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
October 2016


Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Updates 

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants Recognizes the Crucial Role of Environmental Degradation, Disasters and Climate Change for Human Mobility

Dina Ionesco, Head of Migration, Environment and Climate Change (IOM)
Eva Mach, Programme Officer, Migration, Environment and Climate Change (IOM)

The New York Declaration is an important step towards overcoming the double sensitivity that makes climate change and migration such a challenging policy area.

Read the article

 © PDD  2016

The Platform on Disaster Displacement: A Follow Up to the Nansen Initiative

13-14 October 2016
Geneva, Switzerland

The Nansen Initiative, a state-led consultative process, launched by Switzerland and Norway in 2012 to seek solutions to address the needs of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and climate change, came to a close in 2015 with the adoption of the Nansen Protection Agenda by 109 States.
In 2016, the Governments of Germany and Bangladesh established the Platform on Disaster Displacement, which follows up on the work started by the Nansen Initiative and focuses on the implementation of the recommendations made in the Protection Agenda. The Platform’s work is guided by its Strategic Workplan, which reflects the priorities defined by the Chair of the Platform and its Steering Group, composed of 17 States and the European Union. The work of the Platform is supported by a Coordination Unit and IOM and the UNHCR.
The Platform on Disaster Displacement held its first Advisory Committee meeting on 13-14 October in Geneva, which brought together more than 80 international experts from all over the world who will be guiding and supporting the Chair and the Steering Group of the Platform in the implementation of activities under the Platform’s workplan over the next few years. The work of the Platform was presented to many governments and key stakeholders at a dedicated side-event of the 67th UNHCR Executive Committee at the beginning of October, and several more events will be dedicated to the Platform this year at the COP22, the IOM 107th Council and the GFMD.

For more information and updates on PDD & IOM, see here

 © Routledge 2016
Release of the Atlas of Environmental Migration in English

The English version of the Atlas of Environmental Migration, published with Routledge, was released on the 19th of October. The Atlas is the first illustrated publication presenting key aspects of the migration-environment nexus through more than 100 informative maps, infographics and case studies produced by  expert cartographers and graphic designers. The publication is a product of collaboration between IOM, Sciences Po Paris, and a wide range of specialized agencies, universities and experts, and is to become an essential reference on this topic for Governments, decision-makers, practitioners, scholars and the wider public.

The French version of the publication was published earlier this year with the Presses de Sciences Po, and a German, Spanish and Japanese versions are underway.

The publication will be launched on 3 November at the Hugo Conference in Liège. A MECLEP panel session will also take place at the Hugo Conference, on 4 November. 
 © TransRe 2016
TransRe Conference
Connecting the Dots: Migration – Environment – Resilience

29-30 September 2016
Bonn, Germany 
The nexus of migration and climate change – two of the most important processes of our time – is increasingly becoming the subject of scientific, but also of public interest. Much attention however is directed at how climate change drives migration, often ignoring the complex and multi-causal relations involved. At the conference “Connecting the Dots: Migration – Environment – Resilience”, organized by the Bonn-based TransRe-project, more than 60 participants convened to specifically address these relations.

Twenty five international scientists and practitioners from different disciplines and research fields presented findings from diverse fields regarding the research on migration, climate change and resilience, including theoretical, empirical and methodological aspects; migration and adaptation; critical reflection on the limits of migration as adaptation; the links between migration and changes in socio-ecological systems; and ethical implications of research in these fields.

Koko Warner of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, Bonn) highlighted in her keynote speech the importance of re-framing mobility for the 21st century, the need to move from crisis management to building resilience and the necessity to rethink livelihoods and equity on a systemic and higher geographic level. Jonathan Rigg from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in his keynote speech emphasized the dense intertwining of social and rural transformation and migration, and the implication of the liberalization of labor markets for resilience and adaptation (“moving from poverty to precarity”) and the agricultural structure in Asia.

Most of the presented research documents that migration and the resulting trans-local connections contribute to enhanced social resilience and adaptive capacity – there seem however to be exceptions, as examples from Asia and Africa show. The question how to define and evaluate “successful adaptation” was also topic of research work presented at the conference. Other topics presented and discussed were how to deal with “trapped populations”, ontological problems regarding to definitions, questions of scale and dimensions of the migration-climate change nexus, gender aspects, and the differing logics of science and policy.

