The Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Policy Brief Series seeks to contribute to the current global knowledge base by providing reliable and precise information on the topic of migration and environmental change, including climate change. Its objective is also to present related and appropriate policy options by identifying recommendations, good practices and lessons learned to harness the positive impacts of migration in adapting to environmental changes.
The Policy Brief Series is a reader-friendly online publication intended for policymakers and other stakeholders working in the field of migration, environment and climate change adaptation policies.
Mobility has constituted a key element of livelihood strategies in the West African Sahel region and in Senegal for a long time. It has allowed households to diversify the places and sources of revenue accessible to them, and in this way, adapt to a resource-poor environment. In the last decades, however, natural and man-made factors have accelerated environmental degradation and exacerbated the vulnerability of local households. Simultaneously, coping strategies based on mobility have been increasingly hindered by factors such as changes in migration and land policies.
Against this background, this brief presents findings and recommendations based on empirical research conducted in four villages in Senegal and at two migration destinations in Italy and Spain. It provides an analysis of the links between household vulnerability, exposure to environmental degradation and migration. Firstly, it investigates how vulnerability influences the exposure of households to environmental degradation. Secondly, it analyses migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental change. Thirdly, it examines the impact of vulnerability on the households’ ability to adopt translocal livelihood strategies.
Migration can be an effective strategy of adaptation to environmental change. However, vulnerability has an impact not only on the households’ exposure to environmental degradation, but also on their ability to migrate. If not addressed, vulnerability can furthermore be transmitted from the places of origin to the places of destination of migrants. Consequently, this brief advocates that policy action is required to tackle the influence of vulnerability factors on the ability of households to cope with environmental degradation through migration. This could strengthen the potential of mobility for resilience.
Number of Pages: 8
ISSN: ISSN 2410-4930
Today, almost 15 per cent of the global population is on the move, with more than 244 million international migrants and 763 million internal migrants, UN statistics estimate (UN DESA, 2015). An increasing proportion of these migration flows is linked with the scarcity of natural resources. Consequently, on the one hand, the importance of managing natural resources is increasingly recognized in the migration debate. On the other hand, these migration flows have become an important issue to consider in various international, regional and national policy frameworks, including those related to water resource governance. Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Policy Brief Series Issue 2 | Vol. 4 | May 2018 2 The increasing number of global water challenges and associated migration patterns – in many cases forced migration – create a strong impetus to discuss and integrate migration policy concerns in water governance at the global level. This policy brief examines the nexus between migration and freshwater governance and explores the potential synergies between both policy domains.
Number of Pages: 9
Policy Brief Series Issue 1 | Vol. 4: Central and North America: Migration and displacement in the context of disasters and environmental change
Migration and displacement in the context of disasters and environmental change is recognized as a significant trend in Central and North America. Disasters have prompted millions in recent years to flee internally, as well as to other countries in search of protection and assistance. Contributing to broader environmental change, climate change is exacerbating the intensity and frequency of natural hazards, affecting people’s resilience and livelihoods, sometimes to the level of seeking better conditions somewhere else. This paper aims to brief policymakers on the nexus of migration, displacement, disasters and environmental change in Central and North America, as well as on normative and policy responses, specifically focusing on cross-border movements within the region.
Number of Pages: 14
Environmental impact on migration
Environmental changes and impacts on migration in Ghana
International and national policies
Policy Brief Series Issue 2 | Vol. 3: Environment and migration experts: Who are they, and what are their views?
There is an increasing understanding of the phenomenon of environmental migration, while less is known about the experts who directly or indirectly drive the policy development. This policy brief reports on an online questionnaire of 262 such experts, which aims to understand the environment and migration experts and their perceptions of environmental migration. The authors assume that policy is not only based on objective assessment of the issue, but also influenced by the knowledge, values, beliefs, assumptions, cultural contexts and activities of people involved in its development.
