IOM at UNFCCC Conference 16, Cancun

Climate Change, Environment and Migration Alliance (CCEMA):
understanding impacts and finding solutions

Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Jaguar, Cancunmesse

The consequences of climate change for migration present humanity with an unprecedented challenge. At the same time, migration is not only the last resort or the worst case scenario as is still too often assumed; it also offers important opportunities for climate change adaptation. The outcome of the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention adopted in Cancun on 11 December 2010 acknowledges the need to address the movement of people as a result of climate change (paragraph 14 (f)). The international community needs to start acting today to address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities associated with the movement of people in order to help the most vulnerable adapt to their changing reality.

What concrete steps need to be taken and by whom? The side-event sought to provide concrete suggestions to address this question.

Addressing the unprecedented challenge requires unprecedented and innovative multi-stakeholder partnership - collaboration among States, international organizations, civil society, the private sector and the academic world. The Climate Change, Environment and Migration Alliance (CCEMA) provides a framework for such a broad-based collaboration and coordination to bring migration considerations to the environment, development and climate change agendas and vice versa through a combination of awareness raising, research, policy development and practical actions.

The representatives of the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations University together with the Government of Bangladesh, the United Nations Population Fund and the Munich Re Foundation shared their experiences and perspectives on the issue of environmental migration and ways to address it. Through a combination of short presentations and interactive debate with the delegates, panellists sought to identify proactive practical approaches that States and other stakeholders can use to address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the movement of people in the context of climate change adaptation.

Side-event Flyer


  • Moderator: Mr. William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration
  • Prof. Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of the United Nations University
  • Dr. Thomas Loster, Chairman of the Munich Re Foundation
  • Mr. Jose-Miguel Guzman, Chief of the Population and Development Branch, United Nations Population Fund
  • Amb. Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh