IOM initiated the development of an Institutional Strategy on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, 2021-2030, to  respond to major changes that have occurred in global, regional, national, and sub-national policy discussions on migration, environment, and climate change and increasingly available evidence and knowledge.

As part of the IOM Strategic Vision 2019-2023: Setting a course for IOM and in order to achieve these objectives, the IOM Institutional Strategy on Migration, Environment and Climate Change aims to guide IOM efforts to strengthen its capacity to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to migration in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters due to natural hazards, in line with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Nansen Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change Moreover, the Strategy emphasizes that IOM approach on this issue is anchored in human rights norms and principles, and relevant across the Humanitarian, Development and Peace Nexus (HDPN).

The Strategy formulates three Strategic Objectives:

  1. We develop solutions for people to move” - Managing migration in the context of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters due to natural hazards.
  2. We develop solutions for people on the move” - Assisting and protecting migrants and displaced persons in the context of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters due to natural hazards.
  3. We develop solutions for people to stay” - Making migration a choice by building resilience and addressing the adverse climatic and environmental drivers that compel people to move.

And, identifies four Priority Areas of Engagement: 

  • IOM migration policy role – As the leading intergovernmental migration agency, IOM will support States and other players to develop innovative rights-based migration policies and practices that integrate issues of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters due to natural hazards.
  • IOM knowledge provider role – As a leading knowledge provider, IOM will strengthen evidence-based policy and operational approaches to address migration in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters due to natural hazards, through the production, analysis and dissemination of relevant data and knowledge.
  • IOM operational role – As a leading operational actor, IOM will support States and other players to operationalize responses to migration and displacement in the context of environmental degradation, climate change and disasters across the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus (HDPN).
  • IOM convening role – As a leading convener, IOM will promote policy coherence and inclusive partnerships to mainstream the inclusion of migration and displacement considerations in climate change, environment, disaster and other relevant agendas.

Development Process
The development of the Strategy was rooted in a wide understanding of the issues at stake and the belief that a comprehensive approach is necessary to respond to the immense variety of challenges linked to climate change and environmental degradation. 

The Strategy was developed through an extensive internal and external consultative process based on surveys, joint consultations and individual interviews. It outlines a high road scenario that identifies priorities to guide the development of IOM orientations over the next decade, in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, with a view to enhance the predictability, effectiveness, sustainability and timeliness of IOM’s interventions.

The Strategy benefitted from the results of the “Evaluation of IOM’s Institutional Response to Address Migration, Environment and Climate Change Nexus”. This evaluation provided crucial insights and recommendations that fed into the development of the Strategy. It also developed a Theory of Change that places migrants at the centre of IOM’s work on migration, environment, and climate change. The evaluation analysed how IOM’s inputs at international, regional, national and local levels bring transformational changes. The Evaluation also guided the selection of the Strategy targeted priority actions.

The Strategy is connected to the work of IOM Environmental Sustainability Programme, an institutional effort that oversees the inclusion and mainstreaming of environmental sustainability considerations throughout the Organization, in line with the IOM Internal Governance Framework. IOM’s commitments and goals in terms of environmental sustainability are articulated in a separate dedicated Institutional Environmental Sustainability Strategy developed in line with the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations system 2020–2030. 

Related Events

Institutional Strategy on Migration, Environment and Climate Change - Briefing with IOM Member States

Civil Society Information Sharing Session: Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic and presentation of IOM Institutional Strategy on Migration, Environment and Climate Change

Read IOM Press Release

IOM Launches Institutional Strategy on Migration, Environment and Climate Change for Next Decade, 27 October 2021