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Migration, Climate Change and the Environment. &. Angela Santucci Project Officer International Organization for Migration (IOM) Cairo, 20 – 21 September 2010. “The gravest effects of climate change may be those on human migration.” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1990

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Migration, Climate Change and the Environment


Angela Santucci

Project Officer

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Cairo, 20 – 21 September 2010

potential effects of climate change
“The gravest effects of climate change may be those on human migration.”

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1990

Where do we stand now?

20 million displaced by climate related natural disasters in 2008

What about the future?

Most widely cited figure: 200 million environmental migrants by 2050

Potential Effects of Climate Change
links between environment and migration
Both natural disasters and environmental degradation can induce migration

Climate change is likely to exacerbate these events and processes

Migration can affect the environment in places of destination & origin and along transit routes

Economic, social and developmental factors complicate the interactions between migration and the environment

Environmental migration is a multi-causal phenomenon

Links Between Environment and Migration
migration as adaptation
Migration can strengthen livelihoods through income diversification via remittances, the transfer of knowledge and skills and/or relocation

 Migration is one possible adaptation strategy

Migration as Adaptation
case study egypt
Expected climate change impacts:

Sea-level rise

Water scarcity


Expected impacts on human mobility:

International mobility

Internal mobility (rural to urban)

Case Study: Egypt
north coast and nile delta
60% of Egypt’s agriculture

Four million people

Vulnerable to sea rise and salination

Sediment starvation

Internal and international migration

North Coast and Nile Delta
egypt migration by governorate
Egypt: Migration by Governorate

International Migration Aspirations among Egyptian Youth 15-29, by Governorate

egypt migration by governorate1
Egypt: Migration by Governorate

Internal Migration Experience among Egyptian Youth 18-29, by Destination Governorate

pilot project assessment and strategy development to respond to sea level rise and human mobility
To better understand actual and potential impacts and consequences of sea-level riseon human mobility

Creation of a technical working group of key stakeholders and inception workshop

Rapid assessments conducted

To design and test practical pilot initiatives to help respond to sea-level rise induced mobility

Pilot initiatives developed and implemented

Assessment of pilot initiatives to evaluate success

To enhance awareness among key stakeholders of the inter-linkages between sea-level rise and human mobility

Workshop for key stakeholders to disseminate findings and develop recommendations and follow up actions

Final report based on assessment findings and implemented activities, including lessons learned and recommendations

Donor: IOM’s 1035 Funding Facility

Pilot Project: Assessment and Strategy Development to Respond to Sea-Level Rise and Human Mobility
the way forwards iom s vision
First - minimize forced migration and ensure protection and assistance where displacement is inevitable;

Second - facilitate the role of migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change and seek to strengthen the developmental benefits of such migration for areas of origin;

Third - plan for relocation in areas that are expected to become uninhabitable to avoid a crisis situation and ensure sustainability;

Fourth - bolster humanitarian action with adequate resources to meet the growing challenge of climate change;

Fifth - mainstream environmental and climate change considerations into migration management policies and practice, and vice versa.

The Way Forwards: IOM’s Vision