Human Mobility Key to a Green and Sustainable Development Agenda, Says IOM on World Environment Day

In a world where more people than ever are on the move, there is an
urgent need to include migration and migrants into efforts to
develop a green and sustainable development agenda, says the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) on World Environment

With more than 214 million international migrants and 740
million internal migrants worldwide, migration is a megatrend of
the 21st century, with consequences that will durably impact
political, social and economic systems and change the composition
of nation states. 

“Integrating migration into a new sustainable development
agenda is essential to ensure migrants contribute their knowledge
and skills in key areas such as poverty reduction, health,
education, the environment and gender equality,” says IOM
Director General William Lacy Swing.

Migrants already play a significant development role through the
transfer of knowledge and skills, the $400 billion they remit home
each year and because they develop transnational networks,
businesses and investments that are essential to the well-being of

“If systematically included in development policies, the
multiple contributions of migrants can significantly contribute to
sustainable and green strategies,” says Swing.

Furthermore, migration remains a possible adaptation strategy
for populations affected by environmental degradation and climate

Migration, either international or internal, can alleviate
pressure on natural resources. It can also represent a viable
alternative for populations living in areas facing soil degradation
or deforestation.

While some National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs)
produced by Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to adapt to climate
change include references to migration, more can be done to
strengthen the role of migration in the adaptation

The 16th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change in Cancun called attention for the
first time to “climate change induced displacement, migration
and relocation.”  

“I am heartened by the fact that migration and population
displacement now feature in a UN Climate Change document, but we
need to go further. As the international migration agency, we are
committed to making progress in three main areas. First, to support
the least developed and developing countries in their efforts to
integrate migration into adaptation planning, as they are currently
developing their National Adaptation Plans.  Second, to
continue our work on mainstreaming migrants’ contributions
into development strategies.  Third, to enhance capacities
needed to manage environmental migration,” says

For more information, please contact

Jean-Philippe Chauzy


Tel:  41 79 285 43 66

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