Caribbean countries and IOM address climate change and human mobility challenges

11 June, 2019

 

Port of Spain - The growing frequency and intensity of tropical storms and other disasters have pushed Caribbean countries to recognize they can't keep climate change on a debate level. Eighteen countries and territories of this region and twelve international and regional organizations, as well as observers, gathered during June 6 and 7 to tackle issues on human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change in the Caribbean.

The meeting, held in Trinidad and Tobago, was organized by IOM under the framework of the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC). The event was also supported by the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This was the second regional meeting aimed at supporting technical specialists and government officials to identify gaps related to disasters and displacement and developing policies to enhance the region's overall preparedness and response capacity.

"The participation of so many Caribbean countries and territories demonstrates the importance that the region places on addressing together the impacts of climate change on human mobility," said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. "Regional cooperation represents a key opportunity for the future. The Caribbean Migration Consultations foster these exchanges on migration issues. Our hope for the CMC is that it enables discussions on migration and climate change and will build on the momentum created from this conference".

The discussions focused on four thematic issues: managing disaster displacement risks and the inclusion of human mobility into national and regional disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and adaptation planning processes; migration as adaptation to environmental and climate change; protection challenges in the context of human mobility in countries affected by disasters; and addressing cross-border disaster-displacement (migration law and policies).

"Caribbean countries and regional institutions have made great advances in preventing and addressing environmental migration," says Pablo Escribano, IOM regional specialist on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change. "Consolidating these initiatives and sharing best practices represent great opportunities to design a way forward and address the challenges together."

Among the participants were representatives from countries and territories such as Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Other institutions were also represented at the event, such as the embassies of the United States, Switzerland, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as international and regional organizations such as CARICOM IMPACS, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, CDEMA, OECS, UNHCR, ECLAC, PDD, the German Development Cooperation, academic institutions and other key actors.

The Regional Consultation was hosted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and was organized by IOM and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). To learn more about the event, go to https://caribbeanmigration.org/events/regional-consultation-towards-framework-regional-cooperation-human-mobility-context-disasters.  

 

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5304, Email: btarnay@iom.int.