Contributed by Harald Sterly,

More information about the conference, including the programme, also a documentation (in the coming weeks), can be found on the website:
 © CDKN 2016
Action Lab on Strengthening the Resilience of Migrants
13-14 September 2016
Kampala, Uganda

Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and the Netherlands Embassy in Uganda co-hosted an Action Lab bringing together government officials, development practitioners, donors, research organisations and implementation partners to collaboratively identify research questions and other actions, which could enhance climate change outcomes for Uganda.

MECLEP was represented in the action lab to share the region and global perspectives, lessons learnt in the project implementation, connection between the migration and climate change nexus. IOM Kenya’s MECLEP project officer, Paul Gitonga, shared the projects objectives, activities and highlighted on the expected outcomes the main one being the household study report which will guide the policymaking process. This presentation opened up the floor to a detailed discussion on how migration can be used as an adaptation strategy to climate change in Uganda.

The Action Lab identified the main gap which is the need to focus the dialogue on internal migration as a strategy to adapt to climate change, which in the Ugandan context is still more common than cross-border migration. Migration is already being used as a coping strategy in Uganda to deal with climate variability, especially by nomadic pastoralist communities in the Karamoja. In fact a number of people used to migrate across the border to Kenya, following the rains to ensure good pastures for their cattle. However, increased mining activity and fragmentation of this cattle corridor (through the increased number of farms) are both already putting strain on cross-border movements, bringing into question whether this is a suitable coping strategy under climate change.

Participants of the Action Lab agreed that migration and climate change is a new area of study which requires further evidence and discussions to get a better sense of the future risks and suitable responses in the Ugandan context.
Read more on the event website

MECLEP Project Updates

 © IOM 2016 
Another Manam?
The forced migration of the population of Manam Island, Papua New Guinea, due to volcanic eruptions 2004-2005

At the end of 2004 and early 2005, the Islanders of Manam were displaced by the extensive volcanic activity off the north coast of Madang Province in Papua New Guinea. Approximately 9,000 people were evacuated, eventually to three principle “care centers” 100km along the north coast of Madang Province. Since then the people in this areas have not been able to move back or been relocated which has brought about more tension among themselves and surrounding populations. However, the Madang Province Government has developed a plan to relocate the Islanders but the process is anticipated to still take considerable time due to a lack of funds and the long time it took to pass a second Bill on the planned relocation. Some people decided to move back to their villages despite the critical situation especially in the north village of Baliau. The aim of the report is to examine the consequences of the displacement of Manam islanders after eruption that made the island largely uninhabitable and makes recommendations for the planned relocation further inland. Read the full report by John Connell and Nancy Lutkehaus here
Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Kenya

The Republic of Kenya has been prone to extreme weather conditions such as floods and droughts with approximately 58.66 million people affected and the change of climate is likely to increase the severity of the events in the future. Approximately 83 per cent of Kenyan land mass if classified as arid or semi-arid this puts Kenya at risk of having issues of water scarcity and high temperatures. Despite the impacts of natural disasters within the country it lacks a coherent framework to address the issue but the affected persons have adapted to the situation through migrating. The main aim of the assessment was to look at human mobility due to environmental change and examining existing policies and legal framework and offers guidance in mainstreaming migration in Kenya. Read the report by Dulo Nyaoro, Jeanette Schade and Kerstin Schmidt here
©  BSF 2016
Water Risks in Global Perspectives, Bled Strategic Forum
5-6 September 2016
Bled, Slovenia
The Bled Strategic Forum hosted by the Government of Slovenia included a panel devoted to “Water Risk in Global Perspective". Water has been identified as a risk manifesting itself through the increased scarcity of drinking water, pollution, floods in some regions and at the same time droughts in other areas in countries worldwide. The distinguished panellists included Ambassador Mohamed Elorabi of the Egyptian House of Representatives, Mrs Pamela Goldsmith Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada, highlighting in particular gender issues of lack of water, Professor Danila Türk, Former President of the Republic of Slovenia and Chairman of the Global High-level Panel on Water and Peace, Slovenia, and Ambassador Pio Wennubst, Assistant Director General and Head of Directorate Global Cooperation at the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation. IOM’s Susanne Melde brought in the mobility dimension of displacement linked to floods worldwide, the consideration of migration as a coping strategy to improve water security by reducing pressure on resources in origin areas and the need to increase disaster risk reduction efforts and funding. Water was identified as the ‘frontline of climate change’ across issue-areas.

