Environmental Migration Newsletter
Knowledge Platform on People on the Move in a Changing Climate
April - June 2021

Tweet Tweet
Share Share
Share Share
Forward Forward

Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Updates

António Vitorino, IOM Director General's Message
for World Environment Day - Generation Restoration
Watch the video (EN, FR, ES)
Read the IOM Newsdesk
First session of the International Dialogue on Migration 2021 
Accelerating integrated action on sustainable development: migration, the environment and climate change 

Between the 25 - 27 May, the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM), as the prime migration policy dialogue of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), convened its first 2021 session on the nexus between migration, environment and climate change.  

This first IDM session built on the IDM session from 2011 and the IDM seminar from 2007, and offered a space to take stock of the progress made in terms of the state of knowledge, policy development and effective practices addressing key challenges around migration in the context of climate change and environmental degradation; to discuss specific challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic; and to highlight opportunities for joint action and for the implementation of relevant international, regional and national frameworks.   

A total of 1281 participants from 95 countries attended this first session of the 2021 IDM. Ministers, Ambassadors, and other representatives of States, the European Union and the United Nations, including the President of the 75th UN General Assembly and the UN Deputy Secretary-General, youth delegates, members of diaspora, academic experts, representatives of the private sector, and international and civil society organizations, participated in this year’s dialogue, exchanged their views and shared their experiences and examples of effective practices.

Watch the event recordings
Addressing Drivers and Facilitating Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in the Contexts of Disasters and Climate Change in the IGAD Region
- Joint Programme Launch -

by Lisa Lim Ah Ken and Noora Makela, IOM Nairobi

On 25 May, IOM, as the Convening Agency of the Joint Programme, co-organized with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Secretariat, the launch of the first regional Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Joint Programme in the East and Horn of Africa, dedicated to “Addressing drivers and facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration in the context of disasters and climate change in the IGAD region.”

This joint programme aims to contribute to facilitating pathways for regular migration in the IGAD region and minimizing displacement risk in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters in line with the vision and guiding principles of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). It builds on ongoing work, programmes and action plans of the partners, and supports existing global policies and frameworks that address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change. The Joint-Programme has a strong multi-partnership and multi-stakeholder approach and brings together various parts of Governments, UN and other entities, in line with the GCM core principles of whole-of-government and whole-of-society. 

The virtual launch event was opened by the IOM Director General, Antonio Vitorino, following guest speakers who introduced the climate change and environmental migration trends and policy landscape to address climate change and disaster-related migration in the IGAD region. Partners presented the Joint Programme, its objective and how it will concretely tackle the migration, environment and climate change challenges in the IGAD region. The launch gathered 140 participants from key partners, stakeholders such as UN agencies, donor community, civil society.
Watch the event recording
Climate Mobility and Children Symposium

by Iulia Elisabeta Duca, IOM MECC HQ
To better understand how children and young people are affected by climate-related migration and displacement, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) jointly hosted a virtual symposium in early November 2020.

A group of 45 experts attended the event. Representatives from UN agencies, academia, civil society, policymakers, as well as young climate and migration activists spent two half days exploring existing debates surrounding climate-related mobilities. Participants also deliberated on possible solutions and articulated a set of recommendations that could pave the path to more inclusive and child-centric approaches.

In this context, UNICEF and IOM released the background paper Children on the Move: Why, Where, How? to provide an overview of the state of knowledge on the child/ youth, migration and climate change nexus, and to outline potential recommendations for addressing this growing challenge.
Nauru Concludes National Consultations on Climate Mobility 

by Sabira Coelho and Christopher Yee, IOM Fiji

The Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCMHS) programme hosted the national consultations on climate mobility in Nauru between 15-16 June. The consultations were organized by IOM and provided an opportunity for participants from a multitude of sectors to come together and continue discussions on the impact of climate mobility in Nauru. 

Day one of the consultation allowed for community leaders, civil society organisations and other respective stakeholders to share perspectives and experiences on the impacts of climate change on the livelihoods of communities. It was highlighted that 80 per cent of the Nauru population is located on the coastline and are at risk of being exposed to both slow onset and sudden onset hazards. On day two of the consultation, government officials addressed the issue of climate mobility through the implementation of policies at the national and regional level. More specifically, there was consensus for national priorities to be integrated into regional platforms to ensure a more coordinated and harmonised cooperation within the region. 

