The workshop enabled the participation of migration, climate change and disaster management policymakers and practitioners from nine OECS countries, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, along with relevant regional organizations.
Discussions during the meeting focused on the concepts and trends of environmental migration and the impact of sudden and slow onset events in the Caribbean, a region which experiences hurricanes and is at risk of sea-level rise. Participants had the opportunity to explore the legal and political frameworks shaping environmental migration and defined priorities for a regional plan of action to better address this issue in the Eastern Caribbean. Participants identified gaps and opportunities mainly to enhance data collection and management on environmental migration and to improve regional coordination.
IOM, Partners Discuss Climate Change and Migration at UN Environment Assembly
15 March 2019, Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi – Climatic factors are a major driver of migration, with the World Bank estimating that some 143 million people could be internally displaced in only three regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America) by 2050, as a result of climate change.
On Friday (15/03) experts and activists gathered during the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to discuss the complex nexus between climate change and migration.
“For centuries, millions of people across the globe have migrated due to climate change and environmental drivers, but the difference now is that man-made climate change is increasing the severity, frequency and geographical range of environmental disasters,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, the IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.
He added: “This means that vulnerable communities are at even greater risk than ever, and we have seen global evidence of that already. Through the Global Compact for Migration, Member States have recognized this existential global threat, and outlined comprehensive measures to protect migrants by minimizing climate change and environmental drivers, build resilience and also facilitate safe and orderly migration as an adaptation strategy.”
He was speaking at a side event on environment and migration aimed at bringing to light various dimensions and solutions to environmental migration in the context of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). (...)
The event was organized by IOM, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the United Nations Environment Programme.
Climate Change and Migration Project Launched to Protect, Empower Pacific Communities
26 March 2019, Suva, Fiji
Suva – IOM and key partners launched a three-year regional project in Suva, Fiji to help Pacific Island governments address multi-faceted challenges associated with climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation in the region.
The project – Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region – has received seed funding from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) and will target Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu.
Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, speaking at the launch, welcomed the project. “We have a global phenomenon called climate change that is affecting people in a very tangible, direct and practical manner, and we have to be able to deal with this issue head on,” he said.
The main objectives of the project are to support a regional human security-based response to climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation, ensure that migrants and communities benefit from safe labour migration where appropriate, and contribute to the evidence-base of good practices in these areas.
Migration in Times of Climate Change:
A Discussion of (Climate) Policy Options for Action (Migration in Zeiten des Klimawandels: Eine Diskussion (klima-) politischer Handlungsoptionen)
27 March 2019, Berlin, Germany
By Reshma Cunnoosamy, Andrea Milan and Susanne Melde, IOM GMDAC
An expert discussion was organized by Adelphi, an independent think tank and public policy consultancy firm, together with IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) as part of the “Environmental degradation, climate change and migration: global review of research and forecasts” project. Within this project, IOM and Adelphi are producing three papers: a literature review; an “impacts” paper exploring some of the main ways in which environmental change and migration have been linked to date; and a paper looking at how the issue can be addressed via climate change adaptation policy. The expert discussion aimed to gather feedback on a “Discussion paper” that summarized the key ideas from these three papers.
Discussions centered around the current state of knowledge as well as the political and institutional frameworks for evidence-based policies to manage migration in the context of environmental and climate change. Among other things, participants highlighted the importance of acknowledging more explicitly the consequences of a global warming of one degree Celsius that are already occurring, and of integrating the issue of migration, environment and climate change into development planning. A challenge that emerged is that due to the cross-cutting nature of the topic, the institutional landscape differs in each country, making it an issue beyond just climate or migration policy, and requiring a whole-of-government approach. “Inhabitability” as a continuum and tipping point issues were also discussed at length.
Participants included experts from the German Government as well as from Germany-based international organizations, NGOs and research centers, in the areas of migration, environment and climate change; environmental protection; climate change adaptation, civil protection; international development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
The last milestone of this joint Adelphi-IOM project will be an international conference that is planned to take place in Bonn on 28 June 2019, right after the 50th Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (17-27 June 2019). This project is financed by the German Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), managed by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and implemented by Adelphi and IOM.