Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Director General of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning cooperation on labour migration and remittances in climate change adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.
Under the collaboration, ICIMOD and IOM-Nepal will work together over the next three years to better understand the role of labour migration and remittances in climate change adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Efforts will include joint research, policy briefs, and capacity enhancement, as well as promoting and sharing climate change adaptation and migration-related tools, methods and technologies.
The MOU signing ceremony was also attended by the Joint Secretary of Ministry of Women Children and Social Welfare, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Honourable Member of the National Planning Commission.
“IOM believes that migration, climate change and the environment are interrelated. Environmental factors have long had an impact on global migration flows, as people have historically left places with harsh or deteriorating conditions. Such migration can have positive and negative effects on both the local coping capacity and the environment in areas from which these migrants originate, as well as in their temporary or permanent destinations,” stated HE Ambassador Laura Thompson, IOM Deputy Director General at the signing ceremony.
“On the positive side, migration can be an adaptation strategy to climate and environmental change and is an essential component of the socio-environmental interactions that needs to be managed. Migration can also be a coping mechanism and survival strategy for those who move. It could also open up opportunities for employments,” she added.
“Migration for work is a traditional livelihood strategy across the Hindu Kush Himalayan region”, said Dr David Molden, ICIMOD Director General, “And migrant workers contribute to the development and adaptation of their families and communities in the face of climate and environmental change”.
“To maximize benefits of migration and reduce risks for migrant workers, their families, and the communities they come from, policies must acknowledge the potential of migration in supporting adaptation and livelihoods. There must be an accessible institutional arrangement for the better use of remittances and skills”, he added.
Today, an estimated 105 million persons are working in a country other than their country of birth. Labour mobility has become a key feature of globalization and the global economy, with the World Bank projecting that the international migrants from developing countries will remit USD 435 billion to their home countries this year. In terms of remittances as a share of GDP, 29 percent (or 5.55 billion in current USD) of the GDP of Nepal in 2013 was contributed by remittances.
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