In addition, civil society representative from EcoNauru highlighted the need for civil society, communities and the government to work collaboratively on planning for the relocation of residential housing and key infrastructure to higher ground due to the increasing encroachment of climate hazards such as the rise in sea level, periodic tropical cyclones and storm surges.
Exploring the Relationship between Migration and Air Pollution in Europe: IOM-European Green Week Event 2021

by Soumyadeep Banerjee, IOM Vienna, and Elizabeth Linklater, IOM Brussels
IOM drew attention to the links between migration and air pollution at this year's European Union (EU) Green Week, which promoted Europe’s zero-pollution ambition. The event "Exploring the Relationship between Migration and Air Pollution in Europe" took place on 1 June and brought together experts to discuss how the EU and its Member States, Governments in the Western Balkans, international financial institutions, and other partners can integrate migration considerations in the roll-out of clear air initiatives. 

The discussion touched on several key elements of the nexus between migration, clean energy and air pollution. The first element highlighted was that societal inequalities exacerbate the impacts of air pollution leaving migrant households, especially women, children, the elderly and social groups such as Rroma, particularly vulnerable to pollution. At the same time, migrants are key to the success of the zero-pollution ambition and can be part of the solution. Polluting industries and sectors will undergo a transition in line with the European Green Deal. This will require their workers, including migrant workers, to have skills to facilitate the climate-neutral transition. It was also noted that migrants and their families are consumers of energy efficient and renewable energy solutions. If enabling conditions are present, migrants and their families can spend on clean energy, sustainable housing, energy efficient appliances and much more.
Watch the event recording
Africa Virtual Workshop Series Concluded

by Ileana Sînziana Pușcaș and Christina Daszkiewicz, IOM MECC HQ
The Africa Virtual Workshop Series: Developing a Research and Policy Agenda for Addressing Displacement and Migration in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change in Africa concluded with the Closing Plenary on 1 July 2021. It provided an opportunity for academics and policy experts working in Africa and beyond to engage in discussion, form networks and plan future research on topics related to disaster and climate change-related displacement and migration.

With 264 registered participants and discussions spanning 24 hours of workshops in both English and French, it has been a rich experience engaging academics and practitioners across Africa over two months. Workshop participants included scholars working on climate change, disasters, migration and displacement across law, policy and other disciplines, as well as representatives of States and key international, regional, sub-regional, and civil society organisations.
Between April and June 2021, experts discussed and proposed further research on four key topics: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction; Migration and Free Movement; Refugee and Human Rights Law; and Protecting IDPs and Planned Relocation. Through a series of online presentations and discussions, the Virtual Workshop Series identified key needs and opportunities for regional research and policy development relating to displacement and migration in the context of disasters and climate change in Africa that will culminate the in the soon to be finalized Research and Policy Agenda. Following the conclusion of the series, a network of researchers and policy experts across Africa will be established to implement the Research and Policy Agenda.

The Africa Virtual Workshop Series was organized by a group of partners, including IOM, the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). It is part of the IOM project "Implementing Global Policies on Environmental Migration and Disaster Displacement in West Africa" funded by the Government of France.
IOM Sri Lanka, Government and UNCT Hold Knowledge Sharing Sessions on Migration, Environment and Climate Change

by Rangitha Balasuriya, IOM Sri Lanka
IOM Sri Lanka held 2 virtual knowledge training sessions on migration, environment and climate change in April 2021. In both sessions IOM trainers shared technical knowledge on the MECC nexus, highlighted relevant policy frameworks, and provided recent contextual evidence from Sri Lanka, followed by discussions among participants. These activities are part of the two-year project “Understanding Migration, Environmental Degradation and Climate Change in Sri Lanka” funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF) and implemented with the Ministry of Environment of Sri Lanka.

The first virtual knowledge sharing session on 9 April gathered 20 participants, representing the key government project steering committee members. Within the interactive learning paradigm, many of the participants highlighted some trending issues leading to environmental migration in Sri Lanka, such as “massive illegal deforestation leading to destruction of natural water sources, illegal sand dwelling from river banks leading massive floods and soil erosion, rising number of development projects leading to environmental degradation and urban flash floods, increasing community revulsion related to human elephant conflict, seasonal migration of fishing communities transforming their income sources to permanent economic coping mechanisms.”