At a milestone moment when, after a long period of research and debate, environmental migration is being formalized on policy agendas, the authors ask: What are the characteristics of experts? How do they define environmental migration, and what policies do they support? Knowing the answers to these questions can aid policy formation and, importantly, evaluation of policies and programmes addressing environmental migration, as well as self-evaluation and critical reflection among those involved.
Table of contents:
- Concept definition
- PMEC experts: Why study them?
- Studying PMEC experts using an online questionnaire
- Who are PMEC experts?
- How do PMEC experts define and frame PMEC?
- What do PMEC experts think about averting, facilitating and protecting those who move?
- Lessons learned and recommendations
Policy Brief Series Issue 1 | Vol. 3: The changing climates, cultures and choices of Mongolian nomadic pastoralists
Mongolia’s harsh climate and the dependence of the nation’s rural population on animal husbandry make it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Mongolia is already experiencing dramatic rural-to-urban migration as a result of multiple factors, including declining livelihood opportunities in rural areas, a phenomenon exacerbated by environmental changes and natural disasters such as drought and dzud. Ongoing climate change is expected to present a growing challenge to the traditional pastoral way of life of many in Mongolia and likely to continue to impact human mobility.
Number of Pages: 12
Policy Brief Series Issue 8 | Vol. 2: Environmental migration in Turkey: Challenges, recognition and implications for policy
Due to increasing implications of climate change and other environmental degradations on the livelihoods of people, it has become significantly important to consider migration as an adaptation strategy. In the case of Turkey, one of the main economic sectors affected by climate change is agriculture. The increase in temperature, melting of glaciers and the change in rain patterns raise the frequency of droughts and heat waves, causing shortages of water in the periods for cultivation, a situation that threatens food security. The decrease in agricultural production causes migration to urban cities and change of profession.
Turkey is addressing climate change through policy; however, it has not yet linked the effects of climate change and migration even though there is evidence sustaining this connection. The key challenges are to invest more in research to obtain evidence and recognized environmental migrants to include them in policy frameworks in order to prevent forced migration and address the needs of vulnerable populations.
Italy is one of the most earthquake vulnerable countries in Europe and in the last 30 years, Italy has experienced severe consequences of earthquakes leading to fatalities and people displaced. This policy brief examines two earthquakes in Italy – the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake and the 1985 earthquake in Pozzuoli – that led to relocation in the aftermath, but which were implemented ad hoc and lacking normative and policy framework. The cases are useful examples in understanding what negatively impacted the realization of successful planned relocation, and the brief attempts to provide some recommendations for future implementation.
Policy Brief Series Issue 6 | Vol. 2: Making migration accessible: Inclusive relocation for people with disabilities
People with disabilities (PWDs) are uniquely vulnerable in general and in situations of or in relation to climate-related migration. This stems from an intersection of personal characteristics, such as limited mobility or sensory disabilities (such as blindness or deafness), and social factors, such as lack of accommodations during disaster response or no accessible transportation along migration routes. As climate change progresses, PWDs will arguably be the single most vulnerable population group to its many consequences, yet they have thus far been left out of nearly all policy discussions regarding adaptation and risk management.
This policy brief looks at climate-related migration from the disability perspective to understand the unique characteristics of PWDs, as well as factors that need to be taken into account to address the vulnerability and needs of PWDs during evacuation, transit and relocation. The author calls for a rights-based approach for disability-inclusive planning to protect the lives and well-being of people with disabilities.
Policy Brief Series Issue 5 | Vol. 2: Environmental migration in Brazil: Current context and systemic challenges
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Brazil has witnessed an increased level of human mobility due to environmental change. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, between 2008 and 2014, Brazil was among the countries with the highest numbers of internally displaced persons. Furthermore, the country is one of the top destinations of cross-border displaced persons by disasters in the region. However, the country lacks migration laws and policies to cope with the increasing number of displaced persons. This policy brief aims at identifying these gaps in the Brazilian law and related policies concerning migration caused by disaster, climate change or other environmental changes and provides a comprehensive overview on existing law and policies. Some recommendations to solve these gaps are presented.