Regional Conference on Data and Governance of Environmental Migration in the Eastern Caribbean

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The event takes place in the context of what has been called an “existential threat” of the effects of climate change on the region. Key representatives from the six independent member states of the OECS, and Regional and international organizations will come together to discuss the recommendations of the report, which are the output of a regional study (2020-2021) to assess national and regional data systems on migration, environment, disasters, and climate change in the six independent member states of the OECS. The study was conducted by the IOM Mission in Dominica, in collaboration with the OECS Commission, and with technical support from GMDAC under a project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.   The results of the study have been compiled into the regional report “Migration, Environment, Disasters and Climate Change Data in the Eastern Caribbean and six accompanying national reports, to be utilized by each member state in its unique context, and in consideration of the regional recommendations.

Global debates around migration, environment and climate data often focus on the need to collect more data,” said Andrea Milan, GMDAC Lead on Migration Governance Data. “The reports we will launch on October 4th show that there is more to this issue than just data scarcity: countries can enhance their data systems through better cooperation and harmonization of practices across governmental entities as well as through minor adjustments to forms and templates that are already in use.”

Pablo Escribano, Regional Migration, Environment and Climate Change Specialist at the IOM Regional Office for Central and North America and the Caribbean explains the importance of the regional dialogue: “Better data and evidence is required for policymakers to ensure that environmental migration is managed so that it is safe and orderly and takes place through regular channels provided for in well-informed policy. As countries are advancing new and ambitious climate action, and in the context of regional integration and the frameworks for freedom of movement and regional collaboration, improved interventions are required at the national and regional levels to avoid bottlenecks and facilitate orderly movements.”

Ultimately, the conference aims to arrive at a roadmap to enhance the capacities of the governments of the six participating OECS Member States to collect, analyse and utilise data on migration, environment, disasters and climate change, for evidence-based policymaking. Natasha Greaves, Head of Office, IOM Dominica, explains “Climate change is impacting the region including through more frequent storms, floods and droughts, and rising sea levels. While national and regional frameworks for movement of persons exist, and have facilitated movement, this study, the regional and national reports and the regional dialogue, will hopefully contribute to further coordination and improvements in data on environmental migration, which will then feed into more robust policy and planning, effectively addressing the mobility dimensions of environmental and climate-related crises; and ensuring that migration takes place in a safe, orderly and dignified manner. “ 

The Regional Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Change Data will be held using a hybrid in-person and virtual approach and will also include training and capacity building activities for government stakeholders of the six participating OECS member states, based on gap areas identified by participants of the study. The activities form part of the “Regional Dialogue to Address Human Mobility and Climate Change Adaptation” project, implemented by IOM and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, with the objective of enhancing the governance of environmental migration in the Eastern Caribbean through improved evidence and regional cooperation. 

The opening ceremony of the Regional Conference on Human Mobility and Climate Change Data and launch of the reports will be livestreamed via Zoom.  Interested media and individuals are encouraged to join via the IOM Dominica Facebook page, or email malleyne@iom.int to request the link to join the event.

The regional report “Migration, Environment, Disasters and Climate Change Data in the Eastern Caribbean will be available online, free of charge, at the IOM Bookstore (https://publications.iom.int), the Environmental Migration Portal, and the Global Migration Data Portal, as well as the website of the IOM Regional Knowledge Hub on human mobility in the region of Central America, North America and the Caribbean (https://kmhub.iom.int/en).

For more information on the project, IOM or its work, visit www.iom.int or contact IOM Dominica Communication Officer at (767) 275-3225 via phone or Signal Messenger app, or via email at malleyne@iom.int  or  iomdominica@iom.int

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