The second virtual knowledge sharing session on 28 April was an extension of the one delivered to the Government, where IOM collaborated with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) Sri Lanka’s Results Group for Climate Change led by UNDP Sri Lanka. This was the first time that IOM Sri Lanka held such an event as a joint collaboration with the UNCT in the aspect of Climate Change. Some 53 participants representing the UNCT Sri Lanka, Academia, International Organizations, Civil Society Groups, Research Organizations, Young Climate Activists, Donor Communities, and IOM staff, actively joined the session and provided their insights. Successfully, the interactive sessions drew attention of the donor communities to commit for future development needs in the nexus of migration and climate change.

During the post training evaluation, the learners acknowledged this pioneer initiation of knowledge dissemination by further requesting IOM to engage in raising awareness on the nexus between migration and climate change as an act of advocacy to the government and wider communities, in the future.
Side event of the 2021 Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Affairs Segment
The Second Edition of the Virtual Training of Border Officials on
Disaster Displacement Takes Place in the Eastern Caribbean 

By Pablo Escribano, IOM San José
As a follow up to a successful training in June 2020, IOM partnered with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, CARICOM IMPACS, UNHCR, GIZ and the PDD to build the capacities of border officials from the OECS and selected Caribbean countries around issues related to climate mobility.  

The capacity building programme started on Tuesday 8 June with an introductory discussion on the frameworks and actors in the Caribbean. IOM and the PDD delivered a session on 15 June on environmental migration data and national responses, and IOM managed a session on 22 June on psychosocial support.  

Approximately 40 participants registered to attend the virtual training, which was delivered through the Caribbean Community CBSI platform. A renewed focus on training of trainers ensured that the participants would have the tools available to reproduce the workshop at the national level in their own countries.
Pacific Civil Society Concludes
Regional Consultations on Climate Mobility 

by Sabira Coelho and Christopher Yee, IOM Fiji

The Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCMHS) programme hosted a virtual regional civil society consultation on climate mobility between 22-23 June. The online consultations, organized by IOM, provided an opportunity for Pacific civil society representatives to review the human security implications of climate change related migration, displacement and planned relocation, share experiences about how climate mobility is impacting communities, and discuss the development of a regional-based solution. 

The virtual consultations gathered over 40 participants from 8 Pacific Countries including regional organizations, members of academia, faith-based organizations, youth groups and advocates for LGBTIQ community. 

Over the two days, the participants emphasized the need to develop a regional framework that addresses the issues of climate mobility in the Pacific region by creating safe migration pathways, that upholds the human rights of migrant communities in the Pacific, and that recognises the need to preserve and respect cultural identity. More importantly, attendees underscored the importance of inclusivity towards the development of a regional framework, stressing the need to ensure that the voices of marginalized communities and those most at risk to the impacts of climate change is properly addressed throughout the regional process. In consensus, civil society representatives agreed on the need to increase advocacy, speak with one united voice, and share a common understanding towards safeguarding future generations of the Pacific from climate mobility.
Climate and Migrants - Philippines Report Launch

by Michelle Villariez, IOM Philippines
IOM Philippines launched its preliminary report findings on climate change and community resilience this June. The event “Climate and Migrants: The Human Face of Climate Change” aimed to put the spotlight on the human narratives behind climate change impacts.

The launched report "Framing the Human Narrative of Migration in the Context of Climate Change" aims to contribute to discussions on national and local policies on migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental and climate change. Using both empirical data and community interviews, the report has chosen a human-centered and collaborative approach to gathering data on climate impacts. The areas chosen for the interviews were identified as the most at-risk cities to sea level rise and other climate change impacts. 

The launch event was opened by the UN Resident Coordinator to the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez, as the head of the UN Network on Migration. It gathered 66 participants from the academia, civil society sector and the government, as well 114 people engaged through Facebook live.
Tsunami, Solomon Islands 2007 © AusAID by DFAT Photo Library
IOM Supports the Development of
Planned Relocation Guidelines for Solomon Islands 

by Nathalie Hanley, IOM Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a geographically diverse country, vulnerable to both acute natural hazards and the slow onset impacts of climate change. As a result, some communities in Solomon Islands have already been forced to relocate, and it is increasingly likely that more will be required to do so in the future.  

In this context, with support from the IOM Development Fund, IOM has partnered with the Government of Solomon Islands to develop Relocation Guidelines that will better equip the country to undertake rights-based relocation planning. This work is undertaken under the guidance of a multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee with representation from both Government and non-government stakeholders co-chaired by the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology. 

