Virtual Workshop on Environmentally-Driven Migration: Improving the Evidence Base for Effective Policy Making
Environmental change is one of the many reasons that prompt people to migrate or flee, but its importance in these flows is rising as climate impacts are getting stronger. Simultaneously, environmental change can also inhibit migration or lead governments to relocate households away from affected areas. Despite the greatly improving evidence-base on these linkages over the past three decades, several knowledge gaps persist that often relate to data challenges. It remains necessary to improve knowledge and data to better map, understand, project, and address environmental migration, displacement, and planned relocation. Analyses of continuing data gaps and strategies for innovative data use are key to rise to the challenge.
At the same time, the topic is important to policy makers from different fields, including those focusing on policies for disaster risk management, climate adaptation, development, environment, urban planning, and migration. Governments are beginning to think through how to manage the implications of these interconnections, but the translation of scientific insights into coherent policy and action is still in its infancy. Evidence-based strategies are scarce. As climate impacts and environmental degradation are multiplying worldwide, it remains a major concern to improve the science-policy interface and to help states develop and implement coherent approaches to the topic.
Against this backdrop, the Thematic Working Group on Migration and Environmental Change, on behalf of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), has commissioned 12 working papers and research briefs on data gaps and opportunities, innovative data use and analytic tools, and ways to advance the research agenda and move towards concrete policy development in this area. On 15 June 2020, KNOMAD brought the authors together in a virtual workshop to discuss the topics, scope and preliminary findings of this research initiative. A workshop will be organized before the end of 2020 to present the findings on continuing data gap.