Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change: Building a Positive Narrative on Migration and Climate Action
Co-organizers: Government of Bangladesh, International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)
CVF Pavilion, Blue Zone, COP 27, Sharm El-Sheikh International Convention Center
Tuesday 14 November 2022, 10:30-12.00 pm (EET)
As the world is impacted by more and increasingly adverse impacts of climate change, the importance of human mobility in this context has been increasingly understood and integrated in climate change negotiations held annually at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP). Since 2010, several COP Decisions have recognized human mobility in the context of climate change and encouraged state Parties to enhance action and understanding of the issue. The Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 at COP21 represents an unprecedented breakthrough in recognizing migrant rights and mandating the creation of the Task Force on Displacement (TFD) under the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM EXCOM) to develop and implement recommendations to address migration, displacement and human mobility in relation to climate change. Last year at COP26, Parties also agreed to continue working on the operationalization of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD), a body aiming at providing technical expertise to vulnerable countries to deal with loss and damage, including climate-related displacement, and with a decision to be taken at COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh. If human mobility considerations have been progressively integrated into COP discussions and decisions related first to adaptation, then to loss and damage, the issue is still under-considered in the broader COP space and requires further attention from state Parties and other stakeholders.
The adverse effects of climate, environmental degradation and disasters are increasingly driving migration and displacement in all regions of the world, particularly in countries with high vulnerability and exposure, and low adaptive capacities. It poses numerous challenges including in terms of urbanization, resource management, sustainable livelihoods, human security, or disaster management, which require urgent attention and action at all levels and from all stakeholders. Preventing and managing displacement, ensuring safe and regular migration pathways, or planning for permanent relocation should, in particular, be further included in National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as well as in Loss and Damage discussions. Solutions to address human mobility in the context of climate change also require adequate finance. Those are critical issues that should be discussed at COP27.
The Government of Bangladesh (GoB), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) recognize that human mobility challenges have serious implications for the rights and entitlements of individuals and communities. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change but is also at the forefront of the efforts in terms of adaptation, disaster risk reduction and management, and consensus building through different regional and global fora and platforms, including in its former role as Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). As climate change is already a major driver of displacement and rural-urban migration in the country, the GoB has adopted in 2021 its National Strategy on Internal Displacement Management.
Migration has been incorporated as one of the priorities of the CVF for 2022-2024, including through the newly launched initiative “Migrants4Climate” (M4C), jointly developed with IOM. M4C aims to promote the role of migrants in climate action, in line with current Ghana’s CVF Presidency priority. This groundbreaking initiative sheds light on the multiple contributions that migrants already make to the fight against climate change and supports climate-focused activities where migrants play a key role. The CVF, in collaboration with IOM, is also working on the policy and operational integration of migration in CVF-led Climate Prosperity Plans (CPPs). In May 2022, the CVF submitted a Pledge to the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) expressing its commitment to support thematic priority 4 of the United Nations Network on Migration (UNNM) aiming at supporting “the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and GCM Commitments on climate change and migration”.
Building on these different initiatives and IOM’s leading operational and policy role in climate change, migration and displacement, the Government of Bangladesh, IOM and the CVF will partner during COP27 in proposing a high-level event to advance and push forward the issue of human mobility in the global climate change negotiations.
The event will pursue the following objectives:
- To explore ways to further support the inclusion of human mobility considerations in the COP27 discussions and decisions, in preparation for the 2023 stocktaking climate conference.
- To translate progress made under the UNFCCC and its constituent bodies, including the WIM and the TFD, into tangible practices and projects and to discuss future areas of engagement in collaboration with IOM, CVF, and other partners.
- To exchange lessons learned and good practices, building on examples from Bangladesh, other countries, and initiatives such as M4C and CPPs, to address human mobility in the context of climate change.
The event will bring together high-level representatives from state Party delegations, development partners, international organizations, academia, and civil society organizations.