The Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security Programme (PCCMHS) partners have welcomed the momentous agreement of Pacific Island countries on the establishment of Regional Framework on Climate Mobility, and their commitment to protect local communities whose safety and mobility have been affected by the impacts of climate change.
“This agreement represents a watershed moment in the collective effort to comprehensively address the impacts of climate change on Pacific nations; it provides practical guidance to governments planning for and managing climate mobility, and recognizes the fundamental priority of people to stay in their ancestral homes,” said IOM Director General Amy Pope, who attended the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting, held in the Cook Islands from 6-10 November.
“In celebration of the strong collaboration and shared commitment, ESCAP applauds the strong partnership forged under the guidance of Co-Chairs Fiji and Tuvalu and all the Pacific members. ESCAP commends the Pacific’s bold and courageous leadership and vision in the adoption of the framework. We reiterate our commitment to support the implementation of the framework together with members and partners,” said ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana.
The Pacific Regional Framework on Climate Mobility is a first in terms of addressing the issues of migration, displacement, and planned relocation comprehensively. It is also an important flagship initiative to implement the goals outlined in the 2050 Strategy of the Blue Pacific Continent, the region’s long-term strategic policy document, framing the region’s collective direction for the next three decades.
The PCCMHS programme has, in the past 4 years, been actively supporting the development of this regional collaboration framework on human mobility as a result of climate change.
In an effort to leave no one behind, the framework encapsulates the lived experiences of women, youth, people with disability, marginalized groups and all communities affected by climate mobility; it contains the advice and lessons of Pacific governments, civil society and academia. It also captures the need to uphold and protect human rights without discrimination; preserve culture and identity; strengthen regional collaboration; and protect those at risk of displacement.
With far-reaching impacts of climate change on human mobility in the Pacific Islands region, and more than 50,000 Pacific people displaced every year due to climate and disaster related events, the Pacific is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change, with its low-lying island nations facing multiple threats, including sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and ocean acidification.
PCCMHS partners look forward to supporting Pacific Island countries in the participatory, inclusive, and transparent implementation of the framework; ensuring migration remains a choice rather than a necessity, and that everyone who moves in the context of climate change is able to enjoy their human rights, regardless of status.
The PCCMHS programme is comprised of the lead agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the partners, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), International Labour Organization (ILO), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), together with Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD). The programme has been supported through funding from the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s International Development Cooperation Programme — Ngā Hoe Tuputupu-mai-tawhiti.
You can access the full PIFS Forum Communique here.