IOM Ghana and Embassy of France Host Workshop on Migration and Climate Change for Policymakers

Migration and Climate Change

ACCRA – A two-day workshop on Migration, Environment and Climate Change was organized by IOM Ghana in partnership with the Embassy of France on 11-12 April 2017, for representatives of key Ministries and civil society organizations.

Ghana is affected by various sudden and slow onset events which include tropical storms, sea level rise and increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The impact of such events on human mobility is already being felt, particularly in the agricultural sector and in urban centres.

Advances have been made in Ghana with a National Climate Change Policy and a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy both addressing migration. However, as Mr. John A. Pwamang Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, noted, “In 2015, 19 million people were displaced because of natural disasters around the world, more than twice those displaced due to conflict. We must therefore give priority to this important issue and find innovative ways to address it”.

The workshop sensitized policymakers and practitioners on the migration, climate change and environment nexus. Highlighting that just as environmental degradation and disasters can cause migration, movement of people can also have a significant impact on the environment. H.E. François Pujolas, the French Ambassador to Ghana said “This is a complex issue that requires actors from many different fields to work together. It is encouraging to see representatives from many different Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Civil Society and Development partners come together to discuss this topic”.

The participants were also trained on the specific dynamics of human mobility resulting from sudden onset disasters and slow onset events, including the specific country examples. Other topics covered included challenges in data collection and analysis, regional opportunities and challenges as well as disaster risk reduction.

Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, the Chief of Mission of IOM Ghana noted that “Migration is often misperceived as a failure to adapt to changing environment. It is however one of the main coping and survival mechanisms that is available to those affected by environmental degradation and climate change. This complex nexus needs to be addressed in a holistic manner – and this will only be feasible if the mobility aspect is taken into account in climate change policies.”

At the end of the two-day workshop, participants identified two key issues for Ghana: rural to urban migration and developing a national migration and climate change programme. For each priority area, they set objectives and action plans to address environmental migration in Ghana.

For further information, please contact Joy Paone at IOM Ghana on Phone: +233 030 274 29 30 Email:

Participant discussions on the migration-environment nexus during the workshop. Photo: IOM