Climate change and environmental degradation are profoundly shifting contemporary migration patterns. In that context, IOM has to continuously adapt and expand its expertise on the topic to anticipate and respond to the demands of its Member States and address the needs of migrants. This includes providing more and better evidence, support policy development at global, regional and national levels and develop adequate operational activities.
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 take stock of existing knowledge and establish institution-wide priorities and processes, in line with the three pillars articulated in the IOM strategic vision: resilience, mobility and governance.
The Strategy defines a roadmap for enhanced engagement in policy discussions and their follow-up and review processes where IOM is already actively involved, such as the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also seeks to respond to the increasing expectations placed on IOM to efficiently lead and support global coordination on migration issues, including in terms of environmental and climate dimensions, especially since IOM took on additional responsibilities when joining the United Nations system in 2016 and assuming the role of Coordinator and Secretariat of the United Nations Network on Migration (UNNM).
The Strategy also examines how IOM’s current development and humanitarian portfolios can better integrate long-term climate and environmental perspectives and be more mutually reinforcing. It will guide the development of IOM orientations over the next decade, in partnership with the United Nations’ system, IOM Member States, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to enhance the predictability, effectiveness and timeliness of IOM interventions.
The Strategy will be rooted in the current institutional engagement and capacities of the Organization and aligned with United Nations’ instruments, policies, processes and core values. It will capture existing knowledge and collective experience on migration, environmental degradation and climate change acquired over the last 20 years.
The development of the Strategy is 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. Therefore, the Strategy will look at three distinct but connected dimensions:
- Migration policy and practice: The primary focus is to consider how climatic and environmental factors should be integrated in contemporary migration policy and practice, and define what IOM’s role is in that respect, taking into account the nature of the Organization as the main provider of migration-related expertise within the UN system. This includes considering a wide range of migration-related areas: labour migration, border management, return and reintegration, internal displacement, trafficking in persons and diaspora engagement.
- Climate change and environmental policy and practice: Also critical is the need to examine how migration expertise can and should be integrated across the climate change and environmental agendas and what connecting role IOM can play with other communities of practice.
- Other relevant areas of action: It has become evident that the migration, climate change and environmental nexus is of relevance to a wide range of policy and practices, including but not limited to disaster risk reduction, health, sustainable development and humanitarian response. The Strategy will therefore consider how to best mainstream migration, climate change and environmental considerations throughout other relevant agendas.
The Strategy will connect to the work of IOM’s Environmental Sustainability Programme (ESP), 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 (ESS) developed in line with the Strategy for Sustainability Management in the United Nations system 2020–2030.
A Consultative Process
The development of the Strategy is based on a thorough internal and external consultative process based on surveys, joint consultations and individual interviews.
RELEVANT INSTITUTIONAL DOCUMENTS
- IOM Council 110th Session (2019)
- IOM Council 109th Session (2018)
- IOM Report (page 29)
- IOM Council 108th Session (2017)
- IOM Council 107th Session (2016)
- IOM Report (page 17)
- Climate migration and cross-border disaster displacement - High-level Panel
- IOM Council 106th Session (2015)
- IOM Council 105th Session (2014)
- IOM Council 94th Session (2007)
- Discussion Note: Migration and the Environment English
Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (SCPF) - documents with climate change and environmental relevance
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2019) - Update on policies and practices related to migration, the environment and climate change and IOM's Environmental Sustainability Programme (Document S/24/5; Presentation)
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2017) - Migration, the Environment and Climate Change at IOM: Taking Stock of Progress English French Spanish
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2017) - IOM Framework for Addressing Internal Displacement English
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2016) - Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Institutional Developments and Contributions to Policy Processes English French Spanish
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2015) - Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Institutional Advances and Priorities for Policy Action English French Spanish
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2014) - IOM's Role and Activities Relating to Migration, the Environment and Climate Change English French Spanish
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2012) - IOM Migration Crisis Operational Framework English
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2011) - IOM's Role in the Humanitarian Response to Displacement Induced by Natural Disasters English French Spanish
- Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance (2008) - Migration and the Environment English French Spanish
International Dialogue on Migration (IDM):
- International Dialogue on Migration (2021) - Accelerating integrated action on sustainable development: migration, the environment and climate change
- International Dialogue on Migration (2011) - Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration English French Spanish
- International Dialogue on Migration (2008) - Expert Seminar: Migration and the Environment English French Spanish