This innovative partnership focuses on three key areas of collaboration: (a) improving understanding and awareness of the interactions between marine ecosystems, climate change and human mobility; (b) undertaking joint advocacy in key policy processes at the international, regional and national levels; and (c) developing new solutions, building capacity and supporting the implementation of projects and programmes at the regional, national and local levels, in order to address key issues around ocean and marine ecosystem change, climate change and migration and provide solutions for vulnerable communities.
The migration, environment and climate change nexus has gained prominence as a thematic policy area on national, regional and global agendas. There is now wide recognition that human mobility, in both its forced and voluntary forms, is increasingly affected by environmental and climatic factors, while migratory movements, in turn, may have an impact on the environment. In the context of oceans for example, sea-level rise, impacts on marine biodiversity and subsequently on livelihoods, and the displacement of vulnerable populations are amongst the various links between ocean change, climate change and human mobility, and have especially critical implications for Small Island Developing States.
There are, however, means to tackle some of these challenges, and marine ecosystem deterioration and forced population scenarios can be anticipated. More sustainable management of natural marine resources, implementation of ecosystem protection and restoration projects, disaster risk reduction initiatives, climate change adaptation policies, creation of alternative jobs, or even planned and facilitated migration, could contribute to reducing the vulnerability of natural habitats and communities that depend upon them.
The new partnership between IOM and the OCP will endeavor to address these various issues. Further information on the links between oceans, environment, climate change and human mobility is available here.