Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration (2011)

29 - 30 March 2011
International Conference Center Geneva (CICG)
17 rue de Varembé, Geneva, Switzerland

Background

The workshop on "Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration" was held in the framework of IOM's International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) which in 2011 has the overall theme of "The Future of Migration: Building Capacities for Change".

Consistent with IOM's mandate and Strategy Document (activity 7), the IDM provides a forum for IOM Member and Observer States, as well as international and non-governmental organizations and other partners, to share experiences and perspectives on migration matters with a view to identifying practical solutions and fostering greater cooperation.

Overview

The reality of climate change adds a new layer of complexity to the environment-migration nexus. Environmental factors, including climate change, ranging from natural disasters to environmental degradation have a negative impact on exposed and especially vulnerable countries, cities and populations around the world.

The purpose of this workshop was to explore the policy, research and technical capacities that are needed to manage the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on human mobility. Specifically, it aimed to:

  • Bring together governments to exchange their experiences of and responses to the realities of environmentally-induced movements in their respective societies and to identify effective practices for minimizing vulnerability;
  • Provide the IOM membership with the opportunity to discuss different dimensions of capacity building required to manage the multifaceted impact of climate change and environmental degradation on human mobility;
  • Exchange innovative ideas for multi-stakeholder partnerships at all stages of the migration process including strategies for a comprehensive approach to ensure effective protection and assistance to environmental migrants.

Agenda 

29 March 2011 - Day 1
09:00 - 10:00 Registration
10:00 - 10:10 Welcome Remarks
  • Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM), delivered by Peter Schatzer, Chief of Staff, IOM (Statement)
10:10 - 10:40 Keynote Address
  • Luis Alfonso de Alba Góngora, Special Representative for Climate Change, Mexico (Bio)
10:40 - 11:00

Setting the Scene

  • Md. Shahidul Haque, Director, Department for International Cooperation and Partnerships, IOM (Presentation)
11:00 - 13:00

Session I: Environmental migration state of the art: Where we are, where we need to go

Moderator: Paul de Guchteneire, Chief, International Migration and Urbanization, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Speakers:

  • Richard Black, Chair, Lead Expert Group of the Foresight Global Environmental Migration Project, Government Office for Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, United Kingdom (Bio)
  • Kate Halff, Head, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Norwegian Refugee Council (Bio|Presentation)
  • Koko Warner, Head of Section, Academic Officer, Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (Bonn, Germany) (Bio|Presentation), and
  • Frank Laczko, Head, Migration Research Division, Department of International Cooperation and Partnerships, IOM (Bio|Presentation)

General Discussion

13:00 - 14:00 Afternoon Break
14:00 - 15:00 Side Event: Reducing vulnerability, building resilience

Moderator: Gervais Appave, Special Policy Advisor, IOM

Speakers:

  • Paul Rushton, Independent Expert (Bio|Presentation)
  • Alexandre Magnan, Research Fellow, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations – Sciences Po, France, (Bio) and
    Lalini Veerassamy, Head of Office, IOM Mauritius (joint presentation) (Presentation | Report)
15:00 - 18:00

Session II: Capacities for comprehensive responses: From emergency assistance to sustainable development

Moderator: Margareta Wahlström, United Nations Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (Bio)

Speakers:

  • José Miguel Leiva, Vice Minister for Natural Resources, Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala (Presentation)
  • Ahmed Kamal, Member, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan (Bio|Presentation)
  • Ndéye Fatou Diaw Guene, Head of Division, Programme Manager for Climate Change, Directorate of Environment and Classified Establishments, Ministry of the Environment and Nature Protection, Senegal (Bio|Presentation)
  • Anh Tuan Le, Senior Lecturer, College of Environment and Natural Resources, Research Institute for Climate Change, CanTho University, Viet Nam (recommended by the Government of Viet Nam) (Bio|Presentation)

General Discussion

End of day

30 March 2011 – Day 2
10:00 - 10:30 Migrant's Voice
10:30 - 13:00 Session III: Protecting and assisting environmental migrants: Building and strengthening frameworks and capacities

Moderator: Janice Marshall, Deputy Director of International Protection, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Speakers:

  • Allehone Mulugeta Abebe,Minister Counsellor, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international Organizations in Switzerland (Bio|Presentation)
  • Jane McAdam, Professor, Director of Research, School of Law, University of New South Wales (Bio|Presentation)
  • Khalid Koser, Academic Dean and Head of the New Issues in Security Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (Bio|Presentation)

General Discussion

13:00 - 15:00 Afternoon Break
15:00 - 17:30 Session IV: Capacity Building for effective policymaking on environmental migration: Towards comprehensive policy frameworks

Moderator: Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, Director, Department of Migration Management, IOM

Speakers:

  • Hasan Mahmud, State Minister for Environment and Forests, Bangladesh (Bio)
  • Enrique Manalo, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Mission of the Philippines to the European Union (Bio|Presentation), and 
  • Raquel Lejtreger, Main Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Housing, Territory Planning and Environment, Uruguay (Bio|Presentation)

General Discussion

17:30 - 18:00 Wrap-up and Closing Remarks
  • Laura Thompson, Deputy Director General, IOM, delivered by Peter Schatzer, Chief of Staff, IOM

End of the Workshop