Regional Ministerial Roundtable on Migration, Environment and Climate Change in the Asia Pacific Region
21 Sep 2023, 20:30pm
UN Delegates Dining Room, UNHQ
The Asia-Pacific region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to factors like low-lying coastal cities, Small Island States at risk of floods and typhoons, sea level rise, and extreme heat and humidity which can lead to both precipitation drought in various areas. These climate risks are already causing significant harm, with the region projected to suffer more severe consequences by 2050 compared to the global average. UNESCAP estimates annual losses from hydro-meteorological and geophysical natural hazards at around $780 billion. Climate change is also influencing migration patterns in the region, with over 225 million internal displacements between 2010-2021, mainly attributed to climate variability undermining livelihoods and economic conditions. Governments are making efforts to address these challenges through global agreements such as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the UNFCCC Task Force on Displacement. However, translating these policy principles and commitments into actionable responses on the ground still need to be made. Deeper regional cooperation is needed to leverage migration as part of climate change adaptation efforts. COP28 offers a platform to discuss these issues, alongside other climate-related matters like adaptation, loss and damage, and climate finance, with a focus on supporting vulnerable countries and communities, including possibly the different dimensions of migration.
ABOUT THE MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE:
Reflecting on the issues identified above, the Philippines, together with the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, will organize a high-level, pre-COP28 Ministerial Roundtable on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The Roundtable is geared towards five main objectives, namely:
- Bringing together high-level participants from interested governments to discuss country perspectives on the impact of climate change on migration and identify specific needs and potential areas of action to address these impacts;
- Developing a common understanding of the links between migration, the environment, and climate change amongst participating governments;
- Exploring areas of cooperation in mitigating the adverse effects and taking advantage of the opportunities of climate change-related migration;
- Considering how the migration, environment, and climate change nexus can be elevated through collaborative efforts and advocacy within global and regional platforms, in particular at UNFCCC COPs, and establishing a set of shared messages and interests on the issue ahead of COP28, including through an outcome summary from the roundtable; and
- Laying the groundwork for future efforts by States, regional bodies, international organizations, and other stakeholders to better understand and act upon the links between climate change and migration across the region.
The roundtable will produce a summary document consolidating views and common understandings on the links between migration, the environment, and climate change among participating governments. The roundtable also provides a platform for States to articulate their relevant priorities for COP28 preparation, focusing on the adverse impacts of climate change on migration.
Ministers and their representatives will participate in the round table. Ministers are invited to deliver 3-minute interventions guided by the questions below.
The roundtable will be held on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly High Level Week. It will include an introductory session involving scene-setting interventions from the co-sponsoring / host government and a plenary session allowing participating governments to outline their interests and priorities and any relevant best practices or responses.
Guiding questions for government interventions in the plenary session:
- What are the current and anticipated impacts of climate and environmental change on your country? How have these changes impacted migration to date, and what are the likely impacts in the future?
- How has your country addressed the links between migration and climate change? What policies and frameworks have been developed, and how has migration been integrated?
- What are the main barriers to your country taking more significant action on the migration, environment, and climate change nexus?
- Would a regional approach to addressing the migration dimensions of climate and environmental change in South and South East Asia be beneficial or feasible?
- How will your government address this issue at COP28 and future COP meetings? What would your government like to see from the process?