Community consultations across four provinces are expected to start in August 2021 and will inform the structure and content of the Guidelines. A Solomon Islands Government press briefing note on progress to date can be accessed here.
Philippines National Internal Migration Summit

by Michelle Villariez, IOM Philippines
In partnership with the Government of the Philippines, IOM Philippines’ Climate Change and Sustainability Unit co-hosted the Internal Migration Summit with GIZ and the Commission on Population and Development, and showcased studies and discussions focusing on climate change and COVID-19 as key drivers of internal migration.

The event was attended by more than 500 participants from academia, and local and regional government offices. National policymakers from congress and the cabinet were also in attendance. The 3-day event culminated with a signing of the Summit Statement – all organizers, speakers and participants signed the call to action based on the recommendations outlined by the summit: “Finally, given the interrelated concerns of internal migration, climate change and the ongoing pandemic, we the participants to this Summit commit to and call for collective action among all stakeholders at all levels towards balancing and optimizing the impact of internal migration on national, regional and local development and promoting the rights and wellbeing of internal migrants…” (Excerpt from Summit Statement).
An interview of Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh, IOM MECC HQ, with the Mercator Foundation Magazine
The COVID-19 Pandemic, Migration and the Environment 
IOM Blog Series

The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound, widespread impacts on migrants, refugees and displaced persons, as well as on migration patterns at local and global level. Its implications for the different facets of the migration and environment nexus are also significant, and very diverse. People evacuating and displaced as a consequence of disasters are facing specific challenges respecting physical distancing and practicing other infection prevention measures. Migrants forced to return towards their home countries and locations might put additional pressures on already fragile ecosystems and livelihoods. Families and communities that were relying on migration as an adaptation or coping strategy have little options to send out their members or have stopped receiving remittances. 

In order to explore the theoretical and practical implications of these dynamics on migration and the environment all over the world, IOM is hosting a series of contributions by practitioners and researchers. This series provides a forum for the environment and migration community to share experiences, knowledge, ideas and recommendations on the linkages between the COVID-19 pandemic and disaster displacement, environmental migration, and the environmental impacts of people’s different movement decisions. This series includes contributions by authors with different disciplinary and professional backgrounds and on all regions of the world, aiming to provide a snapshot of the diversity and complexity of these implications.

The latest articles in the IOM Blog Series on "The COVID-19 Pandemic, Migration and the Environment" are available on IOM Environmental Migration Portal.
Read more
Our Specialists are on social media, follow them:

Soumyadeep Banerjee @soum_banerjee - IOM Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Eastern and South Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Hind Aissaoui Bennani LinkedIn - IOM Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in West and Central Africa

Sabira Coelho @sabiracoelho - IOM Programme Manager on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in the Pacific

Pablo Escribano @pescribanoIOM - IOM Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in the Americas

Lisa Lim Ah Ken @LisaLimAhKen1 - IOM Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in the East and Horn of Africa
Alice Baillat @AliceBail - IOM Associate Expert on Migration, Environment and Climate Change and IOM-PDD Liaison Officer, IOM Geneva

Mariam Chazalnoël Traore @MariamChazal - IOM Senior Policy Officer, IOM Geneva

Lorenzo Guadagno @lo_lo_lore IOM Migration, Environment and Climate Change - Department of Operations and Emergencies Liaison Officer, IOM Geneva

Sinziana Puscas LinkedIn - IOM Progrmme Officer on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, IOM Geneva

Research Database Updates

Search the database

Upcoming Events

See events

Job Opportunities

IOM Brussels | Individual consultancy contract to support the implementation of IOM's EU Green Deal Engagement Plan - deadline 28 July 2021

IOM Kyrgyzstan | International Lead Researchers/Team - conduct experimental research on the behavioral barriers and enablers among the Kyrgyz Diaspora and Compatriots abroad in supporting climate change adaptation - deadline 13 August 2021

IOM Research Partners Panel | Call for Expressions of Interest

In the face of climate change, you can help make migration a choice, not a necessity.
Help Us, Help More!
Our mailing address is:

Copyright © 2021. International Organization for Migration. All rights reserved.
Subscribe to the Newsletter here

Newsletter editors: Ileana Sînziana Pușcaș, Programme Officer, and Iulia Elisabeta Duca, Project Support Officer, IOM Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division, Geneva, Switzerland

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
International Organization for Migration · 17, Route des Morillons CH-1211 · Geneva 1218 · Switzerland

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp