31 Jan 2024

High-level Policy Dialogue on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change

  • Date
    26 Feb 2024, 13:30pm
  • Location
    Conference Room 11, UN Compound in Gigiri, Nairobi Kenya

Climate Migration is a Human Reality

Climate change is a rapidly growing driver of human mobility, interacting with demographic change, conflict and poverty in ways that undermine human safety and well-being, progress towards sustainable development, and peace. The adverse impacts of climate change are felt in every corner of the world, whether directly or indirectly, but the unfortunate reality is that it disproportionately affects those who contribute the least to it, particularly the most vulnerable segments of society who are increasingly forced to leave their homes, families, communities and cultures. Indeed, climate change is now a leading cause of human mobility.

The urgency to take concrete steps and develop solutions for communities to move, to stay and for those already on the move cannot be understated.  Climate change is forcing millions to move within their affected countries. Up to 216 million could become internal climate migrants by 2050. With concrete actions now, this number could be reduced by 80%.

A global response to Climate Migration 

For the first time in history, Governments across the globe have taken decisive action to address this challenge and to identify the potential opportunities to leverage climate and environmental mobility towards sustainable development. Last year, 2023 has seen the endorsement of three, historic regional and continental frameworks across the globe, supported by IOM and partners.

Since 2019, IOM has led an interagency Pacific Climate Change, Migration and Human Security Programme (PCCMHS) comprising ILO, OHCHR, UNESCAP, the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). A central focus of the programme is to support a state-led regional, rights-based framework on climate related mobility, which will guide Pacific Governments to plan for and manage climate mobility. Through a highly consultative process, the first Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Mobility was endorsed by the Pacific Island Leaders during the Fifty-Second (52nd) Pacific Islands Forum, which was held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 6 – 10 November 2023.

In July 2022, Ministers from the East and Horn of Africa convened in Kampala, Uganda, for an Inter-Ministerial Conference on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC). The conference was organized by the Government of the Republic of Uganda and supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was geared towards developing an integrated approach to climate change induced mobility across the region as well as raising the important topic of human mobility in the context of climate change at the global level for serious consideration, including at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COPs). Eleven (11) Member States (MSs) from the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) jointly developed and signed the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change (KDMECC), which was the first, regional policy framework that addresses human mobility in the context of climate change. During COP 27 in 2022, H.E President Ruto of Kenya announced that in his role as the Chair of the Committee of African Heads of States and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) under the African Union, Kenya will host an Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in September 2023. In particular, and in partnership with His Excellency President Museveni of Uganda, H.E President Ruto expressed his interest in supporting the continental expansion of the KDMECC at the ACS and IOM agreed to support the expansion of the KDMECC through the coordination and technical support for the development of a continental Addendum (KDMECC-AFRICA), which was signed at a Ministerial ceremony on the 04th of September during the ACS.

Also in 2023, the Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States endorsed a new Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change, which was launched at Latin American and Caribbean Climate Week. The Declaration recognizes the impact of climate change and environmental factors on multiple forms of human mobility and requests the establishment of a Working Group dedicated to advance a plan of action to address these issues. The Ministerial Declaration is the achievement of a joint human security programme implemented by IOM in collaboration with the OECS Commission, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) under the guidance of the United Nations Resident Coordinator Office for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

We can no longer talk about climate change without talking about human mobility

Climate change impacts on each region in unique ways, as the adverse effects are highly context specific. However, despite this to address the challenges, recognizing that addressing climate change cannot be effective without a collective approach. The same is true for the challenges and opportunities posed by human mobility that is influenced by climate and environmental change (referred to as ‘climate mobility’). 

This event will bring together Ministers who have led and endorsed the three Regional Frameworks signed last year, to a discussion moderated by the IOM Chief of Staff. The discussion will explore the three new, Regional Frameworks and allow for a cross-regional exchange of experiences and best practices. It will also allow the three regions to compare priorities, expectations and identify commonalities upon which future collaboration could be considered. Finally, the discussion hopes to explore entry points for global coordination and collaboration as the three Regional Frameworks move towards implementation and as new frameworks may potentially be developed in the coming year(s) or the existing ones may be expanded.


  • Moderator: Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Chief of Staff
  • Honourable Minister Beatrice Atim Anywar, State Minister of Environment for the Republic of Uganda.
  • Dr. Peter J. Dery, Director of Environment of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Republic of Ghana.
  • Honourable Cozier Frederick, Minister of Environment, Rural Modernization, Kalinago Upliftment, and Constituency Empowerment, Dominica.
  • Mrs. Tinai Kepa, First Secretary to the Tuvalu Mission to the United Nations.


Please register here by 16 February 2024 to attend in person.