Sri Lanka: Understanding Migration, Environmental Degradation and Climate Change

Sri Lanka: Understanding Migration, Environmental Degradation and Climate Change

Asia
NC.0046
LK10P0510
300,000
Sri Lanka
Migration, Environment and Climate Change
National
Active

Understanding Migration Trends from Climate Change Affected Districts in Sri Lanka, a 2018 rapid-assessment report conducted by IOM in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Resources, revealed that communities resort to migration in the context of climate change as a strategy, and that migration is mostly perceived as “unwilling”, not a proactive decision stemming from a desire to migrate. The Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Resources expressed keen interest in the assessment findings and have recommended conducting an in-depth research with a representative sample that can provide valid evidence. Similarly to the Government, development partners are also interested in generating more knowledge on migration, environment and climate change (MECC) in Sri Lanka, as recognized at the meeting where findings of the Assessment Report were presented.

Building upon the findings and recommendations of the 2018 rapid assessment on migration, environment and climate change in Sri Lanka, this project aims to contribute to strengthening Government efforts towards increasing community resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in Sri Lanka, by improving evidence-based strategies and programming to assist people in such contexts. Two key components will underpin the achievement of this objective. The first is to conduct in-depth research into the linkages between climate change, environmental degradation and migration, building on the rapid assessment findings, before mainstreaming the findings into Goernment policies. The in-depth research will be designed in consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Government, UN agencies and research institutes. This activity will lead to the publication of in-depth research report that will enhance the understanding on the nexus between climate change and migration in Sri Lanka. IOM will ensure the research findings will reach relevant policy makers to influence inclusion of migration in development plans, climate change and disaster policy frameworks, and inform long term targeted investments in rural development. The second key component aims at sharing knowledge produced by the in-depth research with all stakeholders, leading to a dialogue and a road map to take forward the findings of the research, while also conducting a pilot initiative on climate-resilient livelihood strategies with high-risk communities. This intervention aims at developing government capacity for the effective implementation of climate change adaptation actions including sustainable migration management measures and strengthened community resilience, and will include a Training of Trainers for local government officials on climate-resilient livelihoods. These trained officials will then implement an innovative pilot project, working with women in high-risk communities on developing climate change-resilient and sustainable livelihood practices. The pilot project will be closely monitored and evaluated, and best practices and lessons learned will be developed into a full report for guiding potential future scaled-up versions of the initiative, once again utilizing the IOM Development Fund as a valuable seed-funding mechanism and ensuring greater sustainability.

This project is line with IOM’s institutional objectives to prevent forced migration resulting from environmental factors and to support migrants and the government to respond to new challenges associated with climate change and human mobility.