International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ghana Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has organised a day’s dialogue on ‘climate-induced migration and social transformation in West Africa.
The Dialogue on the theme: “Climate-induced migration: informing policy through social transformation analysis” was linked to economic opportunities, social situations, and conflict among other factors, increasingly mediated by changes and variability in climate patterns in West Africa.
Its Overview and Purpose was delivered by Amy Sullivan, Convener, Technical Introduction and Framing by Mumuni Abu, IWMI Consultant, University of Ghana, and participated Lothar Smith, Human Geographer, Radboud University, Alan Nicol, Strategic Programme Director, WGI, IWMI, with a Round Table and Q&A handled by Hind Aïssaoui Bennani, IOM, Abdul Rahman Lamin, UNESCO, Joseph Teye, Director of Centre, for Migration Studies, University of Ghana
It was moderated by Amy Sullivan, Convener.
The aim was to develop a common understanding of climate-induced migration in West Africa, Explore the intersection between climate change and social transformation and identify opportunities to address climate-induced migration in West Africa in policy, research, or development.
Climate can influence migration by affecting underlying socio-economic factors such as networks, norms (including gender norms), education and income, especially in areas reliant on agrarian livelihoods. The socio-economic factors are not static, but rather change over time.
Such social transformation can impact climate adaptive capacity, and migration decisions of individuals, households, and communities.
However, the underlying dynamics are not well-diagnosed, or integrated into policy making and development programming.
A better understanding of social transformation, in both sending and receiving areas, will help fill existing knowledge gaps and can contribute to scenario development, best-fit policy strategies and interventions.
IWMI is exploring the intersection of climate change, migration, and social transformation in West
Africa, with a vision of long-term outcomes.
Among those potential outcomes are: Well-grounded research on the factors of social transformation, including development of conceptual and analytical frameworks that unlock the black box of social transformation.
Relevant evidence for effective policy making on climate-induced migration (and other development challenges) in West Africa and beyond. Empirical data on embedded social processes (and their changes over time/space) that influence climate vulnerabilities and migration patterns, providing potential to model outcomes, draw up scenarios and inform decision making.
The speakers during the roundtable all focused on the challenges of climate change on agriculture, unemployment and youth challenges.
Mr. Joseph Teye, in his presentation called for the development of gender-sensitive policies that would ensure equity, and resilience in the face of climate change.
He said the climate change was affecting production and truncating development processes as the youth were becoming increasingly frustrated by the repercussions and called for plans that ameliorate their plight.