Climate Induced Migration in South Asia – Regional Advocacy Workshop

11-13 July 2023, Hotel Bengal Blueberry, Dhaka

Background

There is no universally agreed definition of climate-induced displacement and migration, but broadly, it refers to the movement of people driven by sudden or progressive changes in the weather or climate. This can include temporary and permanent, seasonal and singular, as well as voluntary and forced movement.

A study by ActionAid and Climate Action Network South Asia projects that even if the global community acts on their greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation pledges and targets, about 37.5 million people will still be displaced by 2030 and an estimated 62.9 million by 2050 within the five South Asian countries. India alone will see 45 million people being forced to migrate from their homes by 2050 due to climate disasters, three times more than the present figures. Current global pledges and targets see us on track for between 2.1°C and 3.3°C.

Climate change has contributed to melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, and desertification. It has led to more frequent and stronger weather-related extremes such as storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires. Threats to people’s lives, physical and mental health, food and economic security are, however, unevenly distributed and exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and inequalities. Generally, countries with fewer resources and people in precarious situations bear a disproportionate burden.

Climate-induced migration and displacement is falling between the policy gaps. Existing international frameworks and national policies are yet to make the crucial link between climate change impact on the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events, environmental degradation, and human mobility.

This is partly because although migration and climate change have a significant relationship, it is extremely difficult to disentangle and quantify. However, it is clear that the number of climate-induced migrants will increase.

Global agreement to address climate-induced migration and displacement is needed. A comprehensive approach would address the need for assistance, protection and durable solutions for those displaced by climate change, manage climate risks for those remaining and support opportunities for voluntary migrants adapting to climate change.

Workshop Objectives
  • To develop a regional and four national advocacy strategies to mainstream climate induced displacement and migration issues and engage with policy makers, media and general public to highlight the problem and the solutions in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
  • To understand and apply the key elements of advocacy strategy design specifically identifying the advocacy issue, goal and objectives; decision-maker and influencer identification; and message design and execution — tailoring messages to target audiences.
  • To interact with climate impacted communities and collect testimonies to document and understand what forces people to migrate and what are their demands.
Workshop Outcomes
  • 4 draft national advocacy plans and 1 regional advocacy plan for 1- 3 years.
  • Draft Communications Strategy with Key messages, audiences, tools and
    platforms for 1 year.
  • Improved understanding of the nuances of climate displacement and Migration
    issue.
  • Improved understanding of using communication and media tools for advocacy