Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean
Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region have been adversely affected by climate change in recent years. In parallel, various forms of migration have been observed in the Southern African region, from forced migration in reaction to sudden-onset disasters to permanent, temporary or circular migration directly linked to slow-onset environmental events. Policymakers in the region increasingly demand more evidence on the inter-linkages between climate change, environmental degradation, natural disasters and human migration. In response to the expressed needs, the IOM Development Fund (IDF) is supporting four countries in the region (Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Namibia) through a regional project with a view to foster better understanding and awareness, build the evidence base and reinforce the capacity of policymakers and practitioners across different sectors, in order to inform the formulation of related national and regional policy and operational planning.
In the context of this IOM regional project, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and IOM launched the project on migration, environment and climate change in Namibia on 14 March 2017. The project’s launch was attended by more than 40 participants from key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, as well as by representatives of the wider UN family in Namibia. The launch was followed by a capacity building workshop on migration, environment and climate change (MECC).
In Namibia, the impact of the recent drought has made communities more vulnerable to food insecurity, putting the livelihoods of many families at risk and heightening the possibility of relocation to urban areas. The workshop allowed to define priorities and to inform the development of the nationwide migration, environment and climate change country profile scheduled to be released at the end of 2017.