IOM Hosts Meeting of the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement
1-2 July 2019, Geneva, Switzerland
by Tanya Omolo and Mariam Traore Chazalnoel, IOM MECC
Members of the Task Force on Displacement (TFD) met in July to establish and draft a two-year workplan on human mobility and climate change, ahead of the twenty-fifth Conference of Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The formation of the Task Force on Displacement was mandated by the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change and conducted under the stewardship of the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM).
Under the new mandate, the TFD ambitions to enhance cooperation and facilitation across relevant stakeholders in the implementation and integration of its original recommendations, working across exiting and relevant international, regional and national policies and frameworks. As a founding member of the Task Force, IOM aims to look beyond displacement issues only towards a broader perspective encompassing all aspects of the climate migration nexus.
With the new workplan, IOM is prioritizing a regional focus, with attention to countries most vulnerable to climate change, and will lead on activities related to capacity building and the development of guidance notes. The overall meeting focused on identifying opportunities to promote increased policy coherence both under and outside the UNFCCC, including by strengthening guidance on how to include migration dimensions in national climate adaptation plans and policies and in the development of projects under the Green Climate Fund.
Transformative Human Mobilities in a Changing Climate
Project Inception Workshop
16-17 July 2019, Suva, Fiji
by Fanny Thornton, University of Canberra
A new research project, Transformative Human Mobilities in a Changing Climate, was launched in Fiji. The project focuses on multiple types of mobility among communities in Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu (particularly planned and ad-hoc relocation, managed international migration schemes, and changing patterns of internal migration) that may align with transformative adaptation. The project aims to document diverse cases of transformative mobility in the context of climate change in the Pacific region, and to provide an in-depth examination of how transformative mobilities can have both positive and negative impacts on livelihoods, adaptive capacity and human development.
The selected cases of mobility will be analysed in terms of existing development, adaptation and migration policies and priorities at national, regional and international levels. This will help showcase how mobility can be better integrated to achieve the best possible outcomes for human development in both origin and destination sites.
The project is funded by the Australian Research Council, under its Linkage Program, and involves researchers from the University of Queensland, the University of Melbourne, the University of Canberra, and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), along with three partner organisations – the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and IOM. The workshop was also attended by Suva-based researchers, including from the University of the South Pacific, and a representative from the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD).
The side event gathered representatives from UNFCCC, IOM and the author of the report, who presented the main findings and recommendations of the study. The analysis puts into perspective a weak integration of human mobility in climate strategies and the need to operationalize initiatives to address demands and challenges.
Representatives from Panama and Cuba, as well as the regional office of the Rotary Club, also discussed national experiences in environmental migration, including issues related to the planned relocation of populations affected by sea level rise, addressing drivers of forced migration, and mainstreaming disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in developing planning.
Experts Join Hands to Tackle Environmental Migration
in the East and Horn of Africa Region
20 August 2019, Nairobi, Kenya
by Lisa Lim Ah Ken, IOM Nairobi
In an attempt to respond to environmental and climatic pressures in the East and Horn of Africa region, a new inter-agency working group has been launched by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN Environment (UNEP) in Nairobi. Its objective is to provide a platform for innovative and coordinated action between UN agencies and other key stakeholders, with the aim of addressing the challenges arising from the nexus between environment, climate change, migration and displacement in the region. The working group is made up of representatives from key agencies, organizations, consortiums and academic stakeholders working on the climate crisis, who come together to share ideas, good practices and lessons-learnt.
The recent meeting held on 20 August 2019 focused on averting forced migration by boosting the resilience and adaptive capacities of affected communities in a sustainable way. Among the areas discussed by the working group were nature-based solutions to reduce environmental degradation, such as afforestation, water resource management and permaculture.
"The livelihoods in some regions in the world rely essentially on natural resources, and when these resources are affected by desertification or drought, it is the economy that experiences the direct effects, which can lead to migration. By addressing these factors, not only can we tackle the root causes of migration, but we can also ensure the sustainable reintegration of returnees,” explained Daria Mokhnacheva, Programme Officer at the Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division at IOM’s Headquarters.
France Takes Over the Chairmanship
of the Platform on Disaster Displacement
1 July 2019, Geneva, Switzerland
The Government of Bangladesh held its last Steering Group meeting as Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and passed on the baton to its Vice-Chair, the Government of France, to lead PDD until December 2020.
“The Platform on Disaster Displacement works towards fixing one of the most important crisis we will face in the years to come: a crisis about millions of people forced to flee their homes and lands because of floods, storms, droughts or other natural hazards,” said the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France in Geneva Mr. François Rivasseau.
Policy Brief Series Issue 1 | Vol. 5: Marshallese perspectives on migration in the context of climate change
Authors: Kees van der Geest, Maxine Burkett, Juno Fitzpatrick, Mark Stege, Brittany Wheeler
The Marshall Islands is a nation of widely dispersed, low-lying coral atolls and islands. With climate change causing sea levels to rise and shifting weather patterns, the Marshall Islands is faced with flooding, heat stress and drought. The Marshall Islands Climate and Migration Project studies the multi-causal nature of Marshallese migration, as well as its impact on migrants themselves and communities in the Marshall Islands. This policy brief highlights key findings on migration patterns, drivers and impacts, and discusses the tension between being prepared to move and fortifying to stay in place.