German Ambassador Hinrich Thoelken told the recent IOM Regional Dialogue on Human Mobility and Climate Change Adaptation there is insufficient understanding of costs to host states & sending states of these types of movements
While addressing the participants of the “Regional Dialogue to Address Human Mobility and Climate Change Adaptation” project, Ambassador Hinrich Thoelken – Director for International Climate and Energy Policy and Digital Transformation, German Federal Foreign Office agreed:While there have been instances of intra-regional migration and internal displacement of people due to natural disasters within and impacting the OECS, there is not yet a full, evidence-based understanding of the potential costs to nation states (host states and sending states) of these types of movements. This need to understand related issues also applies in countries when local populations and sometimes entire communities are internally displaced due to environmental factors and the effects of climate change. Conference participants recognized as well that there are benefits that can be associated with these movements, which are important to understand.
The question of the Diaspora, and the need for Member States to put policies in place that would allow full engagement of the potential of nationals abroad to support climate change adaptation and increased resilience, through use of their expertise and their engagement in building back better, was also raised throughout the three-day event.
HE Dr Joycelyn Clarke-Fletcher, Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to the Diaspora, made an impassioned plea for a change from defaulting to a mindset of the “negative” effects of migration, to a mindset where OECS nationals begin to recognize & harness the positive effects of orderly, safe & regular migration, including on host states. The reports “Migration, Environment, Disasters and Climate Change Data in the Eastern Caribbean” are available online, free of charge, at the IOM Bookstore, 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.
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