The International Organization for Migration (IOM), as the leading intergovernmental migration agency, has been at the forefront of operational, research, policy and advocacy efforts, seeking to bring environmental migration to the heart of international, regional and national concerns in collaboration with its Member States, observers and partners.
Since 2007, member states requested IOM within its governing bodies to work on migration, environment and climate change. At the beginning of 2015, a dedicated Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division was created to address the migration, environment and climate nexus. This institutional change has formalized IOM’s engagement in this thematic area, making IOM the first international organization to have established an institutional unit fully devoted to this topic. Through its Migration, Environment, Climate Change and Risk Reduction Division, within the Department of Peace and Development Coordination, IOM oversees, supports and coordinates the development of policy guidance for activities with a migration, environment and climate change dimension.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) seeks to promote a comprehensive, evidence and rights-based approach to migration in the context of environmental degradation, climate change and disasters,1 for the benefit of migrants and societies. IOM understands the links between migration, environment, and climate change through the lens of human security and is committed to put vulnerable people at the centre of its responses. When well managed migration becomes a safe and accessible choice, it can help people adapt to environmental and climate change pressures.
Faced with the growing challenges posed by climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters due to natural hazards, IOM’s role, as the United Nations Migration Agency, and as the coordinator and Secretariat of the United Nations Network on Migration, is to support States, migrants, and other stakeholders to develop policies and practices that are evidence based, effective and innovative, with a focus on the well-being of migrants and societies.
Over the past decades, we have gained greater awareness, understanding and knowledge of the environmental and climate factors that drive human mobility and of their interaction with other drivers of migration. People are already moving because of the adverse effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters due to natural hazards and will increasingly continue to do so. In this context of heightened consciousness, IOM is committed to support inclusive multilateral collaboration and develop innovative migration responses that can make humane and orderly migration part of the solution to address the climate emergency.
Our vision is to support States in their efforts to achieve orderly, safe, responsible, and regular international migration2 and to ensure that all people on the move and those internally displaced by the adverse impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters due to natural hazards, are assisted and protected.
In addition, we pledge to work in close collaboration with a wide range of partners whose mandate is to mitigate the adverse environmental and climate drivers that compel people to move, to address and reduce risks and vulnerabilities in migration, and to boost community resilience to avert, minimize and address displacement.
- “We develop solutions for people to move.”
Managing migration in the context of climate change, environmental degradation,and disasters due to natural hazards.
- “We develop solutions for people on the move.”
Assisting and protecting migrants and displaced persons in the context of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters due to natural hazards.
- “We develop solutions for people to stay.”
Making migration a choice by building resilience and addressing the adverse climatic and environmental drivers that compel people to move.