Papua New Guinea, IOM Sign Climate Change and Migration Pact

Papua New Guinea - The consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly evident in the Pacific Region and especially in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Migration caused by changes in the environment is prevalent, but often overlooked. Climate driven migration and resettlement are also emerging as catalysts of tension and conflict with host communities.

Against this background, IOM has been working closely with the PNG Office of Climate Change and Development (PNGOCCD) and other partners to help the government to develop policies to link disaster risk reduction to climate change adaptation programmes. The PNG authorities are also developing policies on the protection of the rights of the internally displaced with IOM support.

On 16 July 2015 PNGOCCD and IOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The agreement will give visibility to environmental migrants and their specific needs, and recognizes the link between climate change and migration. It aims to address the multiple existing interactions between climate change and its physical, social and economic impacts on human society.

The MoU was signed by the two parties and witnessed by Pascal Maubert, the Ambassador of France to PNG, representing the European Community and France, the host country for the November 2015 COP21 global meeting on climate change.

Varigini Badira, Executive Director of the PNGOCCD, welcomed the agreement and noted the progress that PNG has achieved in terms of mitigation and adaptation policies. He emphasized the human dimension of climate change and the need to address it jointly with IOM.

IOM Papua New Guinea Chief of Mission George Gigauri said: “Understanding climate change as a new driver of migration is critical to addressing the challenges faced by many vulnerable communities in PNG. We must work together to combine disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts to bring about durable solutions to environmental migrants. This agreement marks an important milestone in our joint strategic activities, focusing on the human dimension of climate change.”

For further information, please contact Beatriz Muñoz Girardengo at IOM Papua New Guinea, Tel: + (675) 7025 6220 Email: