Belgium - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the European Union launched in Brussels today (16 June) the report, “Making Mobility Work for Adaptation to Environmental Changes: Results from the MECLEP Project’s Global Research”.
The ground-breaking research was conducted in six pilot countries: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kenya, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam. A major finding of the study is that migration often has a positive impact on adaptation as it allows households affected by environmental and climate change to diversify income, to improve their employment, health and education opportunities and to increase their preparedness for future hazards. Moreover, the study suggests that at least 40 per cent of the migrant households surveyed learnt new skills through migration. On the other hand, displacement due to natural hazards poses more challenges to adaptation, often linked to increasing vulnerability of those displaced.
The report is the final publication of the European Union-funded “Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy” (MECLEP) project, a three-year research project which aimed at contributing to the global knowledge base on the relationship between migration and environmental and climate change. MECLEP was implemented by IOM in a consortium of six universities.
The final comparative report builds on desk reviews, household surveys and qualitative interviews conducted in the six project countries to assess the extent to which migration, including displacement and planned relocation, can benefit or undermine adaptation to environmental and climate change.
“Data analysis allows for a proactive, coherent and informed approach to policy development,” stated Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Data Analysis Centre. “By assessing in which ways migration can represent an adaptation strategy to environmental and climate change, the MECLEP data facilitates the development of informed policy responses,” he stressed.
Many policy implications emerge from this unique comparative study. Among others, the importance of integrating migration into urban planning to reduce challenges for both migrant households and the communities of destination and the need of paying particular attention to gender issues and to the needs of vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and trapped populations that cannot move.
The report is launched jointly with the European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) at the IOM Regional Office in Brussels. The conceptual approach that guided the study and the research methodology were also presented during the launch event.
In addition to this final comparative report, the MECLEP project produced other publications focusing on the migration and environment nexus: six national assessments, six country survey reports, 20 policy briefs, a training manual in five languages, a methodology paper and a glossary in three languages. All the publications are available on the Environmental Migration Portal, the knowledge platform developed in the context of the MECLEP project.