IOM-OECS launch project on human mobility and climate change

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Photo Credit: Sheldon Casimir, UNITE

ROSEAU, Dominica – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) announced a 15-month regional project to address issues surrounding human mobility and climate change.

When the project ends next year, policymakers in the six participating Member States will benefit from enhanced data and evidence regarding environmental migration. The project will also strengthen cooperation nationally and regionally thanks to the analysis of national data systems, capacity-building of national stakeholders, sharing of best practices, development of regional guidelines, and a roadmap for regional cooperation on environmental migration and security issues.

The project, funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, will be executed by IOM Dominica in close partnership with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The main objective is to enhance human mobility governance relating to climate change in the six independent Member States of the OECS through improved evidence and regional cooperation.

Environmental migration is the movement of persons forced to leave their homes because of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversely affect their lives or living conditions. The Eastern Caribbean is highly vulnerable to a series of natural hazards, and the islands have been feeling the effects of climate change.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that environmental migration is often used as a short- or long-term coping strategy by many Caribbean citizens after disasters strike. IOM’s 2018 Migration Governance Needs Assessment study in ten island states of the Commonwealth Caribbean identified limitations in the availability of data and evidence which is required for countries to plan their interventions. Ultimately, the project will assist OECS states to respond effectively to the mobility dimensions of environmental crises, providing for the socio-economic well-being of those who are forced to move and the societies that host them.

A virtual launch event will be hosted by IOM Dominica and the OECS Secretariat on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, to outline the project activities and initiate the active participation of Member States and the public. Government stakeholders in the areas of environment, immigration and climate change from Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines have been invited to participate in the launch, which will also be live-streamed at the IOM Dominica Facebook page.

IOM is proud to be a part of this partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany, supporting the OECS and its Member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of the people of the region.

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