting the Dots: Migration – Environment – Resilience
29-30 September 2016 | Bonn, Germany 

World Conference on Climate Change
24 October 2016 | Valencia, Spain 

The Hugo Conference - Environment, Migration, Politics
3-5 November 2016 | Liège, Belgium
7-18 November 2016 
|  Marrakesh, Morocco 
Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity
Until 24 November 2016

International Conference: Migration & Environmental Change
8-9 December 2016 | Berlin, Germany
Read more
To share your research, publication, event, videos and more on the Environmental Migration Portal, contact  
This newsletter has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of IOM and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or of IOM.

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