Extreme weather and slow-onset events are already having a severe effect on people and communities’ living conditions, and forced migration and displacement are increasingly becoming an additional area of concern.
In the future, the adverse effects of climate change will continue to have significant impacts on human mobility and to be major influencing factors in people’s decisions to leave their homes. Existing migration patterns, in particular movements within state borders and regions, are most likely to intensify.
The shift in intensity and variability of extreme weather events has impacted livelihoods and strained Caribbean economies, leading to increased internal and intra-regional displacement of persons and out-migration.
Climate projections for the Caribbean indicate that extreme and slow-onset events like hurricanes, floods, and sea level rises will become more severe and unpredictable, with significant implications for human mobility.
Because climate change is considered an existential threat to the Caribbean that will influence human mobility dynamics in the region, there is a need for urgent action to develop a multicultural and proactive approach to respond to climate-related human mobility requirements.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria’s consequences in 2017 alone indicate the need to address framework conditions and cross-sectorial collaboration to establish and facilitate both temporary and permanent mobility and develop appropriate strategies that consider the challenges posed by future climate change.
The advance of and projections for climate change also highlight a requirement for continuous scientific knowledge production. Estimating the impact of climate change on mobility originals is challenging and can only be achieved through a multi-faceted approach.
Sustainable approaches to proactively manage migration, reduce displacement and achieve transparent, participatory, and demand-oriented relocation, need to be identified.
Policy-makers need to be empowered at the local, national, regional, and international levels to address the complex nexus of human mobility and climate change. Climate change and human mobility require common policy responses based on human-rights approaches.
To address these challenges, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in 2017, launched the Global Programme “Sustainable Management of Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change” (GP HMCCC), which is being implemented in the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Philippines. This article was posted on OECS.