Media Highlight

Research Database Updates

Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific
An Integrated Approach to Address Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management (FRDP)

Migration, Risk Management and Climate Change: Evidence and Policy Responses

World Disasters Report Resilience: saving lives today, investing for tomorrow


Search the database

Preparing for COP22

COP 21 led to the adoption of the Paris Agreement which is the first universal and binding agreement to fight against climate change; COP22 in Marrakesh is as important in order to confirm the states commitments, cooperation and dynamic engagement.

COP 22 will focus on innovation in adaptation and mitigation to climate change as well as on the development of operational tools following the Lima, COP20 and Paris, COP21. 

A number of institutions serving the Convention and the Paris Agreement, including the Adaptation Committee (AC), the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) and the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM), have advanced work on their respective mandates in preparations of COP22. All these developments are of importance regarding human mobility in the context of climate change. Of particular interest, the  WIM ExCom held its fourth meeting (ExCom 4) in Bonn, Germany, from 19-23 September 2016. During the meeting, the ExCom adopted the terms of reference of the Task Force on Displacement and elected its members. Numerous events at COP22 will be devoted to various facets of human mobility in the context of climate change.

COP22 Events on Human Mobility and Climate Change

7-18 November 2016 |  Marrakesh, Morocco 

L'indispensable prise en compte des déplaces climatiques et environnementaux

7 November 2016 at 13.00 pm- 15.00 pm | Blue Zone (Pavilion OIF)

Human rights and climate change 

8 November 2016 | Time TBC |  Université de Marrakech

The role of African researchers to address climate change and human mobility 

9 November 2016 | Time TBC  Blue Zone ( Pavillon Maroc)

The climate change-migration nexus reloaded: 'Migration as Adaptation' and beyond

9 November 2016 | 10.00am - 10.30am | Green Zone

Health, climate change and migration 

9 November 2016 | 13.00 - 14.30 | TBC

La Task-Force « 3S - Soutenabilité, Stabilité et Sécurité » en Afrique

9 November 2016 | TBC

A Green Economy for Sustainable, Resilient and Prosperous Communities

10 November 2016 |  17.00 -18.30 | Green Zone Conference Room

Migration and adaptation

10 November 2016 |  17.00 -18.30 |  All day - Climate Oasis

One UN side Event - Human Mobility and Climate Change

10 November 2016 | 13.15 -14.45 | Observer room 6 (300)

Adaptation Challenges and Opportunities in Coastal and SIDS Nations

12 November 2016 | 14.15-15.45 | Blue Zone

Evidence for Policy: Insights from the MECLEP project

16 November 2016 | 12.45-14.15 | European Union Pavilion

Youth on the Move: A new perspective on climate migration
18 November 2016 | Green Zone

For updates on events and IOM's activities at COP22, visit the Portal's COP22 webpage.


Human Mobility at COP22

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Climate, migration and media narratives

28 October 2016 | 4pm BST

The Hugo Conference - Environment, Migration, Politics

3-5 November 2016 | Liège, Belgium

Webinar: Communicating climate change and migration

10 November 2016  | 4 pm GMT

Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity

24 November 2016   | 18:15 to 19:45 |  Berlin

Webinar: After the COP 22 climate talks: what now for climate change and migration?

1 December 2016 at 4 pm GMT

Third Oxford Symposium on Population, Migration, and the Environment

5-6 December 2016 | St Cross College, Oxford, UK

International Conference: Migration & Environmental Change
8-9 December 2016 | Berlin, Germany

Ninth GFMD Summit Meeting

10-11 December 2016 | Dhaka, Bangladesh

Symposium on climate displacement, migration and relocation

13-14 December 2016 | Honolulu, Hawaii 


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