Mainstreaming environmental dimensions into reintegration support to reduce the effects of climate change on migration in West Africa

Lead Agency: International Organization for Migration (IOM) 
Donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France
Location: Dakar, Senegal; West Africa; and Global level
Duration: 19 months

This project is an innovative response to international policy commitments to address the environmental drivers of migration, such as those made in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change[1] and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular migration (GCM) in 2018,[2] and international commitments made by EU and African States at the Valletta Summit on migration (2015), to “improve cooperation on return and sustainable reintegration.”[3] This project also supports the implementation of the recommendations of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda and the work of the Platform on Disaster Displacement[4].

The objectives of the project, which links IOM’s work on reintegration with its work on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, are to (i) facilitate the reintegration of returning migrants through the development of reintegration initiatives that contribute to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction; and (ii) to reduce forced out-migration resulting from the negative impacts of climate change.

The project focuses on West Africa through a regional component and a national component through a pilot project in Senegal. In addition, the project has an important global component, which focuses on the development of global guidelines that seek to provide practical, non-binding guidance to policymakers and practitioners to promote reintegration as an opportunity for addressing climate change and other environmental challenges in countries to which migrants return.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, as part of its contributions to IOM’s programme of work on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, in particular the implementation of the Paris Agreement, of the recommendations of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, and of the workplan of the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

One of the activities was the Climate-resilient Reintegration of Returning Migrants - Technical workshop in Rabat, Morocco on 3-4 July 2019.

[1] Parties to the UNFCCC are encouraged to “respect, promote and consider their obligations on (…) the rights (…) of migrants” when “taking acting action to address climate change”. Furthermore, COP21 established a task force under its ‘Loss and Damage’ workstream to develop recommendations to “avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change”.
[2] Objective 2: Minimizing the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin, which contains a section specifically dedicated to the subject and entitled "Natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change, and environmental degradation" (Objective 2, paragraphs 18.h-18.l).
[4] For more information, please visit and

Ms. Dina Ionesco, Head of the Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division, International Organization for Migration Headquarters
Ms. Hind Aissaoui Bennani, Regional Thematic Specialist on Migration, Environment and Climate Change at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Dakar, Senegal