IOM to draw out migration and mobility in European Development Days debates on climate change, urbanization and sustainability

Jun 14, 2021

Brussels – 14 June 2021 - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners are scheduled to contribute to debates on urbanization and displacement, sustainability and adaptation, the role of migration and mobility in the changing climate era at this year’s flagship European Union (EU) forum on development, the European Development Days (EDD). This year’s digital edition of the EDD, being held virtually on June 15-16, is organized around the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and environmental degradation in the context of the EU Green Deal for a Sustainable Future. 

Cities are becoming the main destination for a growing number of the more than one billion migrants in the world. With most migrants moving to urban areas, local authorities have a major role to play in creating an urban environment that enables them to contribute to sustainable prosperity at the local level. But if urbanization is to be achieved sustainably, the right policies and practices need to be in place to harness the potential that migration represents.

On June 15, a brainstorming lab will bring together a number of European, UN, international organizations and forums to explore what makes a migrant-inclusive city a sustainable one. From 11h45 to 13h00 the lab, “What makes a migrant and refugee-inclusive city a more sustainable one?” will gather participants to reflect on their experience and breakthrough practices factoring migration into urban management in the era of climate change. 

This event is being led by the OECD with UN-HABITAT, CMI, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNICEF and WHO in cooperation with IOM, UNHCR, Mayors Migration Council, the UCLG and the GFMD Mayors Mechanism. Register for this event HERE

Likewise, climate change is influencing human mobility globally. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Pacific, where the long-term effects of sea-level rise and unpredictable weather patterns threaten the health, livelihoods and culture of Pacific Islanders, which will likely lead to “climate mobility” through intensified drivers of displacement and forced migration. 

On June 16, IOM and IDMC (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre) have co-organized a Project Lab to delve into “What a changing climate means for human mobility in the Pacific: evidence on risks and emerging practices”. The lab will feature discussion about how international cooperation and development actors can improve understanding of how to better consider the complex links between human mobility and climate change in relevant policies, frameworks, plans, and programmes. 

Insights will be shared from the Pacific Resilience Partnership Technical Working Group on Human Mobility, that seeks to enhance coordination amongst stakeholders engaged on addressing climate mobility, as well as the EU-supported Pacific Response to Disaster Displacement project and Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development project.

The conversation will run from 10.50 – 11.35. Erwan Marteil, Team Leader on Migration, DG INTPA will moderate a panel with Mafua-'i-Vai'utukakau Maka, Director of the Kingdom of Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office, Teea Tira, PACRES Project Coordinator, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and Nacaniel Speight, Pacific Response to Disaster Displacement Project Manager. Register for this event HERE.