Environmental factors have long had an impact on global migration flows, as people have historically left places with harsh or deteriorating conditions. However, the scale of such flows, both internal and cross-border, is expected to rise as a result of accelerated climate change, with unprecedented impacts on lives and livelihoods. Such migration can have positive and negative effects on both the local coping capacity and the environment in areas from which these migrants originate, as well as in their temporary or permanent destinations.
Migration, climate change and the environment are interrelated. Just as environmental degradation and disasters can cause migration, movement of people can also entail significant effects on surrounding ecosystems. This complex nexus needs to be addressed in a holistic manner, taking into account other possible mediating factors including, inter alia, human security, human and economic development, livelihood strategies and conflict.
Migration often seems to be misperceived as a failure to adapt to a changing environment. Instead, migration can also be an adaptation strategy to climate and environmental change and is an essential component of the socio-environmental interactions that needs to be managed.
Migration can be a coping mechanism and survival strategy for those who move. At the same time, migration, and mass migration in particular, can also have significant environmental repercussions for areas of origin, areas of destination, and the migratory routes in between and contribute to further environmental degradation.
IOM applies its comprehensive migration management approach to the complex linkages between climate change, the environment and migration. Through its activities, IOM helps to reduce vulnerability of populations exposed to environmental risk factors; assists populations on the move as a result of environmental causes; and builds the capacities of governments and other actors to face the challenge of environmental migration. Nepal is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change. Farmers are the worst affected. Poverty and impacts of climate change are pushing people to migrate.
In Southern Nepal, FAO supports some 3,000 farmers through 120 farmer field schools, so that families can be reunited and farmers can continue to live on and off their land. Nepal is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change. Farmers are the worst affected. Poverty and impacts of climate change are pushing people to migrate. In Southern Nepal, FAO supports some 3,000 farmers through 120 farmer field schools, so that families can be reunited and farmers can continue to live on and off their land.