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IOM Workshop Focuses on Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration Nexus

May 2012: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has published the proceedings of a workshop on "Climate Change, Environmental Degradation and Migration," which was held within the framework of IOM's annual International Dialogue on Migration. In 2011, the Dialogue was dedicated to the theme "The Future of Migration: Building Capacities for Change."

Held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 29-30 March 2011, the workshop identified some of the main areas in which governments and institutions may need to reinforce their capacities to manage the complex interactions among climate change and environmental degradation and human mobility. The workshop aimed to discuss a comprehensive approach to managing environmental migration to: minimize forced migration resulting from climate change and environmental factors; ensure assistance and protection for those affected, with sustainable solutions; and facilitate the role of migration as a potential adaptation strategy to climate change.

More specifically, the workshop focused on the following four areas: expanding the knowledge base on environmental migration by investing in strategic, policy-relevant research and data collection; designing and implementing solid legal and institutional frameworks to ensure the protection of those on the move for environmental reasons; building comprehensive migration management policies to tackle the multifaceted impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on human mobility; and strengthening technical and operational capacities to support vulnerable populations and promote effective migration management in the context of environmental change and natural disasters.

Based on the workshop discussions, a number of future activities were proposed to build the capacities of countries to manage the consequences of migration due to climate change and environmental degradation, including building knowledge and improving data collection, clarifying the terminology on environmental migration; strengthening policy, institutional, administrative and legal Frameworks; and reinforcing operational and technical capacities. [Publication: Climate Change, Environmental Degradation, and Migration, International Dialogue on Migration]