Climate Change and Migration Project Launched to Protect, Empower Pacific Communities

Posted: 
03/26/19
Themes: 
Migration and Climate Change

Suva – IOM and key partners launched a three-year regional project in Suva, Fiji today (26/03) to help Pacific Island governments to address multi-faceted challenges associated with climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation in the region. 

The project – Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region – has received seed funding from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) and will target Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu. 

Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Civil Service and Communications Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, speaking at the launch, welcomed the project.  “We have a global phenomenon called climate change that is affecting people in a very tangible, direct and practical manner, and we have to be able to deal with this issue head on,” he said. 

The main objectives of the project are to support a regional human security-based response to climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation, ensure that migrants and communities benefit from safe labour migration where appropriate, and contribute to the evidence-base of good practices in these areas. 

UN Resident Coordinator a.i. Donglin Li, also spoke at the launch. “This project will apply a human security framework to address the associated challenges of climate change and migration, looking at strengthening protection and empowerment of vulnerable communities by placing them at the center,” he noted. 

Other speakers from Pacific Island governments shared insights into key trends and issues relating to migration, displacement and planned relocations resulting from climate change and climate changerelated disasters. Participants also discussed how regional cooperation and coordination can address gaps in current policy and operational responses to climate change and associated human migration. 

IOM’s project partners include the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), along with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). 

The project launch event was attended by Pacific Island governments, regional organizations, civil society, UN agencies, donors and media. 

For more information please contact Lee Yacoumis at IOM Fiji, Tel: +679 331 0730, Email: lyacoumis@iom.int  

  • Delegates at the launch of the UNTFHS-funded migration and climate change project at the Holiday Inn, Suva, Fiji. Photo: IOM