IOM-OECS Launch Project on Human Mobility and Climate Change

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The 15-month Regional Project will Support Enhanced Data and Evidence on Climate Migration in the Eastern Caribbean

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 — Roseau, Dominica – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), has announced a 15-month regional project to address issues surrounding human mobility and climate change. 

When the project ends next year, policymakers in the six participating Member States will benefit from enhanced data and evidence regarding environmental migration. The project will also strengthen cooperation nationally and regionally thanks to the analysis of national data systems, capacity-building of national stakeholders, sharing of best practices, development of regional guidelines, and a roadmap for regional cooperation on environmental migration and security issues.   

The project, funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, will be executed by IOM Dominica in close partnership with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The main objective is to enhance human mobility governance relating to climate change in the six independent Member States of the OECS through improved evidence and regional cooperation.  

Environmental migration is the movement of persons forced to leave their homes because of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversely affect their lives or living conditions. The Eastern Caribbean is highly vulnerable to a series of natural hazards, and the islands have been feeling the effects of climate change.  

Anecdotal evidence suggests that environmental migration is often used as a short- or long-term coping strategy by many Caribbean citizens after disasters strike.  IOM’s 2018 Migration Governance Needs Assessment study in ten island states of the Commonwealth Caribbean identified limitations in the availability of data and evidence which is required for countries to plan their interventions.  Ultimately, the project will assist OECS states to respond effectively to the mobility dimensions of environmental crises, providing for the socio-economic well-being of those who are forced to move and the societies that host them.

A virtual launch event will be hosted by IOM Dominica and the OECS Secretariat on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, to outline the project activities and initiate the active participation of Member States and the public. Government stakeholders in the areas of environment, immigration and climate change from Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been invited to participate in the launch, which will also be live-streamed at the IOM Dominica Facebook page (

IOM is proud to be a part of this partnership with the Federal Republic of Germany, supporting the OECS and its Member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of the people of the region.

For more information on the project, IOM or its work contact IOM Dominica Communication Officer at /   or (767) 275-3225.

About the Project – “Regional Dialogue to Address Human Mobility and Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean”:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2018), on its Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5ºC outlines the risks that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are exposed to due to global warming.  These include the increasing frequency and force of extreme weather events, sea level rising and biodiversity loss. (Report available at

The Caribbean could experience profound negative impacts on the economy and the well-being of its people due to the impact of climate change on the regional ecosystem.  However, data and evidence on the impact of climate change on mobility and security are still limited. This knowledge gap sustains the existing vulnerabilities by challenging efforts to develop policy to foster preparedness and adaptation actions at a national and regional level.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, adopted by a majority of IOM Member States in 2019, defines a set of objectives that include minimizing the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin (Objective 2) and pays specific attention to natural disasters, the adverse effects of climate change, and environmental degradation, while requiring countries to advance in the collection of adequate and reliable data as a basis for the development of evidence-based policies. 

Taking into consideration these priorities, along with the situation of Caribbean countries, the project proposes to build a regional dialogue series in Eastern Caribbean States that will enhance governments’ capacities to collect, analyse and utilise data on human mobility and vulnerability derived from environmental change. The initiative will support efforts to integrate human mobility in climate change strategies and will enable the development of evidence-based policies that strengthen the human security of vulnerable populations. 

About Germany’s Federal Foreign Office:

With its offices in Berlin and Bonn and a network of around 230 missions abroad, the Federal Foreign Office maintains Germany’s relations with other countries as well as with international and supra-national organizations.

This work concerns much more than just political contacts among governments and parliaments. Because Germany and German society are enmeshed in ever-growing international networks, the Federal Foreign Office promotes intensive interaction and exchange with the world in the fields of business, culture, science and technology, the environment, development issues and many more areas.

About the International Organization for Migration – IOM:

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a United Nations organization working on migration issues.  IOM was established in 1951 and is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.  In 2016 IOM became part of the United Nations as the first agency specialized in all areas of migration.  Dominica became a member state of the IOM in December 2017. 

The core function of IOM is “building migration management capacities” where it is most needed, through providing for training of stakeholders to make a difference; development of national policies; engaging the diaspora for development; creating livelihood opportunities and setting up new government institutions.  

IOM works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promote international cooperation on migration issues, assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.

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