Pacific Civil Society Concludes Regional Consultations on Climate related Mobility

Posted: 
07/06/21

Suva – The Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security (PCCMHS) programme recently (22-23 June) hosted a virtual regional civil society consultation on climate related mobility. The online consultations that were organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) provided an opportunity for civil society representatives from around the Pacific to review the human security implications of climate change related migration, displacement and planned relocation, share experiences about how climate related mobility is impacting communities and talk towards the development of a regional based solution.

The consultations gathered over 40 virtual participants from 8 Pacific Countries across the region to continue discussions on a regional process in support of responses to climate related mobility. This included regional organizations, members of academia, faith-based organizations, youth climate champions and advocates for LGBTIQ groups from around the Pacific.

Through this, the PCCMHS programme aims to ensure that civil society perspectives inform the development of a regional state-led response, as the civil society consultations also aims to cultivate a shared understanding and common approach to climate related mobility in the Pacific.

In opening, Solomon Kantha, IOM Chief of Mission in Fiji, stated that this will be an “opportunity to examine climate related mobility trends in the Pacific, understand where the key legal and policy gaps exist, discuss what policy makers and Governments need to consider and search for suitable protection pathways going forward at a regional level to safeguard the rights of all Pacific Islanders who need to move because of the impacts of climate change”.

Day one of the consultations laid out experiences that were shared by communities who have been impacted by climate related mobility. In particular, under session one, presenters had highlighted the need to protect the social and cultural fabric of relocated communities along with the need to protect ancestorial land, language and rights for families who need to relocate in the future.

Pacific civil society leader, Pefi Kingi of PacificWin spoke of the need to develop “regional frameworks that create safe pathways, uphold human rights and focus on the preservation of cultural identity for future generations”.

Under sessions two participants were also able to get a comprehensive overview of where the key legal and policy gaps were in the climate related mobility landscape before exploring human rights-based solutions.

Day two of the consultations provided a space for civil society members to develop key advice and messages towards government officials and policymakers before discussing the role of CSO’s in raising the issue of climate related mobility and exploring the different pathways that could be used to amplify issues relating to climate mobility around the Pacific region. As Maina Talia of the Tuvalu Association of Non-Government Organisation (TANGO) stressed that regional advocacy is needed to ensure policy development supports the communities it intends to safeguard.

Discussions will only gain further momentum in July as the PCCMHS programme prepares to host national consultations on climate related mobility in Pacific Island Countries such as Fiji, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, FSM, Vanuatu.

The programme is led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) alongside the International Labour Organization (ILO), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). The joint agency PCCMHS programme is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the New Zealand Foreign Aid Programme.

 

For more information contact

Sabira Coelho, Programme Manager, PCCMHS  at IOM Fiji. Email: [email protected]
Christopher Yee, Programme Specialist, PCCMHS at IOM Fiji. Email: [email protected]