IOM Brings Together Over 70 African Youth to Engage on Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change
Nairobi, Kenya - Over 70 young men and women from 37 African countries will gather in Nairobi on 16 and 17 August to discuss the challenges and good practices of climate-induced mobility as well as opportunities for youth engagement on migration, environment and climate change across the continent.
The youth engagement forum – hosted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – will help the youth develop key messages for the ‘Global Youth Statement’ ahead of the Africa Climate Summit and Africa Climate Week hosted by the Government of Kenya and the African Union in Nairobi in September. These key messages will also give young people a chance to make their voices heard at the COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in November.
“The upcoming youth forum will not only be an opportunity for the African youth leaders to contribute to policymaking processes but also an avenue to instigate life changing youth collaboration for local and global action on climate mobility,” explains Rose Kobusinge, a young climate advocate from the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Youth Convention, YOUNGO.
The forum aims to strengthen the voices of young people on climate mobility and to empower young African advocates on climate and migration. Interactive sessions will be held to build the capacity of youth to speak about migration, environment, and the climate change nexus. It will also offer the chance to take stock of successful and innovative contributions by youth to address challenges and identify opportunities for human mobility in the context of climate change that could be replicated across the continent and globe.
“Anyone can become a climate migrant today or tomorrow. Vulnerable communities are facing massive climate-related displacements and losses that could be avoided through planned, safe and regular migration and relocation. That is why I push myself to raise awareness on the issues arising from climate change-linked mobility but also the opportunities it brings,” Rose concludes.
Young people are disproportionately disadvantaged when it comes to climate action due to a lack of access to jobs, finances, land ownership, political power and other resources and platforms where they can help mitigate the impact of a changing environment for their own generation and future generations.
Despite challenges, young people can also be powerful agents of change when it comes to promoting climate action and greener economies, raising awareness about disaster risk reduction, and building resilience to climate migration in their communities.
“IOM is committed to giving young people increased access to platforms and forums that allow them to influence the policy decisions that will affect their future lives and livelihoods,” states Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director, East and Horn of Africa.
“The youth engagement forum is a precursor to the continental expansion of the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (KDMECC-AFRICA), the first regional policy framework that addresses the climate change and human mobility nexus. We will be integrating the priorities and perspectives that the youth will develop during this forum into the KDMECC-AFRICA and collaborate with them to move the commitments from paper to practice.”
The Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change signed in 2021 highlights commitments by countries in the East and Horn of Africa to address challenges and opportunities for human mobility in the context of climate change and IOM’s commitment to address emerging environmental impacts and degradation by building multilateral partnerships as outlined in its Strategic Vision.
The youth engagement forum is being held in collaboration with the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration through the Africa Regional Migration Program (ARMP).